When we are out witnessing, the world is watching. When we lead someone to the Lord, the world knew who they were before and see the change in who they are after. This is a powerful testimony. In Luke 18:35-43 there is a blind man who is saved, and in 18:43, “all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.”
“And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. 42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.”
What did these people see?
1) “They saw” the CONDITION of the “blind man” (18:35-37)
This man was blind both physically and spiritually, making him unable to see Jesus and unable to find his way to Him. In his condition he didn’t know Jesus was there until he sensed the commotion of the “multitude pass by” and “asked what it meant.”
Though the blind cannot see physically, their other senses are tuned in to their surroundings to compensate. Spiritually it is the same. The world is blind, and the only way they know Jesus is near is by any commotion created by God’s people. They know they are blind, yet they cannot find their way. So, we are commanded to do exactly what Jesus did, we are to go to them. The Apostle Paul taught the Colossians:
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
The “wisdom” we walk toward them with is nothing but “the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 3:15). Men can only be saved by the Word of God. So, the greatest wisdom we can offer anyone is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only means of salvation, where God said, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Even as we are out making a commotion with the Gospel, Satan is always ready and waiting to blind the minds of those sitting on “the way side” like this blind man. Satan cannot keep the message from coming their way but he will do his utmost to steal the seed after it has been planted. This is taught to us by the parable of the sower in Luke 8:
“Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”
2) “They saw” the CONVICTION of the “blind man” (18:38-39)
As with every unbeliever, this blind man was in misery, so he “cried … have mercy on me.” We don’t know how long he had been in that condition, but he was tired of it and wanted a change of life. He knew his need and he knew Who could meet it, Jesus.
Sinners will never be saved until they become miserably lost and see their need to be saved. Only after they are guilty before God is mercy made available for their salvation. Romans 3:19 teaches this, “that…all the world may become guilty before God.” Here, guilty means “liable to punishment from God.” Sadly, too many plans of salvation glaze over this most important step, that a sinners truly needs to see themselves as a sinner against God. Too often a soul winners goes down a checklist and just gets them to acknowledge they have committed sin, but they do not allow the Spirit to do His work of conviction. Without this conviction there can be no repentance, and without repentance their can be no salvation.
“…repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I believe our churches are full of lost sinners on their way to Hell. They said a prayer, but they were never drawn to salvation by God’s Word and never passed through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.
The neglect in thorough soul winning was no different with this blind man. The men who were causing problems in Jesus’ day were the religious crowd, the Pharisees. They rebuked this blind man and told him to “hold his peace.” Religion does all they can to hinder the Gospel. They offer many tools the Devil uses to blind the minds of men: Ritualism, Sacraments, Works, Indulgences, etc. Apart from biblical Christianity, every religion in the world offers salvation only through some performance of men. Men have been brainwashed by religion for thousands of years. Even when Jesus, the Living Word of God, offered the simplicity of salvation to a young man in Matthew 19:22, but “when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful.”
Notice though, the conviction of the blind man. Nothing was getting in his way of responding. When the religious crowd tried to stop him, he “cried so much the more.” What a testimony of true salvation. When God is at work convicting, men who truly want to be saved will seek Him so much the more. When the Apostles preached the Gospel, Pentecost, under deep conviction, the men pleaded for the answer to salvation:
“Now when they heard this [the Gospel], they were pricked in their heart [conviction], and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
3) “They saw” the CONFESSION of the “blind man” (18:40-43)
Notice, Jesus stood still at the crying plea of this sinful man. Jesus asked what this man wanted and gave him more than what he asked for:
- PHYSICALLY, Jesus said “Receive thy sight”
- SPIRITUALLY, Jesus said “thy faith hath saved thee”
PRAISE GOD, JESUS IS IN THE SOUL SAVING BUSINESS!
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”
(I Timothy 1:15)
PRAISE GOD, the love of Calvary is accessible to every sinner who wants the wonderful salvation of our Lord! EVERYONE who comes to Jesus by faith WILL BE SAVED! Jesus said, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” because, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,” because, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (John 6:37 ;Hebrews 7:25 ;Romans 5:20a).
It is only by the Grace of God that we can be saved:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
In 18:43 we see the AWESOME EFFECT of salvation, the TESTIMONY OF SALVATION:
- immediately, the blinded man could see
- immediately, he followed and praise Jesus Christ
- IMMEDIATELY, THE PEOPLE SAW IT AS HE BECAME A WITNESS!
SALVATION IS NOT A PROCESS, IT IS IMMEDIATELY!