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What the Bible says about Confessing Our Failings
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 20:32

Jesus asked similar intriguing questions in Matthew 9:28 and John 5:6: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Do you want to be made well?” As the omniscient One, He knew what they needed. However, He often questioned those desiring healing, prompting them to express their need and faith in words so that, in a fuller exercise of faith, they would be prepared to receive the desired blessing. His question, then, is intended to produce a dynamic exercise of faith in the men and to be a sign that He was willing to aid them.

When Bartimaeus answers Jesus, he addresses Him respectfully. In the King James Version, all three accounts indicate that he uses “Lord.” But in Mark, the word rendered “Lord” is different than those in Matthew and Luke: rabboni, correctly translated in the New King James Version, meaning “My great master.” Akin to “rabbi,” it is a higher and more respectful term. It is found only in Mark 10:51 and John 20:16, where Mary Magdalene uses it of Christ after His resurrection. We must honor the One from whom we seek aid.

Their earnest request is illuminating: “Lord, that our eyes may be opened” (Matthew 20:33). Unless we confess our need, showing our desire to have the need filled by Christ, He will take no action. The same is true in the matter of salvation: We must confess that we are a sinner if we expect to be forgiven and saved. The apostle John writes, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). No confession to God means no forgiveness and no salvation.

God's blessings, like this healing, are intended to improve our devotion to Him, but people often pervert their blessings to other uses. Many become distracted by them, leading to backsliding. We should instead follow the example of our Savior, who came, not to be served, but to serve.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Blind Bartimaeus

John 9:25-29

The healed man readily acknowledges his ignorance but then adds, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). Despite not knowing of Jesus, he is certain that He had changed him. In this, he becomes a type of genuine Christians. They do not know everything, but what they know they truly know because they have met and accepted Jesus personally as Lord and Savior.

Unlike the others, the man humbly begins with his limitations in knowledge. Both the parents and Pharisees say “we know” first and only after they declare what they do not know (see verses 20-21, 24-29), revealing their cowardice or ignorance. The man first admits his ignorance but then affirms what he knows as the result of God's revelation.

In his humble state, he easily recognizes the lack of knowledge in others, in this case, the greater ignorance of the “educated” leaders of the people. Having eliminated false self-confidence as well as any unjustified confidence in the Pharisees, all that remains is what he truly knows: He could now see. Thus, he takes his stand on the certainties.

As Christians, beginning in ignorance and sin, we confess both our spiritual dependence and our failings. We realize that, unless God chooses to reveal Himself—which He does in His Word and in Christ—we can know nothing. No one can know God by means of human reasoning or by any other human instrument (Job 11:7; I Corinthians 2:14). Spiritual knowledge is not revealed even through religious tradition, but it comes through the intervention of God in history, in His written Word, and the opening of the mind by the Holy Spirit—and only to those whom God calls.

Jesus says to the once-blind man, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Having been blind, do we now entrust our spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ?

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part Three)


 




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