“Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when He found him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
One of the principles which I have been following in much of my recent reflection on the Gospels is to notice and take seriously the questions which the text asks. I believe that the Gospel writers meant for their readers to ask themselves the questions found in the text. In John 9:35 there is a key question asked of us towards the end of the ninth chapter. The chapter has focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ opening the eyes of a man who was born blind, and the resulting controversy and investigation that came of it. Here we discover the power of the Lord to create functioning eyes in a man who never had them. Sight is given at the working of the Son of God. This is, however, also a teaching event. To open the eyes of the blind was one of the Biblical signs of the coming of the Messiah as these passages from Isaiah tell us.
“In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of the gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.”
“Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.”
“This is what God the Lord says – He who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
For the person who loves God and who is open to the teaching of the Holy Spirit regarding the revelation which God has given to us in His Word these passages and those like them are signposts pointing to the identity of the Son of Man. To see these sign miracles taking place is to be brought to faith in the One that God has sent into this world in order to be its Redeemer. This is why the question of John 9:35 is of such vital importance to us today. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The title “Son of Man” is a crucial title that the Old Testament Prophets applied to the coming Messiah. Here in John’s Gospel Jesus takes that Messianic title and appropriates it for Himself. “You have now seen Him; in fact, He is the One speaking with you.” The blind man, as well as the hearers of Jesus and everyone who reads John’s Gospel, are confronted with this question.
It is crucial for us to answer Jesus’ question. The word believe is a present active verb meaning that it describes the continuing action of believing which takes place in the present. Jesus is not asking whether we once believed in the past, or whether we will one day believe in the future. He is asking whether you and I are engaged in believing right now.
For you today is the Lord Jesus Christ the One who has been promised in the Word of God who will come and give His life as a ransom for all of you sin? The blind man answers that He is and then falls down and worshipped Him. How will you respond to the Son of Man?