The Tests of Unbelief

Belief is tested

John 7-9 Jesus is tested by the populace, the religious leaders, and the Pharisees. He notes that three things keep people from believing: saying Jesus is good, but He is not God; He is a deceiver; and lastly, the fear of being ostracized. The latter is a reminder of Prov 29:25 “the fear of man is a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord shall be exalted.” To prove his point, John uses the story of the blind man made whole in chapter 9. The disciples want to know why he was born blind: was it sin or something else? Jesus assures them that his blindness was given to bring glory to God.

After Jesus smears mud on his eyes, the man is told to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. Water is not the healing agent, but it is his faith to believe. When he is made whole, the faith of his family, the neighbors, and the religious leaders fail because of one or more of those conditions. Jesus hears and sees all and tests the man by asking him this question: Do you believe in the Son of Man? [Jn 9:35] The last test is given by Jesus by saying, “you have seen Him, he is the one speaking to you.” [Jn 9:37]. At this, he worshiped Jesus.

Dr.Constable notes it like this: First, he called Him “the man called Jesus” (v. 11). Second, he referred to Jesus as a prophet (v. 17). Third, he came to believe that Jesus was a prophet who had come from God (v. 33). Finally, he acknowledged Jesus as Lord (v. 38).

Alas, the heart of his family, the neighbors, and the religious leaders fail on all accounts. Many today walk this road, and their unbelief hinders them from worshiping Jesus. What about you?

[By the way, this is my all-time favorite of Bible stories told by the Apostle John. Can you see why? It helps me see why people reject Jesus so I can pray specifically: Jesus, give me discernment to understand why people reject You. My prayer is that their spiritual blindness is removed so they can see Jesus as the Son of God.]

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