Monday, February 17, 2014

The Importance of Personal Experience

The ninth chapter of John tells the story of a man born blind who was healed by Jesus.  Because the healing took place on the Sabbath, the Jewish religious leaders investigated the healing, looking for an opportunity to charge Jesus with a crime.  During the investigation the healed man was repeatedly asked what had happened and who he thought Jesus was.  His response was one that I think is very instructive for many of us who are asked about why we believe.
He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
John 9:25 NIV
The healed man recognized that he was not qualified to debate with these learned religious leaders concerning Jesus identity.  But he was qualified to speak in one very important area, and that was concerning what had happened to him; his own experience.

The man's friends, his parents, and his own testimony all were the same.  He once was blind, but now he could see.  And the Pharisees had no answer to that.  It was painfully obvious to them that something dramatic had happened in the man's life.  While they ultimately refused to acknowledge the source of the change, they could not deny the obvious.

While this man's transformation from sightless to seeing was physical, all of us who have come to Christ make the same claim concerning our spiritual condition.  Where once I was blind to God's activity in this world, now I can see.  And like the healed man in this story, it is because of what Jesus has done.  For the physically blind man, he put mud on his eyes and sent him to wash.  For me, he died on the cross and washed away my sin, bringing me into the light.

In my feeble attempts in providing a defense of what I believe, I may or may not be able to answer questions about my faith to the questioners satisfaction.  But I should be able to echo this mans proclamation, "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" "I was lost but now am found!"  And who can really argue that they know my experience better than I do?  Indeed there are those who will try.  But that is really because they have no other answer.

But how much more effective is your testimony when others around you will echo, "Don't know for sure what happened to him, but he is not the same as he once was!"  The opening of your spiritual eyes should change your life in ways that are obvious to those around you.  Make them a part of your testimony.

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