Posted by: missionventureministries | March 7, 2019

SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS – John 5:39-40

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40).

In the beginning of this chapter John narrates the time when Jesus was in Jerusalem attending one of the annual Jewish feasts. During this occasion, He encountered a disabled man who had been a paralytic for thirty-eight years.

The Lord asked the man: “Do you want to get well?” After a brief conversation, Christ told the man “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” And at once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (John 5:1-9).

This occurred on a Saturday, therefore, the Jewish leaders attempted to accuse the Lord of violating the Law of Moses and began to persecute Him (John 5:10-18).

On this same day, after an extended discourse during which Jesus affirmed His divine relationship with the Father, Christ said to the Jews: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40).

As we know from Scripture, many of the Jewish leaders, particularly the scribes, were proud of their rich knowledge of the sacred writings. Why, then, were they unable to recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, since the Old Testament narratives were filled with prophecies that centered in Him?

Well, the reason they failed to see the Christ of the Old Testament was, their preconceived notions of what the Messiah ought to be like and what they expected Him to do. This is what blinded them to do an objective evaluation of His character, words, and miracles.

We face this same situation today. There are many religious scholars, who have spent a lifetime mastering Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek; who have studied biblical lands and cultures; who have become experts in exegesis; and yet, do not know the Son of God.

Some know of Him, but are unwilling to come to Jesus because they are averse to pay the price He requires; because, if you follow Christ, you must be willing to forsake all that is in conflict with Heaven’s requirements. A person must be willing to deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).

The Savior urged men to count the cost before assuming the role of discipleship, because, he who is not willing to renounce worldliness cannot be a follower of Christ (Luke 14:25-35).

A tragic example is that of the rich, young ruler. He was consumed with materialism. When, therefore, the Lord said: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me,” the young man sorrowfully departed from Christ (Matthew 19:16-22). He was unwilling to pay the price!

Sadly he spent a few moments with Jesus on earth instead of an eternity with Him in heaven.

The spiritually blind are simply unable to understand God’s Word; as Jesus said: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:19-21).

This is a description of the blindness of all human beings in the world who refuse to come to the light. The reason people don’t come to the light, is that they love darkness. They are not kept from light against their will. It’s precisely their strong-willed preferences for the darkness that keeps them away from the light.

The Pharisees knew the Scripture; they had an understanding of God and His Word, but they could not come to accept Jesus as God and Savior. So Jesus gives them a warning, “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” (John 9:39).

Therefore we need to realize that the spiritually blind cannot understand Scripture. They can read it and even make some sense of it, but they cannot understand it. Why? Because the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).  

The spiritually blind love the sinful world and are heavily drawn to it. We need to remember that the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, and their only hope is that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them (2 Corinthians 4:4).

If you are spiritually blind and want to see, there is hope, because, if anyone turns to the Lord, their blindness is taken away (2 Corinthians 3:16).

Please understand that no one loves Christ till they believe that Christ loves them. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It is the love of God awakened in our heart by the Holy Spirit that takes our blindness away and makes us see.

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