I have never had very good eye sight. Matter of fact, if I were to take out my contacts right now, I wouldn’t be able to read the words that I am currently typing. Without my corrective lenses, things become blurry and almost indistinguishable. Driving without them would be dangerous, reading without them would be almost impossible, and functioning in my every day life would be very difficult. No doubt about it, I am thankful for my contacts.
Here is the thing though, no matter how good or bad your physical sight is, without Jesus you are as blind as a bat to what true life is and how the world is really suppose to look. This week we journeyed into John 9 and met all sorts of blind people – the blind man, the disciples, and the Pharisees.
The Blind Man
This guy has been blind since birth. Living in darkness all of his life. Physically unable to see, he had to beg in order to live. In steps Jesus came, the light of the world, and recreates in this man sight out of the dust of the earth (the same way he created Adam in Gen. 2). Through Jesus, the blind man did not only receive his physical sight back, but he also received his spiritual sight which allowed him to see Jesus for who he was, the Rescuer of the World, the Son of God. Jesus is the one who opens the eyes of people, even people that have sight, to see the beauty of Jesus. All of us were blind at one time – without hope, without God, and without an inheritance – but now because of the person and work of Jesus we can see.
Here is a group of chaps that has been walking with Jesus for some time now. They roll up on this blind beggar and the disciples ask, “who’s fault is it that this guy has to sit here and beg because he is blind”. Jesus, who is the light of the world, answers them from a heavenly and kingdom oriented perspective, ” So that the works of God might be displayed in him.” The disciples confess Jesus as the Messiah and and are willing to follow Jesus wherever he may go but they still are blind to the workings of heaven and the ways of the kingdom at points along the way. This is a scary and hope-filled reality for us. The 12 dudes that are most intimately shaped by Jesus, who probably see him the most clearly, are blind to his ways and his working.
The Pharisees are perplexed by this astonishing act of Jesus towards the blind beggar. They run through their Rolodex of reasons why this healing could not be an act of God, they question the blind man, his parents, and Jesus. They are entirely unsatisfied with all the answers they receive. In the compartments and religious structures they oriented their life around – there was no room for the blind to see and their was no room for this Jesus. The Pharisees were doing the right things in some sense, keeping the law, protecting the holiness of God, His commands, trying to keep a people pure before God, but their sight had become blinded by keeping the law above knowing and following the giver of the law – God. Jesus leaves them with some haunting words , “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind… If you were blind, you would have no guilt, but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” The Pharisees should have seen Jesus, but in this story they are more blind than the blind beggar.
So how do I know if I’m blind? Check back tomorrow to find some key questions to ask.