When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, He found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is He, sir, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen Him, the One speaking with you is He.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped Him. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

This Lent we continue our focus on conviction and its outcome. Today we are presented with two amazing sets of events.

The Lord speaks to Samuel and sets him off to anoint the new king of Israel. “Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.” Samuel heads to Jesse’s house to carry out this important and solemn deed. We can imagine his sense of excitement coupled with his nervousness. He imagines this strong, sturdy, handsome man, the oil pouring down over his dark hair, his face and beard. Jesse’s oldest comes forward. Eliab – this must be him. A man of lofty stature. God reminds Samuel – “man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.”

Samuel is confronted, as we are, with the unexpected. None of these men are chosen. It will be the youngest, just a boy.

More powerfully, the Pharisees could not believe what had happened. This dreadful Jesus cured a man on the Sabbath.

They try every which way to discredit Jesus. ‘This man wasn’t really blind.’ They were early conspiracy theorists. ‘Jesus is a sinner – just deny Him.’ If we discredit this ‘holy man’ people will stop believing. They were early politicians. Finally, they ridicule and throw out the man born blind. ‘Mock the believers and no one else will believe.’ They were early manipulators.

Samuel, Jesse, and the Pharisees were much like us, people of expectation. What they expected was what they though they should expect. They failed to perceive God’s promise or His will. They only thought, ‘Surely it must be.’

This is how it was before we recognized and accepted our conviction and before we acted on it. We can hear echoes of our words, ‘Surely I must be…” Fill it in: unworthy, good enough, rich enough, too poor, addicted, sick, male, female, too young or old. Whatever our excuse for missing God’s will for us might have been, once we accepted conviction, and moved to admit it and accept Jesus as our one and only Savior, we moved to reality.

Jesus missed the part where we lifted ourselves above Him or thought we were unworthy of Him. He ignores our expectations to bring us to reality. Through the Spirit He prompts us by conviction to be: His children of light. The reality that matters.