This past Sunday in church, our message came from John 9 where Jesus heals the man born blind. I find the most intriguing part of this story is the aftermath that follows the healing. Rather than rejoice at the miracle that has just occurred, the incredible gift given to this man, almost everyone questions what has just happened. In fact, it seems that those most blind in much of John 9 are the neighbors, the crowd and the Pharisees.
They question whether this man they have known as “the blind beggar from down the road” is even the same man walking around with full sight. The religious leaders question the timing and authority by which the man was healed and even his parents essentially “plead the fifth” in acknowledging what really happened. (John 9:20-22) As the questions surrounding this healing continue to swirl, I love the man’s very simple response to what has forever changed his life:
“I don’t know (who healed me),” the man replied. “But this I know: I was blind, and now I can see!” John 9:25
In the last half of the chapter this blind man who can now see has another encounter with Jesus and once again he is given sight, but this time it is spiritual sight. Jesus pursues the man and in this second encounter the man professes faith in Jesus as God, the great healer of body and soul. And then come Jesus words of conviction.
Then Jesus told him,“I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” John 9:39-41
As much as I would like to sit and cast judgment on the Pharisees and the people of Israel who failed to believe the clear truth in front of them, I have to sit back and wonder, “In what ways would Jesus say to me – you think you can see but you are walking in blindness. You have accepted my gift of sight but are living with blinders on.”
There are so many ways we easily allow our blindness to keep us from really seeing. Sometimes it is blindness of believing lies of worthlessness or shame. For some, it is the blindness of comparing ourselves to someone who “does it better.” For me, it is often the blindness of self-sufficiency.
Our blindness limits our ability to see Jesus for who He is and who He wants to be in our life.
It seems these days that I am making connections to the story of Anippe, Moses, Jochebed or Pharaoh in most everything I read and this is no exception. Does any else find it ridiculous that Pharaoh wishes to kill off an entire generation of his slave labor? Who did he expect to do his manual labor if this entire generation of Hebrew men were gone? How could he not see the bigger picture? Talk about someone who was blinded by himself and his own insecurity. I think of the Hebrew midwives who saw with amazing faith the blessing of obeying God no matter what. I am reminded of the process Jochebed must have gone through letting her faith be made sight, and I pray that may be the reality of my heart. I find myself once again on my knees asking God to heal my blindness, the intentional choices I make and the things I do not even realize I am missing. God, let me truly see You in each moment of each day.
And may you have the power to (see)… how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18