There once was a man who was blind from birth. One day as he was sitting minding his own business, Jesus walked by and pronounced he was "the light of the world'. He then spit on the ground and made a mud ball. Then without warning or even asking for permission, he proceeded to place the mud on the blind man's eyes. He then told the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. Amazingly, the man did exactly as Jesus had commanded. He went his way, washed and came back seeing.
In our day and time the story would have stopped the moment Jesus spit and made mud and put said mud on the man's eyes. At that moment everyone would be on their cell phone calling 911. How dare a stranger just walk up and put his contaminated spit on a poor man's face. In short order the police and ambulance chasing lawyers would arrive to haul Jesus off to jail and start the proceedings to sue him for millions of dollars for transmitting some obscure disease to the man via the spit. Thank God this record in John chapter 9 didn't happen yesterday.
At the time this incident actually took place, the results were nothing short of miraculous, but met with the same skepticism and ridicule miracles are met with today. When the man returned, everyone was in a tizzy trying to figure out what happened and who did it. Some even claimed it wasn't the same man who returned seeing. I am sure very few if anyone who was there simply rejoiced in the fact a man born blind now was able to see.
The newly delivered man was hauled before the Pharisees where an impromptu court hearing was held. The stated problem was that Jesus dared heal a man on the Sabbath. The real problem was that if what happened was genuine, then it proved Jesus was the Messiah, for it was prophesied that only the Messiah could heal a man born blind. The Pharisees were not about to give any credence to this Jesus fellow, so they sought to discredit him and the supposed miracle that had taken place. Using the pretense of "breaking the Sabbath", the Pharisees set out to put this unfortunate incident to rest.
They grilled the man for information. They attempted to get the man to accuse Jesus of being a sinner. But, all the man would say was: "I was blind, but now I see". Even his own parents refused to stand with him. They told the Pharisees "he is of age, ask him". They were so afraid of being cast out of the synagogue; they wouldn't even stand by their own son who had been blind but now could see.
In due time the Pharisees made their decision and told the healed man: "You were altogether born in sins..." and they cast him out. Suddenly, in one of the greatest miscarriages of justice ever recorded; the man who had done nothing but follow the instructions of Jesus was now told he was the sinner and cast out. What was the greatest day of this man's life was now his worst. He had been "excommunicated" from the fellowship, betrayed by his own parents and left to wander aimlessly on his own. All this happened because he washed some mud off his eyes.
If the story ended here, it would truly have been a tragic tale of hypocrisy and betrayal. The man would probably have decided his life was better off blind, and condemned the man who had healed him and caused him all these problems. The Pharisees would have smugly congratulated themselves for nipping this potentially devastating story in the bud. The people would have decided what they had seen was nothing but "smoke and mirrors", and the parents would have decided they did the right thing to forsake their son. Thank God this story did not end with the man being cast out. Thank God there was "the rest of the story".
In John 9:35ff, it says that when Jesus heard they had cast the man out; he went out to find him. Jesus did not allow him to wander aimlessly, depressed and abandoned. JESUS WENT OUT LOOKING FOR THE MAN. He knew the man would be confused, distraught and heartbroken. Jesus, the Son of God, went out to find the man everyone else rejected. Doesn't this sound familiar?
When Jesus found the man, he asked him one very important question: "Do you believe on (in) the Son of God"? He answered and said, "Who is he, Lord that I might believe on (in) him"? Jesus told the man that he had seen him already and was in fact speaking to him at that very moment. The man's response represents the greatest 3 word sentence in the Bible. The man said; "LORD, I BELIEVE."
I believe there are three phrases that we can say to the Lord which capsulate the very essence of our relationship with Him. When we break fellowship with Him, we should simply say as David said to Nathan after being confronted with having Uriah killed so he could take Bathsheba for his wife: "I have sinned against the Lord". When we are sitting on His lap, we should whisper in His ear the most beautiful three words in the universe: "I love you". When He has found us wandering aimlessly or sinking in the quicksand of doubt and anxiety, and proceeds to hold out His hand to us, we should boldly say: "LORD, I BELIEVE".
The instant the man in John 9 responded to Jesus, "Lord, I Believe"; his life was more radically changed than when he received his physical sight. When he believed Jesus was The Son of God, he received eternal salvation. Confession of belief yields receipt of confession. Against the wishes of everyone he knew, the man believed in Jesus; for he knew by experience that Jesus believed in him.
This is why Romans 10:10 says "confession is unto salvation". In John 9, the man first believed and then confessed what he believed; that Jesus was the Son of God. He received the gift of eternal life. We first believe that Jesus is our redeemer and when we were justified, God raised him from the dead. Then we confess what we believe; that Jesus is the Son of God and that he is Lord. This confession that Jesus Christ is Lord is "unto salvation". It allows God to save us. It allows God to rescue us, declare us righteous and give to us the gift of eternal life.
I just wanted to say that your speculation on what would have happened in this day and age made me laugh out loud, how true though!
I will remember your three phrases. Very often I feel at a loss for words when trying to talk to my Father, those three phrases I'm sure will be perfect for those times.