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?…
We have in this passage -
I. JESUS IN SEARCH FOR THE OUTCAST.
1. He had lost sight of him for a while. He had not seen him since he went on the path of duty and obedience to the pool of Siloam. It was well that they should be apart for some time. Important purposes were thus answered. But neither Jesus nor the man was idle. Jesus was about his Father's business; and the man that had been blind, according to Christ's statement, was busily manifesting the works of God. Establishing the miracle and pointing to the claims and Divinity of its wonderful Performer.
2. Jesus sought him. If out of sight, he was not out of mind. "Jesus heard that," etc. He listened for him; his ear was on the watch for intelligence respecting him. If you listen attentively you will hear soon. Jesus sought him in distress, when his need was greatest.
3. He found him. "Seek, and ye shall find." Jesus knew this law and obeyed it. No one sought so sure to find as be. He never gave up the search till it resulted in finding, whether for the lost, piece of silver or for the wandering sheep. Why did he seek this man?
(1) There was a fellow-feeling. He heard that they had cast him out. By the law of sympathy he looked out for him. He was an outcast from the synagogue himself; he had now a companion.
(2) The man sought him. We are not told this by the recorder, but we know it. He was full of Christ since he had received his sight. He could scarcely see nor talk of anything else. His mind and heart yearned for him. Especially now in his distress and persecution.
(3) Jesus was anxious to succor and help him. To give him his soul's want and his heart's desire - what would make him satisfied and happy. He knew that he needed and desired a spiritual Guide and a Savior, and he hastened to give to him himself. Jesus is a Friend in need, and the need of the guilty and weary soul.
II. JESUS' DEMAND FOR FAITH. "Dost thou believe," etc.?
1. This is the reasonable and natural demand of the miracle. Faith in its great Performer. It was a Divine act of mercy, and was eminently calculated to inspire faith - to open the eye of the soul to see the spiritual, the eternal, and the Divine. Christ looked out for fruit after cultivation and sowing.
2. A most worthy Object of faith is introduced. "The Son of God." The human soul should have an object of faith suitable to its spiritual condition and wants, and worthy of its native dignity and high capacities. Such an Object is here introduced - the Son of God, who also is the Son of man, whom faith can grasp, and being grasped will elevate the soul and fill it with satisfaction and joy.
3. A simple test of adherence is only required. "Dost thou believe," etc.? The memory is not taxed, the understanding is not burdened, but the willing acceptance of the heart, or faith, is made the test of adherence and the bond of union. It is very simple and easy, and yet most effective. "Dost thou believe?" - that is all.
III. FAITH IN PRAYER. This was the prayer of faith inspired by the demand of Jesus.
1. The prayer is to the proper object. "Lord." Although the man's knowledge of Jesus was limited, yet he knew sufficient to appeal to him for more light. He felt confident that he who opened his eyes could, and would give him greater illumination still.
2. The prayer is for a necessary revelation. "Who is he?" The elementary exercise of faith requires some elementary knowledge of its object. We are not expected to believe on a Savior we know nothing or but little of. Christ requires faith, and faith requires knowledge, and no sooner is it born than it begins to ask questions respecting its object, and the first is, "Who is he?" He is worth inquiring after. The choice of the object of faith is most important; this man very properly prays for light to choose.
3. The prayer is made in the proper spirit. The spirit of reverence, importunity, and readiness to believe and accept. "Who is he, that I might believe?" Not that I might consider and think over it; but let me know the Son of God, and I will believe in him. He prayed for knowledge for a practical and for the highest purpose - to believe.
IV. FAITH'S PRAYER ANSWERED.
1. It was answered at once. The man was fortunate enough to ask the question respecting the Son of God, "Who is he? "to the Son of God himself, and who could answer it so well and so readily. There is no delay in the transmission of the prayer, nor in the return of the reply. The prayer was eager, and the answer quick.
2. The answer was very modest. "Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that," etc. Modesty is ever characteristic of true greatness, and was characteristic of Jesus. Often he preferred the third person to the first in speaking of himself. In heavenly and Divine society he thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but in the form of a servant he naturally felt and manifested the modesty of a servant, especially in revealing to the soul his real glory and position as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Genuine faith feels modest in the presence of its genuine object, and its genuine object feels modest in the presence of genuine faith. The mutual recognition produces the natural and modest blush of virgin love.
3. The answer revealed the Son of God as nearer to the man than he perhaps expected. We say "perhaps," for there was but a thin veil between him and the full recognition of Jesus. Doubtless he believed him already to be the greatest prophet that ever lived, but had not as yet known him as the Son of God and the promised Messiah, and scarcely expected to find him so near. Faith often finds its object nearer than expected. When faith is intense and eager, the Son of God, the Savior, is present then, and reveals himself.
V. FAITH'S CONFESSION.
1. It is very prompt. If Christ's revelation of himself surprised the man at all, the surprise was most agreeable and sweet. The revelation did not damage the interest of Jesus nor retard the movements of faith, but rather improved the one and hastened the other. There was not a moment's hesitation, but straight and swift as an arrow's course faith flew to embrace and confess Jesus as the Son of God and her sovereign Lord. "Lord, I believe."
2. It is very short. All the questions and answers which passed between our Lord and the man were characteristically brief. It was business and not talk. Intense faith, being the concentrated sentiments and a decoction of the truest feelings of the heart, occupies but little time and language in expression. Some of the most important transactions between faith and her fondest object are very brief. Intense earnestness wastes not itself in words.
3. It is very decisive and fall. "Lord, I believe." In an ocean of language you may not find a drop of thought, while in a few drops of language you may find an ocean of meaning and reality. This man's confession of faith is as short as it can well be, but is quite as comprehensive and hearty. This short confession contains a long and a full faith. It is full of heart and soul, fall of submissive and willing obedience, and, better than all, it is full of Christ.
VI. FAITH WORSHIPPING. "And he worshipped him."
1. An act of overwhelming gratitude.
2. An act of the profoundest reverence.
3. An act involving the highest exercise of faith.
The man could speak no more, his heart was too full for speech. The attitude of prayer alone suited his condition and shall alone express his feelings; and, overburdened with the splendor and love of the Son of God and the delight of finding him, he falls before him and worships. We gladly leave him there, and disturb him not. Gladly do we leave faith at the feet of her Lord in the glow of devotion, in the glory of worship, and in the ecstasies of Divine fellowship. What passed between the soul and her Savior was too sacred to be recorded in our Gospels, but was faithfully recorded in the gospel of eternal life.
1. Comparatively trivial occurrences are often the occasions of the greatest results. The ejection of this man who was born blind and cured by Jesus was the occasion of the founding of the Christian Church. To this outcast Jesus first revealed himself as the universal Object of faith, and faith in him as the test of adherence and fellowship. In tiffs sense the outcast was the first member of the Christian society. The Jewish Church failed to fulfill its mission and embrace its own Messiah and the Savior of the world, hence the establishment of the Christian society, and the ultimate secession of Christ and his followers from the Jewish forever.
2. What was considered at the time a painful loss may ultimately prove to be the greatest gain. The practical ejection of this man from the religious privileges of Judaism was to him doubtless a great trial and a serious disadvantage, but when he found Christ he found infinitely more than he had lost. Cast out from the ship of Judaism into an angry sea to take his chance, but the surging waves threw him on the "Rock of ages" - a most happy exchange, from a sinking ship to a high and solid rock.
3. When Jesus is on the look out for faith, and faith for him, a quick bargain is struck when they meet. Such was the case here.
4. Faith often gets much more than its highest expectation. This man defended Jesus of Nazareth, but found in him the Son of God. There are sweet surprises in the experience of faith, and happy fortunes in spiritual merchandise. In a short time this poor man found an eternal fortune. - B.T.
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?