“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” John 9:35 KJV
I highly recommend you take the time to read the whole 9th chapter of John. Do it with some commentary; it’s a fascinating read. In case you don’t take the time to read it, here’s a thumbnail version of the story:
Jesus was passing through when He saw a man blind from birth. Like a lot of religious people, his disciples wanted to know who sinned, the man or his parents (v. 2). I remember going through a phase with Bob several years ago. When things would break he’d ask who broke it. Nobody broke whatever the item was. We didn’t sit around while he was at work and see how much stress things could take before they broke. “It’s nobody’s fault, Bob, it simply broke. Years of use, I suppose. Does it have to be somebody’s fault?”
Jesus answered that it wasn’t anybody’s fault per se (v. 3). We live in a fallen world. Stuff happens, and sometimes it’s really crappy stuff, like being blind from birth. But that wasn’t, and it still isn’t, God’s doing. How can I say this with such conviction? Because of what followed.
Jesus gave the man an opportunity to exercise his faith. Ever hear the saying, “Here’s mud in your eye?” Jesus took it literal. He spat on the ground, made clay of the dirt, anointed the man’s eyes, and told him to go the pool of Siloam, which was over half a mile away from where this encounter took place, and wash. The man didn’t “Yuk!” or question what had happened. To his credit, he obeyed. Imagine being blind, walking through crowds, with goop on your eyes, to heed a command that seemed ridiculous. He was rewarded by his obedience and went away seeing. If it was God’s will for the man to be blind then why did Jesus, the Son, who always did what He saw His Father doing, heal him? (v. 6-7) It is God’s will to heal. If it isn’t, then we are out of God’s will when we seek help. That’s a rabbit hole.
What transpires in the following verses is an inquisition as to whether or not the miracle is legit. Some of the neighbors doubt (v. 9). The scribes and Pharisees did not believe until they called the parents of the former blind man (v. 18).
The parents testified that he was definitely their son. However, because they feared being put out from the temple, they would not testify as to how he received his sight. Instead, they sicked the arrogant, religious lot on his son, saying he was old enough to give an answer for himself v. 20-23).
Here’s a young man with backbone. Please go and read the whole account. I can’t do it justice here. He refused to let go of his miracle and speak ill of His healer. He was so bold and resistant to their sneers that they banished him from the synagogue (v. 24-34). Now we come to brought me to tears:
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?John 9:35 KJV
Jesus heard what happened and found the man. Think about that. How many times have you suffered rejection for the sake of your Savior? How many times have you felt misunderstood for your faith and your adherence to what God has whispered in your ear, even by those closest to you? How many times have you felt thrown to the wolves with no one to defend you when you were in the battle of your life? How many times have you received something so wonderful only to have others try to belittle it or steal it away? We’ve all been there, so we can imagine how lonesome this man felt. Jesus was aware of his situation. Jesus found the man, which means He was seeking the man. Why? Because He took this man’s persecution for His sake personally. This man forsook the company of hypocritical religious snobs and was rewarded with the company of Jesus.
Are we willing to do that? Are we willing to forsake religious traditions? Are we willing to cling to what we know to be true in the face of contempt? Are we willing to take a stand for Christ when family, friends, employees, employers, even society, are hostile toward us because of Him? If so, He’s looking for us, to reassure us, to comfort us.
“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 KJV
Where suffering for the Gospel’s sake abounds, so also the comfort of Christ abound.
We are also given these verses:
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
“Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23 KJV
“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” Hebrews 11:25-26 KJV
Being a castoff isn’t fun. It doesn’t feel good. But the reward for the loneliness, rejection, and hostility we sometimes experience for remaining faithful to Him is fellowship and company with Jesus. We couldn’t ask for anything more.
Join me today and let this post sink in. When we suffer for Jesus’ sake, He is seeking us to find us and wrap us in His arms.