Have you ever walked into a dark room and thought you knew exactly where you were, but when the light came on, you discovered you were way off?
There is a story of a man in John chapter 3 who could see very well, but was spiritually blind. Nicodemus had come to Jesus in the dark of the night only to discover when the light came on that he was far from where he should be. He said to Jesus in John 3:3- Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
For years, I have taught that this statement from Jesus was about receiving eternal life. I still believe that to be true, but have come to realize that Jesus is revealing at least two very profound truths in this one statement. In addition to salvation and eternal life, He’s saying that though Nicodemus was a spiritual leader, he was ill-equipped for the job.
His statement about seeing the kingdom of God surely had to do with salvation, heaven and eternity, but why can’t we also experience His kingdom in this life? Could it be that we are also ill-equipped? More about this later. Now let’s move on to John 9:1.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. (John 9:1-6
Here’s a man who has been in the dark since he was born. He’s never seen the sky, the trees, the sea, another person, or even himself. The disciples said that this man was blind because of sin. They just didn’t know if it was his own sin or his parents that had caused his blindness.
Jesus told them that this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. He applied the mud he had made to the man’s eyes and told him to go wash it off and the man could see for the first time! Later, the man was asked, “How were your eyes opened?”
After being questioned repeatedly,the man gave one of the greatest responses in all of scripture. He said in verse 25, “Whether he (Jesus) is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know … I once was blind, but now I see.”
Now let’s go back to Nicodemus. Jesus told him that unless he was born again, he could not see the kingdom of God. What if he also meant that once we are born again, then and only then are we equipped to see the kingdom of God while here in this life? If we must be equipped, what might that equipment be? Without the indwelling of the Spirit of God, mankind will never see the kingdom of God in this life. They will be the spiritually blind wandering around aimlessly, only finding value in the things of this world while never seeing the hand of Christ at work in it.
On the other hand, many have had their eyes opened and, as a result, they are experiencing the kingdom of God in the here and now. They are serving Jesus Christ and others with passion, empowered by the love of God indwelling them for their fellow man.
We should make sure that we too can say, One thing I do know … I once was blind, but now I see.”