"In our reading today, in John Chapter 9 verses 1 to 41 Jesus demonstrates he has the power to heal. Jesus heals a man who had been born blind. Jesus put mud on the man’s eyes and instructed him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. When the man obeyed Jesus, his eyes were opened. When he was later questioned by the Pharisees he affirmed that Jesus had been sent by God. It was only later that the man came to believe that Jesus was the Son of Man." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (John 9:1, NLT)There is much one can come away with from this passage. Reading it this time I noticed a process and a moment. A process of going from not knowing much about Jesus to acknowledging that he was a prophet. A process that continued to a moment in time of belief. A belief that the man Jesus is the Son of God. That moment of belief leads to worship. I can relate, in my life, to this process and the moment.
"... But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!" (John 9:25)
As you read and think about this account in the Gospel of John take notice of the process of understanding or re-understanding and the moment of belief.
Put yourself in his place a blind beggar on the side of a road when some guys come up to you discussing whether your blindness, which you were born with, was as a result of sin you or your parents had committed. You hear one of the men say authoritatively that no person's sin made you blind, but that you are blind so God's work can be displayed in your life.
It is not recorded that the blind man said or did anything at this point. It doesn't say what was going through his mind at the time. Perhaps he was wondering who is this man? They are calling him Jesus. Is this the guy I have heard about? Maybe the blind man believed like many others in his culture that his blindness was automatically a result of sin and was surprised to hear someone say that there was another reason.
He might of thought to himself how in the world was God's work going to be displayed in my life? Perhaps he felt as if he was a nothing in his community. People walked by all the time not even noticing me or saying one word to me. This man, Jesus, sounds like he is in a hurry to get work done while there is light. He certainly doesn't have time to give me anything. He hears the man refer to himself as being the Light. What is light? I have never seen light. What is THE Light? What does he mean? Is this guy crazy?
Whatever is going through his mind he hears the man spit and rub the dirt on the ground. What is this guy doing? Perhaps he was startled to feel this man rub mud on his eyes. Before he could resist the man tells him to go and wash in a pool. Jesus is silent about what is going to happen. What is the blind beggar thinking at this point? Having just had a stranger make mud from his spit and put it on his eyes. The scripture does not say but I could imagine he is puzzled, perhaps even a little irritated. Or maybe he is just glad that someone stopped and paid some attention to his life.
What goes through his mind after he washes off the mud in the pool and can see? Light floods his eyes for the first time. What would go through our minds at a moment like that? I am not sure I can even imagine an experience like his. Like most people I take the ability to see things for granted. It was probably overwhelming.
Jesus is not around at the moment the man first had sight. Since he was blind when he first met Jesus he didn't even know what Jesus looked like. For that matter he didn't know what anything looked like. He was experiencing sight for the very first time. Everything was new to him!
Everyone wants to know what has happened and how can he now see? He simply explains the facts. Jesus put mud on my eyes, I washed it off, and now I can see. He is brought to the experts of the Law, the local leaders, those who were suppose to know all about God. They don't want to accept the simple fact that he was blind but now isn't. There was no way they were going to acknowledge that something only God could do was just done by Jesus. In this encounter with the Pharisees the once blind man goes from knowing the man's name is Jesus to calling him a Prophet from God.
After he is thrown out of the synagogue, rejected by the leaders of his community, he runs into Jesus. Actually Jesus finds him. Jesus asks him face to face, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" The Christ? The Messiah? The Son of God?
The man answered, "Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him."Jesus then goes on to connect physical blindness to spiritual blindness.
"You have seen him," Jesus said, "and he is speaking to you!"
"Yes, Lord, I believe!" the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
Later a Christ follower named Paul wrote the following:
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6, New Living Translation)To close my thoughts today on this passage I like the simple clear words of John Calvin:
There is no greater darkness than ignorance of God."I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.
Please share your own thoughts on this passage in the comment section below or on the Facebook page.