The 9th chapter of John tells the story of man who was blind since birth receiving sight from Jesus. After it happens, the Pharisees question the man, call him a liar, and discard his testimony as false. Later they question Jesus about it and try to discredit him also, but he sharply rebukes them. He said, I've come into the world for judgment. So that the blind will see and those who can see will be blind.
We often hear these words but rarely stop to think about their significance. What does it really mean that the blind will see and those who see will become blind? James 4:6 says that God resists or opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. This is synonymous with the story in John 9. When he gives physical or spiritual vision to the blind, he is giving grace. When God blinds those who think they can see, like Pharisees, for example, he is opposing the proud. But that’s not the end of the story.
The apostle Paul's Conversion in Acts 9 is a literal and spiritual demonstration of John 9 and James 4 in action. Christ literally blinded this Pharisee who had persecuted the church and killed Christians. For three days this proud and arrogant man was humbled. And then he was given grace. He could see again – but this time could see truth.
The people of Spain, like many people in the World, are similar to Paul in that they are prideful. Their unique history, including events like the Moorish invasion, the Reconquest, the Spanish inquisition (think Crusades), and conquistadors have left them with bloody and violent tastes of religion. Most Spaniards want very little to do with God, believing they are better off without him. Understandably, they are turned off by religion and therefore have turned to atheism or humanism. But we don’t bring religion. We offer Jesus, who offers freedom. Who offers joy and contentment and peace.
God loves Spaniards. He created them. He wants to be in relationship with them. But today, less than 2% of their population are evangelical Christians. They are categorized as formerly or falsely reached for the gospel. They don’t think they need God, but in truth, they are desperate for him. They need humility. And then they’ll need sight. We are depending on God to give them both. We go there for that very purpose. To seed and water what is dry and dusty spiritual soil. To be salt and light in a place that is spiritually dark. We go to love and to represent the church in a place that is desperate for authentic examples of Christ-like living.
The blind will see in Spain. The lost will be found. The lame will walk. The deaf will hear. The dead will live. You can be part of that.