A man, born blind, had just been cured in a very remarkable way by the Lord, and had consequently been made the witness of His power. The eyes, which had been hitherto sealed, now spoke volumes! They became a silent yet mighty proof of the more than human power of the despised Jesus of Nazareth. The water of Siloam’s pool removed at once the clay and the blindness. Marvellous water! But “Siloam” is by interpretation “sent.” This water was the first thing seen; then perhaps the sky, then the city of Jerusalem; and then he hurried home to show himself to his parents.
The neighbours flock together. They ask him how his eyes had been opened. He replies, in all simplicity, “A man called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and received sight.” All plain enough; but the mention of the name of Jesus destroyed the miracle. An explanation had to be received, therefore, from the Pharisees, the resolvers of the religious difficulties of that day. These speedily discovered that the cure, which itself was indubitable, had been effected on the sabbath, and they were accordingly furnished with a charge of sin against the blessed Healer. But where was the sin? Did it consist in “doing good on the sabbath-day”? “Doing good” cannot be committing sin. Again, as in the former case, the stigma attached to Jesus. However, the affair had become public; for, next, “the Jews did not believe that he had been blind.” The parents were therefore called to identify their son; but even they refused to confess how the cure had been wrought. Thus again the difficulty connected itself with the Healer.
Lastly, the man must fight the battle alone. His enemies bid him give the praise to God; for, they say, “we know that this man is a sinner.” Now, to give praise to God for such mercy would assuredly have been the delight of his soul; but how could he deny facts? And the fact was that he had been cured of lifelong blindness by Him whom they called a sinner! He doubtless perceived that they aimed at his denial of Christ, or at least that he should share their wicked thoughts of Him. They endeavoured to make him defend a position he had never surveyed. This he refused to do. He retired on one he knew to be unassailable. “Whether He be a sinner or no I know not.” He declined to commit himself; but, said he, “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.” Such a fact was incontrovertible. There he stood as witness. They were silenced. What a moral triumph, won by the statement of a simple fact, stated in a firm but simple way! He said, “I know.” Observe, first, it is not “I think.” We must abandon the reign of thought in these matters, otherwise we are sure to err. Thus Naaman thought that the prophet would bid him do some great thing; thus Paul “thought with himself that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus.” Thus said the Lord, “The time comes when whosoever kills you will think that he does God service;” and therefore says God, in Psalm 119, “I hate thoughts.” When by grace a soul has come to Christ, it knows that it is saved. The weary thinking is over, the conscious enjoyment has begun.
Nor, secondly, is it “I feel.” Feelings are but the evidence of my senses, and these are as changeable as the sand of the desert or the waves of the sea. You cannot build on either. It would be a poor thing indeed if the word of God depended for its truthfulness on my feelings about it. A man suffering from fever and ague will shiver on Midsummer-day; or a blind person may declare the sun is not shining. They go by their feelings. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” You believe the report, and the result is salvation.
Far less, thirdly, is it, “I doubt.” Doubts may characterize the sceptic or infidel, but not him who has proved the truth of God’s word. That word, when received by faith, banishes every fear. It places the sinner on the ground of being utterly lost; it reveals to him a Saviour once dead, now glorified, whose blood cleanses from all sin, and whose work on the cross makes full atonement; it assures him of salvation at the moment of belief. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Hence “we know.” Doubt is gone; we rest in the calm and quiet assurance of salvation. We may know little beside. We may be ignorant and unlearned; but happy the soul that can truthfully say, “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.”
There is no sermon so powerful as that which is drawn from experience. “One fact is worth a bushel of theories.” If I speak what my soul knows, and not that which I have merely heard from others, I speak in power. If we use the truth we have, more will be given; but, for an effective testimony, I should speak what I know. Hence, if you know but the forgiveness of sins, bear witness to that; if justification, or sonship, or whatever truth you have made your own, tell it out faithfully, distinctly, by lip and life, so that the blessed Saviour may obtain praise for the salvation He has given.