Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

March 01, 2004

It's Monday, and my day off. I spent much of the afternoon working on my final paper for the New Testament survey class that I've been taking at church. Here's a brief excerpt:

In the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus gives sight to a man who had been blind from birth. The Pharisees, eager to put a stop to Jesus, even if they have to kill him (see John 5:18), quickly call the man in for interrogation. I think they wanted to make an example of him. They hoped to intimidate him, and through him also the rest of the Galilean's motley crew of followers. This, I think, is why they badgered the formerly-blind man so relentlessly. Not only because they wanted to gather evidence that Jesus had infringed some point of the Law, but because they thought that if they could hound this man into a declaration of ChristÂ’s Lordship, they would have grounds to condemn him, too. By this means they might put a stop to all such misguided confessions, which in their view was nothing more than blasphemy.

But the man, who only hours before had never in his life experienced the phenomenon of light, was more than a match for these self-appointed authorities. In the end the Pharisees dismiss him with a demeaning insult (“You were steeped in sin from birth!”), but immediately afterward it is Jesus who confronts the man. For very different reasons, He is also interested in the man’s confession. He asks, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

“Who is he, sir?” asks the man. “Tell me, so that I may believe.”

Jesus says, “You have now seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

And now the man states unequivocally, “Lord, I believe.”

And this is the model. All of us enter life blind, like this man, and all of us struggle under that burden of darkness until Jesus gives us sight and we are able to say, even in the face of the world’s condemnation, “Lord, I believe.” The most important question any of us will ever face is, "Who do you say that this man Jesus is."

The answer is: "My Lord and my Savior."


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