…was blind, but now I see!
“If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.“ – Vs 41 NLT
It’s interesting that yesterday’s chapter was about the Light of life shining in the darkness. Now John tells us the story of Jesus’ encounter with a man who literally lived his life in darkness due to blindness. From the time he was born this man had lived in a world devoid of light – a world of perpetual darkness. Then he has a “chance” encounter with Jesus, the Light of life, and his world would change forever. You would think that Jesus’ miraculous healing of this man’s condition of physical blindness would have been a cause of celebration, but instead it was a cause of consternation for the Pharisees. Why? Because Jesus had chosen to heal this man on the Sabbath. He had broken the law – at least according to them. He had violated their religious protocol. And that was more important than the fact that his man had been blind since birth and could now see for the first time in his life.
This sets up a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. But it also drags the poor man right into the middle of the whole thing. He is questioned relentlessly. He is forced to retell his story multiple times. His veracity is brought into question. And he begins to lose patience with his inquisitors. But he gives them a well-reasoned response that shows he not only has gained physical sight, but insight into what has just happened to him.
“Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know anything about him! Well, God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Never since the world began has anyone been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do it.” – Vs 30-33 NLT
As far as this man was concerned, there was only one logical conclusion. He used to be blind, but now he could see. He had experienced a miracle from God. This man Jesus had to be from God. This man not only could SEE, he could understand. He could perceive the truth about who Jesus really was and ended up believing and worshiping Him (Vs 38). But what about the Pharisees? They are the ones who remained blind. Jesus tells them, “I have come to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind” (Vs 39 NLT). Their problem was that they thought they could see. They thought they were perceptive and insightful, but in reality they were blind. They couldn’t see the Light of life standing right in front of them. They were blinded by their self-righteousness and pride. They were blinded by their own rules and religious regulations. They were blinded by their insatiable need for respect, power, and recognition. And unlike the man in the story, their blindness was the result of sin. Jesus told them, “since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure” (Vs 41 MSG).
How’s your sight today? Are you living in the darkness brought on by pride and self-righteousness? Do you refuse to see the truth about who Jesus says He is? Are you blind to the reality of His life-giving, light-shedding power? So often we live as if we think we can see. We want to believe that we have all the insight we need. But Jesus is calling us to admit our blindness, to acknowledge that we really live in darkness. He is the Light of life and He wants to shine in our lives every day.
Father, thank You that you opened my eyes to the truth about my blindness. I too was blind, but now I see. I was living in a world filled with darkness, then the Light of life came in and revealed the truth about who I was and who He is. But spiritual blindness still creeps in at time, causing me to think I see, when I really can’t. I can be blinded by my pride and self-righteousness. Never let me forget that it was Jesus who opened my eyes so that I could see anything at all. Any spiritual sight or insight I have are because of Him and Him alone. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men