Central Scripture John 9:39-41 (39) And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” (40) Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” (41) Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore, your sin remains.”
In this chapter, Jesus heals a man who has been blind from birth. The essence or “meat” of this chapter is found in the verses at the top of this page. This is where Jesus transitions from talking about physical blindness to talking about blindness in a spiritual sense. When the prideful Pharisees sarcastically asked Jesus in verse 40: “Are we blind also?”—His answer was profound. He told them that if they were blind, they would not have sin—but they have sin because they say they are not blind. What does Jesus mean??
Jesus is saying that their belief that they could “see” on their own is keeping them in darkness or in sin. Their attitudes of arrogance and self-righteousness are lead them to believe that they could see and function quite well without Jesus. But if you realize you need Jesus to lead and guide you and humble yourself before Jesus, then and only then will you be made whole and you’ll no longer be under the dominion of sin. PRAISE GOD! Those who admit to being spiritually blind can receive sight from Jesus Christ! The self-righteous—those who think they have it all together—are those who truly cannot see. In other words, if those Pharisees would have admitted their blindness, Jesus would have healed them by forgiving their sins. But since they insisted that they could see, they remained in their sins. It is pride that keeps us from experiencing the grace of God (I Pet. 5:5).
There was a time in my life before I was saved where I was “blind” to the things of God and walking in arrogance-- meaning that I thought I could orchestrate my own life. I planned my life the way I wanted it to look. I went to college, got a good job, married who I thought was the man of my dreams and so on. Do you hear all the “I’s” in my plan? Even after getting saved, I only allowed Jesus into the areas of my life where I wanted him. I kept him on the back burner in areas where I wanted to follow my own path. But as those areas began to crumble all around me--I got divorced, lost my job, was diagnosed with an unexpected illness—it was only then that I fell to my knees and began to give the Lord full control of my life. Slowly but surely, HE began to assemble my life per HIS master plan—not mine! Once I began to move from arrogance to humility, the Lord not only restored those areas in my life but gave me so much more!
In your study time, today, identify examples from the Bible of people who operated in arrogance and self-righteousness. Look at what fate came upon them because of their false pride. Even in this chapter (John 9), there are those who truly do not see with spiritual eyes. Can you identify them?
Second, begin to identify areas in your life in which you are walking in spiritual arrogance. What areas are you still holding on to, not willing or ready to give complete control over to God? Is it an unhealthy relationship, an addiction, procrastination/laziness in studying the Word, false idols? Realize that you are acting in pride and begin to humble yourself before God in those areas. Give those areas over to Him in total trust. As you do this, you will notice your “spiritual vision” increase day by day!