“So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” (John 9:24-27).
Oh the obstinacy of unbelief! Obstinacy means stubbornness, determination, wrongheadedness, pigheadedness and/or inflexibility. It is the unwillingness to accept or believe what is real and true but rather to accept or believe what is a lie.
The obstinacy of unbelief is illustrated in John 9 by the Pharisees who refuse to accept and believe Jesus is the Messiah following His healing of the man born blind. They refuse to accept the cause and effect circumstances which are plainly before them. A man born blind is now to able see. That is indisputable.
What is at issue is whether Jesus, who healed him, was wrong in doing so because He performed this miracle on the Sabbath. The Pharisees, rather than give glory to God and accept and believe Jesus is the One, True God they should give glory to, refuse to do so.
Why? It is because Jesus does not fit their cause and effect philosophy within their legalistic works righteousness religion. For you see, Jesus healed the man born blind on the Sabbath. The Pharisees considered this act of healing, done on the Sabbath, as a breach of their long held tradition of ceasing from any activity on the Sabbath. Their misinterpretation of God’s Word would not allow them to either accept Jesus as God or rejoice in what He had done.
Compare this to the man born blind’s growing acceptance and faith in not only what Jesus had done but also Who He is. In response to the Pharisees accusation that Jesus is a sinner, the man replies, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
The Pharisees once again interrogate the man hoping to find some inconsistency in his testimony of how Jesus healed him. They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
The man consistently continues to give these people the same facts and concludes with a subtle criticism of their obstinacy of unbelief. He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”
Hardly! They do not want to follow Jesus. These religious leaders want to do whatever they can to kill Jesus (John 5:16). They do not want to praise Him for He exposes before them their obstinacy of unbelief in the One, True God in spite of the superficial religiosity. Rather, they follow their father, the devil (John 8:42-45).
What about the occasions when we perhaps have displayed our own obstinacy of unbelief? These are the times when we failed to trust, commit, depend and worship Jesus as our Lord and Savior. These are the times when we chose to dwell in the valley of doubt and despair rather than follow the Lord’s leading us through and out of the valley.
Unlike the man born blind at this point in his personal journey, who did not know whether Jesus was a sinner or not, we know Him to be the One, True God of heaven and earth along with being our Lord and Savior. May we ever trust Him as we follow Him.
Pray today for those you know who wallow in the obstinacy of unbelief. Pray that God would bring the light of the glorious truth of the Gospel and let it shine into their blind and darkened souls. Take time today to also thank and praise God for bringing sight to your blinded soul and giving you sight unto salvation.
Soli deo Gloria!