You know that super talkative friend you have? We all have at least one. Let’s say they’ve just returned from a great vacation. When you see them after they get back, you know there is no such thing as “the five-minute version”—you’re getting the whole story, beginning to end. You might roll your eyes (internally of course) but when we get to explaining a year later why we went to the same destination ourselves, it’s not just because we read about it in a magazine or saw a couple of gorgeous pictures on Instagram. It’s also because of stories, the ones we kept hearing from our friend who had been there. There was just such a degree of enthusiasm in the voice of their testimony that we had to go see for ourselves!
Now consider a similar truth regarding what we know about Jesus. There is what we read on the pages of Scripture. Jesus is Savior. Jesus is God. This is the evidence of the inspired word of God, the Bible.
But there is also the Word of God—and here we’ll use the capital letter as we find it in the prologue to the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this case, the Word was not only the inspiration of God, but rather God himself.
Laying these two alongside one another, which convinces you more: the word of God (the Bible) or the Word as God (Jesus)? Spoiler alert: today we are making a case for both.
Let’s take a quick look at what happens in John 9 so we can see how this comes to life:
- The disciples are walking along with Jesus when they see a man who was born blind. The disciples want to know why God would have punished this man with blindness. Did he commit some terrible sin? Or were his parents sinners?
- Jesus says in John 9:3 (MSG) “you’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.” I love how Jesus always redirects the disciples into the correct way of thinking!
- With this, Jesus spits on the ground and mixes the dirt with his saliva to make mud. Then he spreads it on the man's eyes. I can only imagine what the disciples must have thought as he was doing this!
- Then he tells him to go wash the mud off in the pool of Siloam on the south side of the city. When the man washes his eyes, his sight is restored. Whoa.
- John 9:8 (MSG) says, “Soon the town was buzzing. His relatives… had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, ‘Why, isn’t this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?’”. After letting them debate for a bit, he explains what Jesus did.
- When they hear this, his neighbors demand to see Jesus. But the man doesn't know where he is, so they drag him out in front of the Pharisees. Uh-oh. This isn't looking good.
- The Pharisees question the man and, again, he explains how Jesus healed him.
- The Pharisees are divided. Some think that a real man of God wouldn't disobey the Sabbath. Others think that only a man of God would be able to perform such incredible miracles. To persecute or not to persecute? That is the question.
- So, they ask the healed man what he thinks about Jesus. Tread carefully, sir.
- The man replies that Jesus must be a prophet.
- Nope. Wrong answer. The naysayers among the group refuse to believe the man's story. They think he might be lying about having been blind. Oh, conspiracy theories.
- But when the Pharisees call the man's parents, they confirm that their son was actually born blind. The conspiracy theory hits a snag.
- The Pharisees are frustrated. They demand to know the truth. They know that Jesus couldn't have healed him because Jesus is a terrible sinner.
- The man says he doesn't know if Jesus is a sinner or not, but in John 9:25 (MSG) he says “One thing I know for sure: I was blind… I now see.”
- The Pharisees begin to argue again and after a while, the man says “This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It’s well known that God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will. That someone opened the eyes of a man born blind and has never been heard of – ever. If this man didn’t come from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.” (John 9:30-33 MSG)
- The Pharisees then threw him out (are we surprised?) and he gets to declare his belief to Jesus himself when he encounters him later.
The blind man may not have known the Scriptures end to end like the Pharisees, but he had something far more powerful- the testimony of experience.
When it came time for the him to speak up about what had happened to him—to give his testimony—he was required to give it to those who most adhered to the word of God. The Pharisees could tell you all there was to know about the Law and the Prophets. What they could not tell you about was Jesus.
The man was different. He had pedestrian knowledge of the Scriptures and not so much knowledge about Jesus—but for this one thing: “I was blind and now I see.” His testimony was the testimony of experience. He had met Jesus and Jesus had changed him.
What is your testimony? Have you had experience with Jesus? Then get to sharing, and let others be moved by the Scripture that comes to life because you have encountered Jesus!
Erin is a speaker and leadership development professional who has been in the learning and development field for over 12 years. She has a unique ability to engage with her audience and create learning experiences that inspire change and action. She is poised, articulate and delivers her message with passion.
Erin feels that God has called her to use her professional skills to further His kingdom. She is passionate about helping people develop skills and knowledge that will empower them to answer Jesus’ call in their lives and understand how they are uniquely wired to respond to His leading. See Erin's other writings at: www.erhspeaks.com