John 9:29-31, "We (the Pharisees) know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow (Jesus), we know not from whence he is. 30The man (one born blind) answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened my eyes. 31Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."
It is amazing to me how foolish a hardened heart makes a person. The heart (our mind, emotions, and will), as we know, is deceitful, according to Jeremiah 17:9. The heart can only function in one of two realities: it can be hardened to God or it can be sensitive to God. The Pharisees so much wanted to maintain their spiritual power and influence that they hardened their hearts toward Jesus, and as such, lost touch with God. Jesus did not fit into their theological mold, He did not follow their traditions, and all of this threatened their position of power and influence. It is amazing that people will fight against God for something temporary and sinful, when they could enjoy such joy, peace, and freedom, if they would simply yield in tenderness to God.
The man born blind sure was glad that he responded in faith to Jesus. He emphasized the absurdity of the Pharisees, when he said, "Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes." (vs. 30) In verse 32 the man states, "Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind." Can you see from these statements how easy it is for our heart to be deceived? It is deceived because of the hardness we create by not allowing the Lord to mold and shape us. The statement of Jeremiah 17:9, is followed by the truth of Jeremiah 17:10, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I THE LORD SEARCH THE HEART, I TRY THE REINS, EVEN TO GIVE EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS, AND ACCORDING TO THE FRUIT OF HIS DOINGS."
I implore each of us to make certain that our responses to the Lord are responses of sensitivity rather than hardness. The moment you allow your hard to become hard is the moment you begin to stray from the Lord. And that straying will increase over time, and will continue to increase until you repent and acknowledge your waywardness, and seek to be tender again before God.
Don't miss the great things God has for you, remain tender in your heart toward your Lord and Saviour.
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott