John 9:35-41. Belief.

9:35    Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38    Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him

39    Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

After a rough interrogation concluded with a final insult, the ‘formerly-blind-man’ is expelled from the temple. But Jesus seeks him out. When he has found him, Jesus asks what, at first, seems a somewhat surprising question. Jesus asks the man about his beliefs– “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (v35).

Faith always has an object. A person believes in something. So who is this “Son of Man”? Jesus frequently used the phrase as a way of referring to himself, but just a little ambiguously. The phrase could me something like, “just a human,.. this little man.”  But the phrase also referred to a very significant figure in Old Testament prophecy; a figure who was often discussed and widely understood in Jesus’ day. In the book of Daniel, the “Son of Man” referred to a glorious figure to whom God would give all dominion and authority to rule forever (Dan 7:13-14). This same figure was understood to be Israel’s great Messiah who would come to set them free form oppression and set all things right again. It seems that it is this particular belief that Jesus is asking about.

So for this man, for anyone with eyes of faith, Jesus is ready to reveal himself as this great prophetic figure. Jesus could not be plainer: your Messiah is standing right in front you. Remarkably, Jesus is happy to receive the man’s worship. He does not deflect it or shy away from it: this is appropriate behaviour when one meets the Messiah. And so the metaphor of clear sight– in other words, faith– is complete. The ‘formerly-blind-man’ now expresses his faith in worship.

The process of interrogation has confirmed the ‘formerly-blind-man’ can now see truly and that the Pharisees are culpably blind. The man believes Jesus to be “the Son of Man” but the Pharisees refuse to believe.

Lord Jesus Christ, ‘the Son of Man,’ please grant me true vision. Let me grasp more clearly exactly who you are and what you are doing, even today. Amen.

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,  coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Dan 7:13-14)