by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Culture Editor
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” – John 9:3
One of my favorite Bible stories appears in John 9, where Jesus heals a man born blind. Take a moment to read the following:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam"(this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. – John 9:1-8
Every time I read this, I can’t help but wonder what went through the mind of the blind man when he heard Jesus. All his life people have been telling him he’s cursed, that his blindness is punishment for some sin his family committed. Then, in a single moment, Christ turns his world around. Not only does he absolve him of guilt in front of the disciples, he announces that God is going to display his glory through a blind man’s life. Many people read this story and think it’s all about how Jesus healed his sight, but I believe it’s more about how Christ restored his soul.
Too often we Christians are like the Pharisees of old. We look at people, find something in their life that isn’t quite perfect, and make a note of how much they "need God." What we’re really saying is, "Look at how messed up this person is, you know it’s because they’ve turned away from God." Just like the disciples did. If you ever find yourself tempted to think that, beware. While the story of John 9 ends with one man receiving sight, it also ends with some who are still blind.
“Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" "Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him." Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." – John 9:35-39
Intersecting Faith and Life: “The gospel declares that no matter how dutiful or prayerful we are, we can't save ourselves. What Jesus did was sufficient.” ~Brennan Manning