Jesus and his disciples are walking somewhere when they see the man born blind. I have no idea how they could have known he was born blind rather than having become blind some other way but this must have been obvious. So the disciples want to know “who sinned” – the man or his parents. (Geez, I am so weary of the blame game. Why is it so hard to accept that the world is broken and in need of redemption – all of it and all of us?) Jesus shifts the view (it’s all about seeing, right?) from the devastation of sin to the restorative power of God. “I’m the light and we are on a mission to do the work of the One who sent me.”
He has this curious cure. Dust from the ground and His spit. He could have just touched him or said “abracadabra” but Jesus makes mud. He cakes the man’s eyes with the mud and tells him to go wash it off with water…which the guys does…no questions asked. One part man (dust), one part God (spit), add water (from the pool of “sent”, as in I’ve been sent by the Father) and swirl with believing – presto: new sight (believing). God’s work on display!
The neighbors talk, the news gets around – “Blind Man Sees! Tells reporters that Jesus made mud cure and had him wash at Siloam. Did not know where his benefactor was now.”
Did I mention Jesus did this on the Sabbath? Why do you think? There are 6 other days…but if you want some “front page above the fold” this will do it to get the Pharisees involved.
The Pharisees interview the man, the story is powerful. They are divided between “He broke the Sabbath – not from God” and “Sinners can’t do such signs – has to be from God”. I think its funny – they can’t decide so they ask the former blind man (FBM) what he thinks –
“He’s a prophet”… Nope, don’t like that answer –How about a different tactic – Maybe this guy was never blind – call in his parents. (Now it is curious, no one ever wondered if the local blind man had been blind. I mean they walked past him in the begging zone for years. Boy, the lengths we will go to complicate the good news so we don’t have to buy it.)
Long story short, the FBM blasts the Pharisees. “You don’t know where Jesus came from but He opened my eyes. We all want to give God the glory and we know God doesn’t listen to sinners. No one has EVER given sight to a man born blind…EVER. Ergo…if Jesus wasn’t from God he could have done nothing.” Simple logic sometimes offends especially if you are dead set against the obvious truth.
In their arrogance they pronounce a serious judgment on the FBM – he is cast out. Maybe this is just for the moment or maybe this could be a permanent ex-communication – really bad in this culture – but either way, he was condemned for just telling the truth! He did not ask to be the center of attention but when it happened he stood up. He seemed to know his Torah and he definitely knew his own testimony – he would not be denied! As a member of the “Formerly Blind” I want to be like this guy!
Now I love Jesus. He hears what the Pharisees have done and he goes to find the man. And when he does He offers him spiritual sight. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Lord, I believe.” And what did his belief look like? Worship – it was worship. I love that too.
Jesus sums up his mission: “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
Never a dull moment, the Pharisees jump on this – “Are we also blind?” (I am so tired of their bad attitude and sarcasm. Jesus was having this precious moment with the FBM and they show up?!!) Jesus’ reply is calm and simple: “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” (Lord Jesus, protect me from willful blindness that I may give you glory and worship – Guilt Free.)
God is actively seeking those who would prefer not to be blind.
“One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” Former Blind Man John 9
About the World?
Blindness can be cured. Same for guilt.