Are you BLIND?!
Yeshua had just healed a blind man [Yo 9-10], and when He healed him, He called certain ‘sighted’ people, “blind”.
“I have come for the judgment of this world, so that those who cannot see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
He told those certain people, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see;’ because of this your sin remains.”
And immediately, he starts talking about sheep….
People tend to disassociate the two passages, because there is a chapter division separating them. BUT, the last verse of the later chapter shows us that the message about the Ro’eh HaTov and the Ish Izer MiBeten go together.
The whole section starts with “He SAW Ish Izer MiBeten [a man blind from the womb].”
Yeshua looked at the man.
When He looked at the man, His Talmidim [studying ones/students of Torah] THEY asked WHY was the man born blind.
Yeshua’s answer has been blathered about so much that it has, in my opinion, become almost trite.
But first, their question is derided by today’s theologian as ‘ignorant.’ So many people think and teach that these men were simpletons, ‘peasants,’ and uneducated. They do not know that Yisra’el had the first public school system in history. All Israeli boys went to the Synagogue every day to be taught to read, so they could read the Torah. It is from that perspective that they asked, ‘who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’
These were twelve Jewish men raised in the Torah, who understood the biblical principal of ‘blessings and curses.’ They were NOT speaking from a position of utter ignorance, as I heard it taught in Bible university. They were speaking from a position of the fear of Elohim, and the understanding that it is possible to bring a curse upon your children due to your own sin. BUT, Yeshua LOOKED at this blind man, almost as if to PROVOKE that very Torah question. He is our TORAH Teacher, and HE wants His ‘Talmidim’ to go DEEPER into Torah. He wanted them to learn the HEART of Elohim, who desires that NONE of His children become blind, SPIRITUALLY!
The spirit is FAR more important than the natural, and the eyes of the realm of the spirit are far MORE important than our natural eyes. But, Yeshua was compassionate on this actual blind man, and said, “He did not sin, and neither did his parents; but so that the works of Elohim might be SEEN IN HIM…” And then Yeshua said something very interesting: “I must do the works of the one who sent me while it is still ‘day’; A NIGHT is coming when NO ONE will be able to DO A WONDER.” Do we have the ability to ‘see’ when that ‘night’ is? When it is that ‘night,’ can WE still see?
After Yeshua gave this man his sight, a ‘kangaroo court’, an illegal trial was held, going against the Torah. These teachers spoke ‘lashon harah’ against Yeshua, calling Him a sinner, when He was not even present to defend Himself.
How did this whole ensuing scene come about? Yeshua put mud, ‘water and earth’, in the man’s eyes, and sent him to the pool of “Shilo’akh”.
If one were a modern Israeli, he may or may not know that “HaShilo’akh” is a proper name of “Silo’am”, a very famous pool in the biblical narrative, and NOT only in the “NT”. But, a modern Israeli ‘could’ infer that this is the ‘pool of “The Proxy”’. It’s of the same root where we get our word “Shali’akh,” or “Sent One”, what most know as “apostle.” There is one letter different: instead of a ‘yod,’ in Shali’akh, there is a vav in Shilo’akh. Instead of the first letter in the Name, ‘yod’, whose letter means ‘hand’, there is a ‘vav,’ the name of the letter that means ‘nail’. The letter yod is a letter that represents Yah, יהוה , and the vav represents a man, it is the number of man, ‘six’, and therefore imperfect. Yeshua sent a “proxy” to a famous pool called ‘The Proxy’, to defend Him; a place where people would go, probably to ‘immerse’ before they went into the city. The waters there were ‘sweet’ and ‘abundant’, according to the 1st century historian, Josephus.
This ‘proxy’, a man born blind who now sees, defended Yeshua in this kangaroo court. It happened to be the Sabbath. They called Yeshua a ‘sinner,’ because He healed a man on the Sabbath. Their issue was with His ‘making clay’ on the Sabbath. The Jewish religious leaders had ‘built a fence AROUND the Torah,’ meaning, they created their OWN commands, ‘in order to protect the people’, and they elevated the status of THOSE commands to be equal with the ACTUAL commands of G-d. These ‘commands’ are the foundations of the modern “Talmud” of Judaism, and the precept is what all of today’s Judaism is built on. They could ‘see’ the ACTUAL commands, and they still do today…but, they PREFER THEIR OWN COMMANDS, thinking they are doing everyone a favor by giving them manmade commands…. They exchanged the YOD for a VAV, exchanging GOD FOR MAN. Yeshua sent to them a MAN, a ‘sent one,’ and they REJECTED him, even though they KNEW ONLY GOD can heal a man born blind! The Proxy said of Yeshua, “I say He is a Navi”. He also told them, after expounding that only G-d could give sight to a man born blind, that it had never happened in recorded history, “We know that Elohim does not hear the voice of sinners; but he hears the one who reveres Him and does His will.” Here, the blind man is showing that he also knows Torah. That Elohim hears the ones who are obedient. Their response was, “You were wholly born in sins, and yet do you teach us?” Their arrogance abounds. This same arrogance pervades modern Judaism, and modern Messianic Judaism, sadly.
Yeshua heard that they, the religious, cast out the blind man, and He FOUND him, meaning He searched him out. He then asked, “Do you TRUST in Ben HaElohim?” [The Son of G-d]. He asked, ‘who is He, and I will trust,’ and Yeshua said, ‘You have seen Him; He is the one speaking to you…’
Yeshua gave this man sight, SO THAT HE COULD SEE THE SON OF G-D! There were P’rushim around hearing this conversation. And He tells the blind man, “I have come for the judgment of the world, so that THOSE WHO SEE may become blind. Those P’rushim asked if they were blind. ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see’. Because of this your sin remains.’
And IMMEDIATELY Yeshua begins to teach about Ro’eh HaTov.
“Amein Amein! I say to you….”
And he starts speaking of the Gate, and of the Good Shepherd, and of the THIEF and BANDIT who comes into the fold the WRONG WAY, DEIGNING TO BE A LEADER OF THE SHEEP!!!!
ALL of these Jews, and probably many “NT” readers, would IMMEDIATELY have thought of Tehillah 23, a psalm that I have seen sung in several variations this week, for the remembrance of the Sho’ah. “ יהוה Ro’i, lo eikh’sar.” יהוה is MY SHEPHERD, I shall not LACK…. HE LEADS ME BESIDE STILL WATERS….but, what the P’rushim likely would have thought of, and should have KNOWN, is Tehillah 80.
1For the Leader; upon Shoshannim. A testimony. A Mizmor of Asaf. Give ear, O Shepherd of Yisra’el, You that lead Yosef like a flock; You that are enthroned upon the Keruvim, shine forth. Before Efrayim and Binyamin and Menasheh, stir up Your might, and come to save us. O Elohim, restore us; and cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved. O יהוה Elohim Tzeva’ot, how long will You be angry against the tefilah of Your people? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in large measure. You make us a strife unto our neighbors; and our enemies mock as they please. O Elohim Tzeva’ot, restore us; and cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved. You did pluck up a vine out of Mitzrayim; You did drive out the nations, and did plant it. You did clear a place before it, and it took deep root, and filled the land. The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, and the mighty cedars with the boughs thereof. She sent out her branches unto the sea, and her shoots unto the River. Why have You broken down her fences, so that all they that pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the wood does ravage it, that which moves in the field feeds on it. O Elohim Tzeva’ot, return, we beseech You; look from heaven, and behold, and be mindful of this vine, And of the stock which Your right hand has planted, and the Son that You made strong for Yourself. It is burned with fire, it is cut down; they perish at the rebuke of Your countenance. Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, upon Ben Adam, whom You made strong for Yourself. So shall we not turn back from You; quicken us, and we will call upon Your Name. O יהוה Elohim Tzeva’ot, restore us; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved.
I wish I had time to ruminate on ALL the nuances associated between the two passages, both the Ro’eh HaTov and the Ish Izer MiBeten.
But, clearly, Yeshua was declaring Himself to be THE Shepherd of Yisra’el, because at the end of His treatise on the “Ro’eh HaTov,” he says that there were ‘other’ sheep, NOT of THIS flock. What flock? Yisra’el! He was speaking to Yisra’el! He had just called their spiritual leaders ‘blind,’ and in the Shepherd treatise, he is basically saying they do not recognize HIS voice! Now He’s calling them blind AND deaf!
A good Jew knows that HIS voice is the TORAH!
The Shepherd of Yisra’el is יהוה , and יהוה said,
“You have avouched יהוה this day to be your Elohim, and that you would walk in His ways, and keep His Khukot [ordinances], and His Mitzvot [commandments], and His Mishpatim [righteous judgments] [All of these together are The Torah], and hearken unto His voice.”
His voice IS HIS TORAH. Even Sha’ul knows this, and equates the Torah to the very Breath of G-d, or “Ru’akh”, what many call ‘spirit’, saying, “The Torah IS RU’AKH” [Rom 7:14]. Your breath is your voice. G-d is not any different.
His SHEEP know HIS voice. The voice of replacing the Mitzvot of G-d with those commands from MEN is NOT the voice of G-d, whether it is a Jewish voice or not.
The nature of the “Ro’eh HaTov” narrative is that there is only ONE Ro’eh, but there are MANY “thieves and bandits.” What gets lost in translations is that ‘bandit’ is “shoded”, and has the root word “shed”, or ‘demon’ in it. Sha’ul tells us to stay away from ‘doctrines of demons.’ In that context, he writes that in the last days men will turn from “The Emunah” [firm faith], and listen to evil spirits and תּוֹרוֹת שֶׁל שֵׁדִים . “The ‘laws’ of demons.” The ‘Torahs’ of demons… MEN’s commands/laws. Men replacing HIS TORAH with their own ‘law’/’doctrines’ or teachings. And EVERY stream of faith seems to do this. They IGNORE the SABBATH, and replace it with ‘sun-day’, they IGNORE the rest of Lev 23 and replace HIS TIMES with all manner of pagan observance…. And they do not care. They do NOT listen to HIS VOICE. They completely disregard the PLAIN MEANING of His word for TWISTED ‘logic,’ in order to justify NOT doing what G-d Himself said to do, and thereby ignoring HIS SON, who DID what G-d His Father said to do, and taught THE WORD, the TORAH.
MOST people today are blind AND deaf. They cannot ‘see’ truth, even though they ‘see’ that Yeshua is the Son of G-d. They even ‘understand’ that He is THE Shepherd of Yisra’el, but by and large, most men follow OTHER ‘shepherds,’ who are not shepherds at all, but thieves and bandits, ‘hired help’ that do NOT KNOW Messiah’s ways. [Ezekiel 34]
Consider this: Yeshua came to the LAST ‘congregation,’ and said this:
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; it is better to be either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich, and my wealth has increased, and I need nothing;’ and you do not know that you are miserable, and helpless, and poor, and blind, and naked. I advise you to buy of me gold refined in the fire, that you may become rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness may not be seen; and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see. I rebuke and chasten all those whom I love; be zealous, therefore, and repent.
Again, a good Jew would know that the ‘gold refined in the fire’ is commands of THE TORAH! And in the SAME context where His Torah and its precepts are called ‘fine gold,’ the concept of seeing and being corrected is expounded!
“The Torah of יהוה is perfect, restoring the soul [echoed in Ps 23 already mentioned]; the testimony of יהוה is sure, making wise the simple [the blind man against the P’rushim]. The precepts of יהוה are right, rejoicing the heart; the Mitzvah of יהוה is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of יהוה is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of יהוה are true, they are righteous altogether; More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold [refined in the fire]; sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is Your servant warned; in keeping of them there is great reward. [Yeshua promised REWARD to those who ‘repent’. To ‘repent’ is to TURN BACK TO TORAH] Who can discern his errors? Clear me from hidden faults.”
Are you going to remain ‘blind’ and ‘deaf’ just because your forebears did? Would you love THEM, MORE than you love G-d? More than you love His Son, the King of the Jews? Is He TRULY YOUR King, or do you just give Him lip service?
One day, many will stand in front of Yeshua on their own laurels and try to ‘get into heaven’ by their speaking in His Name, having ‘believed’ in Him, even claiming to do the wonders HE does:
“A great many will say to me [Yeshua] in that day, ‘My Adon, My Adon, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out devils, and in your name do many wonders? Then I will declare to them, “I have never known you; keep away from Me, O you that work iniquity.”
Keeping the Torah is NOT about becoming saved, it is about expressing LOVE for the ONE who saved us from iniquity, the breaking of Torah. It is about understanding what sin IS, and that we are to leave it behind. ALL of it. [1 Jo 3:4]. Love HIM, by doing what G-d says to do, in every area of your life, ESPECIALLY in the WAY in which you approach Him to worship Him, and how you treat people. Read any book of the “OT” and you’ll see how important our approach to Him is. Today, we indeed to approach Him through and because of the blood of Messiah Yeshua. But, do not trample on that blood by ignoring what G-d says is truth.
Just consider this ONE command: “Remember the Sabbath day, to consecrate it.” Undo it? Throw it away? Find ONE VERSE that says to do so, and I’ll join you.
“As for me and my house, we will SERVE יהוה .”
You are NOT free to break Torah, you are FREE to KEEP IT! You were once bound in SIN [breaking Torah] and now do not have to fear your imperfections! Don’t be BLIND by doctrines of men, and DEAF to HIS VOICE.
“I advise you to buy of me gold refined in the fire, that you may become rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness may not be seen; and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see. I rebuke and chasten all those whom I love; be zealous, therefore, and repent.”