Removing The Blindness
John 9 is a powerful validation of Jesus’ claim, “I am the light of the world, and unless you come to Me, you’re going to live in darkness.” He is indeed the light of the world. He is the only One who can take away darkness, whether it be physical or spiritual.
The question from the disciples comes from a mindset they had learned from the Rabbis. The Rabbis taught there is no death without sin and there is no suffering without iniquity. Therefore, if someone was personally suffering it was the direct result of their personal sin. Job teaches us that suffering is not always the result of our sin(s).
The Rabbis read into Scripture things what would fit what they believed about sin and suffering. Their basic presupposition that suffering was always the result of personal sin was wrong. Sadly, the blind man was not a sufferer to be relieved, he was just a riddle to be solved.
Jesus sheds light with His reply. Notice that Jesus was asked about the cause of the man’s blindness, but He answers in terms of its purpose! (John 9:3-5) Jesus does not try to explain the mystery of pain. Jesus saw in this blind man the possibility to display the works of God.
When we see suffering what do we see? A problem? Or a possibility? If someone in our family suffers from a physical handicap, what do we see in that person? A problem? Or a possibility to display the words of God?
Why did Jesus do this miracle in this way? Why mix His saliva and dirt and tell him to go and wash? Jesus put mud in his eyes because He wanted to. He wanted to do it that way and so that’s how He did it. Maybe what we need to understand, is that what is a life-changing, transforming miracle to this man, is just another work of God. God, who could speak the world into existence can say to two eyes, “See,” and have them see. What we see is the remarkable authority, power, and grace of our Lord.
The healing shows us something about Jesus. It shows us that He dealt not only in ideas and claims, but He also dealt in the application of them. It’s one thing to go around saying, “I Am the light of the world”, but never take darkness away. Jesus backed up His claims with application. Isn’t there an obvious implication there for us?
It’s one thing to come together to study, sing our songs, and claim that we are lights in the world and salt to the earth, but it is quite another thing to go out and shed light and live in a way that preserves righteousness.
Lord, help us to see. Open our eyes to see You. Remove our blindness. Let us be Your lights to help a blind world see Your marvelous grace that appeared in the coming of Your Son. Amen.