And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…(2 Corinthians 4:3-5).
The blind man healed in John 9 is someone I want to meet in heaven.
Within minutes of his conversion, he was an amateur apologist. When the powerful religious elite alleged that the One who had healed him was in breach of God’s law, he stuck to what he knew: “they said, ‘we know this man is a sinner.’ He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!’” (John 9:24,25).
And he showed what appears to me, to be mild chutzpah. His patience wore thin when continually pestered by those who had induced their own spiritual blindness by willfully suppressing the evidence staring them in the face: “He answered, ‘I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?’”(v.27).
Why does John take an entire chapter to relate this incident and the corresponding fallout, only 1 of 7 pre-resurrection miracles cited in the fourth gospel?
And we don’t even know this man’s name!
This was another irrefutable incident confirming Jesus as Messiah.
In all of the Old Testament, there was not a single example of real blindness being healed; however, twice the prophet Isaiah had predicted about the Christ, that He would be identified by restoring sight to the blind (Isaiah 35:5,6 and Isaiah 42:7).
As his spiritual vision became more clear, so too did the man’s understanding of Jesus’ identity. Notice the cognitive progression in his own words: “the Man they call Jesus” (v.11), “He is a prophet” (v.17), “‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped Him” (v.38).
The instant transition from impenetrable blindness to perfect vision was an obvious, graphic illustration of spiritual perception.
And his interrogators paralleled spiritual sightlessness. They were incapable of seeing the truth, because they had chosen to ignore it – to repress it.
“Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.’ Some Pharisees who were with him heard Him say this and asked, ‘What? Are we blind too?’ Jesus said, ‘If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains’” (John 9:39-41).
In his unregenerate condition, man’s rejection of God is not an intellectual issue – it’s a moral issue. Man naturally hates God.
But spiritual warfare can deepen that – pulling a veil over the mind, intensifying natural human inability to apprehend the beauty of the gospel of Christ.
Imagine entering a museum of beautiful pieces of visual art, and being blindfolded.
Or, entering a concert hall expecting to hear beautiful music, but taking your seat in front of the stage and directly beside a construction crew working with heavy power tools while the band plays.
When writing to the church at Corinth, Paul declares that to those who are perishing, the forces of evil have obscured the beauty of the good news of Christ – throwing a sheet over it; causing a raucous distraction – “so that the light of the gospel” is hidden, concealed, veiled.
Takeaway: spiritual warfare is a truth encounter, a battle for the mind, a distortion of that which aligns with reality. The purpose of the evil one is to in some way diminish the glory of God by attacking those who are His; or by so blinding men to the beauty and truth and logic of the Word, that they are incapable of seeing the “light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ”.