Summary: A blind man who gets sight and insight, and religious leaders who think they understand but are blind! Learn how to cope with the Lord waiting to answer prayers.
Our bodies are an amazing creation. Millions of cells working together in perfect harmony (well, most of the time). We breathe, our hearts beat, our organs function-all with nearly no input or oversight from our conscious brain. One of the senses we take most for granted is our sight. Your eyes are among the most complicated and incredible parts of your body. Did you know that what you see is actually a compilation of images that by themselves make no sense but are processed by the optic nerve (actually a part of the brain that sits behind the eye) and put together into images that make a complete image? Your eyes and brain actually filter out a lot of content that comes in so that we can focus on what we need in order to survive.
We depend on our eyes for so much it is hard to imagine doing without them. If you have ever stubbed your toe in the middle of the night you are just beginning to understand what it would be like to get along without vision. Now I know we have made a lot of accommodations these days and we have blind skiers and blind people doing all kinds of jobs. But a blind person is never going to be a bus driver or air traffic controller (although some experiments have been done that allow people to "see" with other senses).
As important as our eyes are, there is a kind of "sight" that is even more important-the sight of the soul. Seeing with your heart or soul helps you to understand your own condition and to see the right path to survival eternally. Today in John 9 we see two groups and the condition of their "sight" both physically and spiritually. It really parallels what happened in chapter 5. There Jesus met a man who was disabled physically but became abled both physically and spiritually when he opened his heart to Jesus, contrasted with the Pharisees who were physically able but spiritually paralyzed.
Here you have a blind man who meets Jesus and gains sight and insight both physically and spiritually-contrasted with the Pharisees who are so blind spiritually that they stumble around in the darkness and miss Jesus entirely.
1 - 2
As Jesus and his disciples are going along they come across this blind beggar. They must have known him or known about him because they knew it was congenital blindness. It becomes a theological curiosity rather than an opportunity to minister.
The disciples bought into a myth that was derived from Exodus 34:7 "â€¦visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation." Rabbis of the day had also postulated that a person could sin in vitro. Jesus rejects both arguments. (Exodus 34 by the way, says that for those who hate God).
3 - 5
We don’t know how old this person was, but we do know that he was an adult. Doesn’t it strike you as odd that God would allow a person to go through a lifetime’s worth of struggle just to heal him on one particular day? It’s actually not odd at all. For this man, he could have had sight all his life but been blind to Jesus. Two things happen here: a man gets sight both physically and spiritually, and the Lord is glorified.
You might find that you go through very difficult times and sometimes wonder why God would allow the suffering to continue if he really loved you. I’d like to suggest that you can gain some comfort from this story. In your story, God will bring about a great healing if you turn to him. It might not be physically here on this earth, but I promise that it is the most wonderful spiritual healing you could ever want-a healing that will bring you benefits into eternity. But it can also bring God glory as you suffer patiently, even joyfully as the Spirit gives you the power.
Jesus worked now with the shadow of the cross looming over his shoulders. Soon darkness would fall as he allowed men and the enemy to take over, however briefly, to accomplish the ultimate goal of salvation. But while he was there, he was a source of incredible light and healing.
6 - 7
Jesus used a variety of methods of heal people. Why? I have no idea. Some suggest that it was the touch of Jesus’ hands, and the weight of the clay that gave the blind man an idea that something was going to happen-but notice Jesus doesn’t tell him that he’ll be healed, only to go and wash. The Pool of Siloam was quite a distance away so his journey there must have been a real venture in faith!