Thursday, August 15, 2013

John Nine

"If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."

A blind man who was given sight from Jesus told some Pharisees and Jewish leaders this after they asked him how he could see after a lifetime of being blind.  The man told the Pharisees over and over how Jesus had made him see: "The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”

It was hard for the blind man to accept anything less from an all-powerful God.  How could his healing not be from God above? Who else would be able to give him sight?

But the Pharisees still did not understand.  The Pharisees said they did not know where Jesus came from. The man almost laughed and says, "Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes." When the man's parents were asked about his blindness, they replied, "Ask him; he is of age." They could see how their son was healed, but fearful of the Pharisees,  they denied Christ's role in it.

Before Jesus gave the man sight, his disciples asked him why the man was born blind. They assumed that his blindness had been brought on my his or his parents' sins.  But Jesus replied, "It was not that this man has sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."

Jesus knew he would heal that man one day.  He healed (and heals) to show his power.

It's amazing to see the change in the blind man's heart after being healed.  Imagine being blind your whole life and then being able to see all of a sudden.  Not only was he joyful, but he recognized this gift from Jesus. He explains Jesus' healing in a simple, yet wise way.  Jesus gave him the wisdom and courage to speak to the Pharisees as they questioned him.  No one would dare speak out against the Pharisees for fear of being thrown out of the synagogue, but this man boldly proclaimed God's work in him.  The Pharisees eventually kicked him out, even though he spoke the truth plainly.

I love how Jesus seeks the man after hearing that he had been cast out and the blind man is fully able to believe and worship God after he is sought out.  It's a perfect picture of redemption and healing of the body and heart.  Not all will be (physically) healed in this world, but that does not reflect a lack of power or love from God.  We still live in a broken world, yet we are able to take joy in the God of salvation and rest in his promises, when the world gives us nothing.