Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said to him, Do you believe on the Son of God?…
I. THOSE WHO ARE IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH CHRIST ARE UNDER OBLIGATIONS TO FAITH IN HIM WHICH CORRESPOND WITH THAT CONNECTION. This man was connected with Christ —
(1) By the reception of sight — a dispensation of providence.
(2) By his defence of Christ against the cavillings of the Pharisees. This was before he was united to Christ by faith and formed the basis of Christ's appeal. So now —
1. There are those who possess temporal advantages which may be traced directly to Christ.
(1) We are born in a land distinguished by liberty, knowledge, civilization, benevolence; but once there were no such things. All who are born on British soil owe their national advantages to Christ. Hence we may with propriety ask, "Thou who art reaping the benefits which Christ, by the establishment of His kingdom, has conferred upon your native country, 'Dost thou believe'"? etc.
(2) Take the case of pious households. How much are the children of godly parents, and servants of godly masters indebted to the Saviour. By gratitude such seem to be bound to inquire after the Son of God, and to regard Him as their Lord and Saviour.
2. There are those who identify themselves with the kingdom of Christ. This man might have enjoyed the miracle, and yet never have defended Christ and brought trouble upon himself. But he could not do this, and so was identified by the Pharisees with the cause of Christ. On this ground Christ made His appeal. "The Pharisees by your conduct imagine you have this faith; have you?" And are there not men who defend Christianity against the infidel and the scoffer, Christ's Deity against the Socinian, spiritual Christianity against Popery, who are not yet connected by the faith which saves to Christ? To such, therefore, we appeal. If gratitude would seem in one case consistency in the other should constrain. Is it consistent to be mixed up with Christianity nominally? Is it right to be thought a disciple of Christ without believing on Him?
II. THE COURSE WHICH THOSE WHO ARE EXTERNALLY CONNECTED WITH CHRIST SHOULD PURSUE.
1. The man began to inquire, and inquiry is the course for those to whom the narrative applies. For what? not for a creed, an ism, ordinances, church government, but for Christ. We may know the former which will not save, and not know the latter who will.
2. For what end are we to inquire? Not for the qualification of curiosity or so as to be able to dispute about theology. All truth is revealed not to be speculated upon, not to be judged by reason and be either rejected or received; but for faith "that I might believe."
III. THE FACILITIES WHICH SUCH POSSESS IN THE PURSUIT OF THIS COURSE. "Thou hast seen Him," etc. We have present access to Christ, not, it is true, as this man had, but He is here as really in His spiritual presence.
1. He is here in the testimony we have in the Bible concerning Him. You may find patriarchs, prophets, evangelists, and apostles revealing Christ.
2. Go to converted men, there you have Christ's image, faint and imperfect, it is true, but real; ask them what they have tasted and felt concerning Christ.
3. You have access to the ministry of the gospel which is the ministry of Christ, "for we preach not ourselves," etc.
4. The Holy Ghost was given to testify of Christ. You have not to cry, "O! that I knew where I might find Him." In all these ways "Thou hast both seen Him," etc.
IV. THE END WHICH THOSE WHO PURSUE THIS COURSE WILL ATTAIN.
1. Faith in Christ must follow this inquiry, "Lord, I believe." "Faith cometh by hearing." He who is a sincere inquirer will be guided; God never left such to wander. Listen not to those who say 'tis no use to seek: God has said that those who seek shall find.
2. Faith in Christ will never be a secret. The soul that regards Christ as the Son of God must at once tell Him so. "He worshipped Him." Conclusion: There is a day coming when all must hear this question put to them. You may put off the answer to it now but not then. Answer it now.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?