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Posts Tagged ‘John 9’

Although Scripture says he was not handsome, I bet his eyes were unforgettable! Over and over again, the Gospel writers report that Jesus saw someone, some crowd, some situation, then acted on their behalf.  Most interesting are those passages where He saw their faith (Matthew 9:2, 22; Mark 2:5; Luke 5:2)! Now how did He do that?

What do we see when we look at people? The story of Jesus and the man born blind, recorded in John 9, has always fascinated me. Recently I recognized that it reveals a lot about how people look at others in contrast to how Jesus sees people!

The comparison starts at the onset of the story when Jesus and his disciples see a man born blind. His disciples say, “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (9:2) They look at this blind man and see a theological question!

I’ve seen this happen often on the mission field. People who walk in the door of our churches bring BIG questions with them, quite often about divorce, re-marriage, even polygamy, but also abuse, addictions, alternate lifestyles, criminality—yes, pretty much any theological problem that a person can embody!

I’ve always been amazed—and sometimes guilty myself—about thinking, “Oh, he/she would make a good Christian”—usually about someone who is very good, maybe even attractive, probably successful.  I don’t think that’s the way Jesus saw people.

This happened so the power of God could be seen in him,” was Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question (9:3). Then he healed the man’s blindness—but was not there when the man came back healed. As the story progresses, we see that Jesus healed the man’s eyes, but his heart and soul—his faith–needed perfection as well.

His neighbors looked at the man born blind and could not recognize him (9:8-12). This could not be the man they had seen begging pathetically by the gate everyday—because he was not doing what they expected him to do—so they could not even see him.  I wonder how many people we don’t recognize because we don’t expect/believe that Jesus can dramatically change a person?

The religious leaders just did not believe his story—it was too good to be true—and besides, it had some theological issues. Jesus had healed him on the Sabbath, so it couldn’t be an act from God. Like you can’t find Jesus in the wrong church, or if your salvation was not sequenced properly, or you don’t worship scripturally!  Your healing can’t be valid if isn’t free of issues!

Don’t forget, it is those with the most knowledge of Scripture, the most concern about faithfulness, the most commitment to doing things right, the most invested lives—it is these people who did not recognize, who totally missed the work of God on this blind man! That’s a little scary, isn’t it!

The blind man’s parents were just too scared to admit what they saw! They admitted he was their son born blind, but they abandoned their own son for fear they might be kicked out of their own church! I just don’t want to even think about how this might apply to parents and their grown children in our churches today. Can I just say from my own experience that parents sometimes have the opportunity to learn about Jesus from their children—even though what they learn is very different from what they thought they knew!  Don’t be like the blind man’s parents and disown your children because they have experienced God differently.

Did you notice as you were reading John 9 the growth in the healed man’s faith in Jesus as he is interrogated? Look at his answers to the question, “who did this to you?”

  • 9:11 – “The man called Jesus . . . .”
  • 9:17 – “I think he must be a prophet.”
  • 9:33 – “If this man were not from God, he could not have done it!”
  • 9:38 – “Yes, Lord, I believe!”

Jesus saw a blind man, healed him, then left him to go through trials that would teach him to believe! We often demand faith before healing, but Jesus seemed to be able to see the convergence of faith and healing less in sequence than we do.

Jesus draws this story to a conclusion: “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” (9:39).

Today, as I go to church, I will again look out the car window at the people who are walking their dogs, jogging, hitching their boats to their cars, people who seem to me to be blind to the Light of the World, but . . .

Lord, help me to see people as you see them, to leave judgment to you, and to believe that blind people can see!

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