Blindness is on the inside
9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. … 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.”
24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” ….. 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.1John 9:1,6-7, 13-16,18-21,24-27,34-38; 10:10
Please see John 9:1-10:10 for the whole context of this passage.
Jesus noticed a man who had been blind since birth. He noticed this man’s need and he stopped. During Jesus’s time it was believed when one had a physical disability, such as blindness, it was due to an unrighteousness before God. Jesus’s disciples immediately asked who was to blame for this man’s blindness – his parents or himself? Jesus’s answer completely defied the current culture and turned the disciples’ understanding of their world upside down. Jesus answered that it wasn’t the man or his parents, but “that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Jesus insisted on healing this man, doing the work of God, even though it was the Sabbath and work was forbidden.
Jesus looked at the blind man with compassion, noticed his need for healing, and then met his needs. He healed him from blindness! The Pharisees couldn’t get beyond Jesus healing on the Sabbath, breaking all their rules and preconceived notions. So – he was a “sinner.” They couldn’t see the Savior, who healed and forgave the physically blind man – on the Sabbath. It was all about the “HOW” He did this, not the “WHO” He was.
When we encounter Jesus, we can say “one thing I know, He changed me!” “I was blind, and now I see!” Jesus’s touch on our lives brings us to tell the story. “He changed me!” What are we telling our neighbor? What is YOUR story?
Father God, today I confess that I need Your 20/20 vision. I need to see beyond my circumstances, and to see clearly Your heart for my community and world. Give me clear vision. Place in my heart the desire to obey Your commands, just as the blind man followed them and washed his eyes. May I notice, as Jesus did, the people around me. And, may I declare, “One thing I know, He changed me!” Oh, may the “works of God be displayed” in me to all those I encounter. Amen. Karen Clark
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