Friday, April 20, 2018

The Vision (4.20.18): A "Shadow Box" to Display Christ's Glory

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 9:1-7.

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him (John 9:3).

It has been noted by interpreters of John that the evangelist records seven miracles or “signs” in the first half of this Gospel:

            Water into wine (ch. 2);
            The healing of the nobleman’s son (ch. 4);
            The healing of the lame man (ch. 5);
            The feeding of the 5,000 (ch. 6);
            The walking on water (ch. 6);
            The healing of the blind man (ch. 9);
            The raising of Lazarus (ch. 11).

Some have even called the first half of John “The book of signs.”

We can look back at John 2:11 as the key to understanding these events: “This beginning of miracles (signs) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”

The goal of a miracle: manifestation of Christ’s glory (which leads men to worship and honor him) and belief (fundamental trust in him above all else).

Christ here unveils the mystery of the man born blind’s condition. He exercises sovereign knowledge over all things. This man was born blind so that Christ might heal him and manifest his glory. This man’s condition becomes a theater for the display of Christ’s glory.

Have you seen those “shadow boxes” that you can buy to display fine jewelry, precious coins, or medals? This man’s condition is a shadow box to highlight and call attention to Christ’s glory through his healing.

To this we might add that unregenerate men might be able to see with the physical eye, but they are spiritually blind, and they have been so from birth. Salvation is like the opening of blinded eyes, so that the lives of the redeemed might also manifest Christ’s glory. We become shadow boxes to display his glory.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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