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When Unbelief Investigates a Miracle B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2021 3:00 am

When Unbelief Investigates a Miracle B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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February 18, 2021 3:00 am

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Determine willful unbelief wants more evidence, but never wants to do anything with it. It's really on a mad search to discredit the keeps probing, not because it seeks the truth because it seeks justification for its conclusion, no matter how strong the case you make for the truth of Scripture. They just won't budge an inch from their unbelief.

Why is that why can't your loved ones see what is so obvious to you.

Is there something more you need to do to help them come to Christ. John MacArthur has answers today on grace to you as he looks at God's grace and how it can change even the hardest of hearts the message as part of John study called rediscovering the Christ of Scripture and with the lesson. Here's John open your Bible to the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John so often call the gospel of belief for the gospel of believing from the first chapter on to the very end it talks about believing what we've also noted all the way along that it is also a gospel of unbelief and while it presents to us the truth concerning Christ in order that we might believe. It also chronicles the rejection of Jesus Christ we learn at the very beginning chapter 1 verse 11.

He came under his own his own received him not.

It is the gospel of belief set in the context of unbelief. So we are always seeing John writing that you may believe and realizing that even as Christ comes to prove who he is, he is confronted by constant unbelief and that is still true today. God himself calls all men to believe in his son, but the vast majority do not in the vast majority did not. When his son was here walking in their midst.

In this ninth chapter in particular, you get an insight into the character of willful, obstinate, stubborn unbelief you find in this chapter kind of the pathology of unbelief, its characteristics, its nature, it's its marks were going to see how unbelief makes conclusions before it does examinations it's predisposed to its own viewpoint were going to see how unbelief establishes false standards were going to see how unbelief demands more and more evidence. But when it receives that evidence it doesn't respond as any appropriate person. Should any thinking person.

So there's a kind of irrationality and unbelief. Unbelief does biased research. It can look at facts and come to the complete wrong conclusion. Unbelief is self-centered, selfish, egocentric, all these things are part of unbelief but will try to break it down into some some words so often I'll throw some words that you may be some you haven't heard, first of all I want you to see that unbelief is inimical and inimical, you probably have and use that word today or any day for that matter, but it's a really good word and it means a hostile hospital. It means adverse. It means pernicious ill disposed could even be dangerous. So unbelief.

First of all, is inimical.

That is, it is hostile toward the truth. Secondly, versus 17 to 24 unbelief is intractable and what is intractable mean will not bend cannot be convinced the blind man told him exactly what happened. I was blind, I can see Jesus came he names Jesus in the first testimony back in verse 11, he came, he told me to go to the pool.

I went to the pool. I wash the mud out of my eyes and I see, and he is literally staring at them and they had him as he gives this testimony and they're all kinds of people around affirming the reality of this but it is the nature of determine willful unbelief that it wants more evidence, but never wants to do anything with it. It's really on a mad search to to discredit the keeps probing, not because it seeks the truth, but because it seeks justification for its conclusion in Deuteronomy 32 in verse 20 Moses called apostates children in whom is no faith.

Children in whom is no belief, and since God's truth can only be up apprehended by faith.

There they are shut out so they they want more evidence.

Verse 17 they said to the blind man again.

What you say about him since he opened your eyes and he said is a prophet. This man has no authority, no telling how his life went but Deb typically speaking, he would never be allowed in the synagogue. Why because he was blind. Why would that came out of the synagogue because his blindness was related to his sinfulness. That was what the apostle said, when the story started right who send this man or his parents. He's a cursed man. His curse, put them out of the synagogue. He is viewed anybody who had an illness or disease a deformity disability was cursed. They were not a part of the synagogue, Pharisees and scribes wouldn't go near those people. They wouldn't go near them.

They wouldn't touch them. There were outcasts. So here is a man who hasn't been exposed to the synagogue hasn't been taught like other people, and yet he's got enough sense to know that this Jesus is in fact the prophet by the way, that was in the wind back to chapter 7. Many were saying he's a prophet he's a prophet.

Even Nicodemus said, we know you're a teacher come from God because nobody can do what you do unless God is with him all the way back in chapter 3 is deemed a prophet in chapter 4 verse 19th chapter 6, verse 14, chapter 7 verse 40. So this man has caught the wind of this man Jesus. He knows his name from verse 11, he knows he's a prophet now believes he's a prophet from God because of his miracle power and so he gives them a straightforward, sensible answer, which should have been the end of the investigation. Here's the man he can see, this must reveal Jesus as a prophet. Verse 18 the Jews then didn't believe it of him that he had been blind and had received site until they call the parents of the very one who'd received his sight. And remember, they've heard from the man and the man is surrounded by all the strangers and neighbors who knew him and brought him in all that testimony collectively and they still don't believe because, again, unbelief is intractable. I'm telling you this because you need to understand this is what you gonna face when you give the gospel most of the people are are going to reject what you tell them about the gospel throughout your whole life of ministry and evangelism. Most people will not accept what you say then there is an element of hostility toward the gospel and there is an element of being intractable and immovable against the gospel. This is what we face the way is narrow. Few there be that find it. So this is the predisposed viewpoint they they say luck working to dig deeper into this because they will not give up the notion that this man is a sinner and he is not from God must be something about the story that there they're not seeing yet there is something to cover up.

Here are some kinda lie there some kind of deception we gotta get to the bottom of this. So they call the parents. In verse 19. They questioned them, saying, is this your son who you say was born blind, then how does he know see is this your son and do these are these are really kind of lame parents to put it mildly.

As you will see, but they get the parents there and ask them to questions.

Is this your son and the second question how to gain site what you you remember that when the miracle happened, there were some people sit down on. That's not the managers, looks like the man. Maybe we may's mistaken identity were being fooled here. So let's get the parents parents said we know that this is our son good.

We would assume that Ryan mean you know your son. We know this is our son. End of case and of case hit the at the gavel on the bench. The case is over. The man is from God that this is a man who was blind and now can see this is our son and he was born blind, but how he sees verse 21 we don't know and who opened his eyes. We don't know. I have to stop there and say their lien. There lying is why satellite. These parents there lying there lying to cover themselves. There lying to protect themselves in verse 22.

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews. What were they afraid of the Jews that already agreed that if anyone confessed him Jesus to be Messiah. He was to be put out of the synagogue. The reason they said we don't know is because they were afraid that if they said what they did know that it was Jesus. They might get thrown out of the synagogue, they knew who did this, they didn't just show up and talk to the Pharisees when they arrived and saw their son seeing there must've been a conversation and he knew verse 11. The man who is called Jesus made clay Jesus name was on the lips of everybody in the city of Jerusalem that they knew what it was to be thrown out of the synagogue. By the way, because their son had lived outside the synagogue, they knew what the ban was with the curse was with all its implications, and it would being an outcast wasn't. They didn't want that.

By the way, was that law that fixed the antagonism permanently between the church and the synagogue did you and the Christian, so his parents are afraid of the Jews by the way the Pharisees are now being called Jews in the gospel of John.

The term Jude implies hostility Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Jesus to be Messiah. He was to be put out of the synagogue and for this reason his parents said he's of age, ask him can throw him out of the synagogue. He's not in the synagogue will being thrown out of synagogue was a big deal, very big deal. If you are in Jewish society and you weren't in the synagogue.

You are like a leper. There were three kinds of excommunication, but each of them have social implications. Economic implications and religious implications. The first according to the Talmuds that there were three kinds of Shema which means destruction that's considered destruction when you thrown out of the synagogue cut off from God, the life of the country. There is nest F, which was a seven days to 30 days seven days to 30 days a week to a month. You are out of the synagogue.

You are a pariah for those days. Second, there was a new do we 30 days and up that could last a long time months, maybe years, depending on the crime and if you died under that ban, you had no funeral. You are seriously dishonor the worst was Kerem which was an indefinite permanent ban. The rabbis used to say that being banned was far worse than being flogged because of its implications socially and economically as well as religiously so they didn't want to get anywhere near having to experience what he experience and since they couldn't throw him out.

They said ask him. He's of age. So second time they call the man who'd been blind said him give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. He just wants a how do you know that. Why do you keep insisting on that talk about Jesus, give glory to God. Where was that from where they mean by that where the me give glory to God. That's a direct quote from Joshua 719 direct quote from Joshua 719, Joshua comes to a can, who has stolen all this stuff and buried it in his tent.

Remember that when the children of Israel came in the land. They were told.

Take nothing and Joshua finds out that Aiken and his whole family have conspired together to take all this stuff is booty and buried in the tent and Joshua comes in and confronts this crime that Aiken has committed in his family, which cost him and his family. Their lives and you know what Joshua says to him give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel and tell me what you've done these Pharisees know that story very well. That story says God is glorified when you tell the truth.

God is glorified when you tell the truth. So that's what they're saying, tell me the truth they're not buying this testimony. They're not buying the testimony of the parents. They're not buying the testimony of the neighbors. We want the truth. That is how firm and immovable. Their unbelief is tell us the truth. We know that this man is a sin based upon his violation of the Sabbath.

We know so he picks up on the use of the word no. You'll you have to like this guy more each time he speaks.

This formerly blind man.

He then answered. Whether he is a sinner. I do not know. But one thing I do know that though I was blind, now I see the other talk about what we know and what we don't know.

I don't know who he is. II don't know about the accusation of being a sinner but I do know that I was blind and now I see that's as far as he can go there not interested in anything remotely related to the truth so they said to him in verse 26. What did he do to you. How did he open your eyes. This is pretty significant folks because now they just admitted what that he was healed, they just admitted that he was blind and his eyes were opened at what he do you how do you open your eyes. Maybe they're probing for some trick who knows, that takes us into the next.

Though section unbelief is inimical possible intractable that is rigid and thirdly, unbelief is irrational with true facts. You come to the wrong conclusion. Your irrational unbelief is irrational you face this all the time and try to proclaim the gospel to people you given the fact you lay out the facts systematically like Peter did on the day of Pentecost, people rejected because unbelief is irrational, so they said what he do to you, Howdy open your eyes, he answered them. I love this verse 27. I told you already, and you didn't listen who is an outcast, talking to the in crowd why you want to hear it again. You don't want to become his disciples to do you sarcasm you just nails their sarcasm, their hypocrisy.

This is a man whose feeling the joy feeling the confidence feeling the strength of the conviction that he knows he's dealing with a man who is from God, who is a prophet.

As the story goes, he comes to fully believe in him for salvation. So he's free to attack them, because he knows he has the truth and so they descended at their level of conflict the verbal reviling in verse 28.

They reviled him and said you are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses is that breach again, Moses and Christ the church in the synagogue, Judaism, Christianity still at odds. We know this man is a sinner. We are from Moses you are his disciple, we know verse 29 that God has spoken to Moses.

But as for here goes again this man, they will not say his name so much disdain as for this man. We do not know where he is from. I knew it was from Nazareth in Galilee. They should've known where he was from and in John six, when he preached the sermon on the bread of life. He said I am the bread that came down from heaven. I have come down from heaven to give my life for the for the world and he had said again and again and again. I come from heaven even mock them by saying you think you know where I've come from chapter 7 that you really don't know my heavenly origin when they said we don't know where he's from, they they simply meant not so much the town, but we don't we don't know the origin of this man were unwilling to say it's God. In fact, they were convinced that he was satanic satanic mean this is the character of unbelief, verse 30. The man answers sort of punctuating the irrationality of all this, where here is an amazing thing that you don't know where he's from, and yet he opened my eyes. The obvious conclusion is simple. He opened my eyes.

He created new eyes. He must be from heaven. God alone is the creator Satan can destroy and falsify only God can create. He has opened my eyes and you don't know where he's from, when unbelief investigates a miracle. It will come up with the conclusion that it starts with, even if it has to function in an irrational way. Finally, and will just wrap it up. Unbelief is insolent.

What is insolent.

Mean abusive, contemptuous you see the insolence of unbelief. In verses 31 to the end of verse, verse 34. The man keeps talking he sees quite a theologian. I wish we had time to kinda develop his whole theology here. We know that God doesn't hear sinners that's an Old Testament principal if if I regard iniquity in my heart. The Lord will not hear me. That's what the Old Testament says Manu is Old Testament God doesn't hear sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, he hears him since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind and as I told you there is no such thing in the whole Old Testament.

This man knew his theology. He was a reasonable man. He knew his Old Testament and then if this man were not from God. He could do nothing he couldn't do these miracles he could not do this if he wasn't from God. So he's these become the preacher he's taken over the meeting. These he's talking to the leaders. First, a sarcastic and now he's specific and clearheaded and clear minded and faithful to the Old Testament, and even referring to the Old Testament that God doesn't hear the prayers of sinners. He's giving them an explanation of reality, a sensible, reasonable, logical explanation to which they respond with the insolence in verse 34 they answered him, you were born entirely and sins.

Are you teaching us. That's the disdain of it all. So it gets physical.

They threw them out. Be prepared to face this when unbelief investigates the miracle. This is how it acts. This will be a disappointment. It has been a disappointment already in your life. I'm sure major disappointment through the years to to any of us to walk with Christ for a long time. We accumulate this kind of disappointment. What is there to do about this.

How can it change the only answer is where Jesus went in John 63 times.

He said this all that the father gives them he will come to me, no man comes to me unless the father draws him.

Then in verse 65 John six he summarized it again. For this reason I've said to you. No one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the father. The only way an unbeliever can be released and delivered from this kind of bizarre captivity and bondage to what is evil and irascible and intolerant and irrational.

The only way an unbeliever can be delivered from this is by the power of God. So what we do. We plead with God to be gracious. Don't we plead with the sinner to believe and we plead with God to be gracious because the natural man process understands, not the things of God to him their foolishness because they are spiritually appraised and he spiritually dead so we don't go out to evangelize with any hope really that we have the power in our reason, or the power in our facts or the power in our truth to shatter the blindness in the darkness and the bondage of unbelief. We go with the truth. We cry out to God to draw the sinner out of this bondage and this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us.

John has been our featured speaker since 1969.

He's also Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and his current study is focused on rediscovering the Christ of Scripture John before we close today. You have a few letters there from some people who have discovered the Christ of Scripture for themselves, and God is using grace to you to equip and encourage them and it's always great to hear stories like these. So take a few minutes to share those with our listeners.

Now this is the the harvest.

This is the fruit of the ministry. Here's a letter from Tim. I am a substance abuse and mental health therapist constantly pouring myself into the lives of people that the Lord brings my way, your Bible teaching resources help equip me for this work, as appropriate. I share your resources with my clients in the hope that they minister to them as they have so richly ministered to me.

My wife and I share your sermons with our children are siblings, friends and coworkers.

Anyone who will listen. Thank you for the priority you place on teaching and knowing the word of God signs his name Tim, thank you so much Tim that is very encouraging to me. Thank you. Another letter comes from Michael in Lancaster, California. Thank you for your series, the Christian and government which we aired last October I found it very helpful in directing my response to the current climate of our society. I've been struggling with the division of families and communities your teaching helped immensely.

Why were here were grateful for that. Another letter comes from Mark in Dover, Delaware. I started listening grace to your radio in the 1980s when I was in the Coast Guard. I later moved to another state and couldn't find your radio program anymore.

Fast forward to this past May I was watching Fox news and saw you talking about the covert lockdown and how the people at your church started returning to in person Sunday worship. It spurred me to reconnect with your teaching ministry. I'm now listening to you through the grace to you at thank you for all you do, especially during these extraordinary times and signs his name Mark not alone marked many people have joined us during these times. So those letters are reminder there's a very deep personal impact by this ministry and the lives of people because that's what the word of God does and you who listen and support us provide the resources to make this possible because truth is more desperately needed than ever. It alone saves alone sanctifies it alone comforts so we want you to continue to support us as the Lord enables you and keep praying for us as we unleash God's truth one verse at a time. Yes friend. People from all over the world are tuning in learning and growing in their love for the Lord. Thank you for praying and giving as you are able to help us take biblical truth across the globe to partner with us. Get in touch today. You can mail your tax deductible donation to grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or you can also get by phone. Just call 855 race or donate again to help connect God's people. Verse by verse. Bible teaching transforms lives make a donation when you call us at 855 grace or go to our website Jide Also, friend, let me remind you about our Q&A line. If you have questions about any biblical topic.

Maybe it's church leadership for knowing God's will or how to study the Bible, just give us a call on our Q&A line.

Leave a message with your question and you may hear John answer it on a future broadcast Q&A line number is 661-295-6288 once again 661-295-6288 and if you're driving and can't write that number down. You'll find now for John MacArthur in the entire Greece to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for tuning in today and join us tomorrow when John continues his series rediscovering the Christ of Scripture with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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