The landscape of our culture is in change. People are bowing to whatever is popular and ignoring what is right or wrong. The notion that Christians have a monopoly on truth is somewhat ridiculous because truth is always true no matter who possess it. Yet, our world has gotten to the point that even with evidence showing the hand of God, people will find a way to undermine it. It is the classic case of asking the same question hoping for the result you want.
When I went to the store last week I bought some popsicles. There are only purple and red popsicles in this box. I asked my son: “What color do you want, red or purple?”
He replied: “Purple” Being a good father, I gave him a purple one. He said: “not that one.” So, I got a red one and he took it and said: “yes, purple!” This happened twice. Apparently if I want to believe that the popsicle is purple, that is perfectly fine. Another one of my children told me that they wanted a red light to mean go. I will try that when I come to a stop light that is red and drive through it. I will tell the officer that I wanted red to mean go and green to mean stop. I think that will be convincing.
The truth doesn’t change because we ask the same question a bunch of times. It just is. Things were no different when Jesus encountered people in the gospels. They didn’t always like the answer and would often try to find some other reason, other than what actually happened, in order to explain the situation.
In John 9 there is a story about a man who was born blind. Jesus reaches out to this man by spitting in some mud and wiping it on his eyes and telling him to go wash in the pool. After he washes in the pool he is able to see. It is a miracle! There doesn’t seem to be any way around what has happened here. But, the true answer does not sit well with the officials.
They start off not even wanting to believe it was him, even though they obviously knew who he was.
“His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him. But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” – John 9: 8-9
They go on to question the means by which he was healed. They ask him how he can see – a legitimate question.
“The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” – John 9:11
How much more do they need? Here is a man they recognized as having been blind and now seeing. They asked him how it happened and he told them. They ask him again about Jesus.
“What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened. the man replied, “He is a prophet.” – John 9:17
Remember that this man was blind and he had not seen Jesus. He doesn’t know anymore than he told them. They then find his parents who confirm that this is their son, but they can’t explain why he can see. They, ironically, tell them to ask him. They have done that already and haven’t like his answer. But, they ask him again.
“He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind and now I see!” – John 9:25
He didn’t know all of the details and he didn’t care. He was blind before and now he wasn’t. How hard is that to grasp?
“Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” – John 9:26
The man has now lost his patience with them and he tells them that he has already told them. They get upset, insult him and throw him out. The conversation breaks down because they refuse to listen to the truth.
Last week I wrote an article about evidence that even an atheist can’t ignore. In it, I referenced an article written by a known atheist about what he had seen with his own eyes and how much of a witness the evangelical missionaries had been to him. It was a refreshing article.
It reminds me, though, that even with a lot of evidence there are still many who just ignore it. There are so many people who think that truth can be changed with public opinion polls. Well, it cannot. The Word of God is the source we measure up to. Jesus Christ is still changing lives and the evidence is all around us. Many of you have first hand experience of the work of Jesus Christ in your life.
If there is a historical Jesus Christ, then we each need to deal with the implications. No, we don’t know all the answers. But, like the man in John 9 we can say, “I once was blind, but now I see.” To accept the truth or not is ultimately up to each person.