Healing of a man born blind – Part 1

The healing by Jesus and his neighbors astonished reaction. Who sinned? The disciples are trying to piece this together. John devotes the entire chapter to this story, so we’ll take three days to look at it. This is part 1 of 3.

John 9:1-12

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One Reply to “Healing of a man born blind – Part 1”

  1. There are at least three things that I’m hearing from this passage today,

    1. Neither this man nor his parents sinned (to cause his blindness).
    2. Night is coming, when no one can work.
    3. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

    Neither this man nor his parents sinned (to cause his blindness).

    Many thought that sin manifests itself in physical infirmities, not only then, but today. Those who are less fortunate can easily be convinced that they are paying the price for sins of their parents, but Jesus stops this argument completely. How do we deal with Exodus 34:6-7 then?

    The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation. Exodus 34:6-7

    I love that this quote begins with showing God as compassionate, slow to anger, yet ends with punishing the guilty even to the 3rd and 4th generations. Jesus quickly diverts the attention from the Mosaic law to the present case. It was not sin that caused this man’s blindness, but the providential works of God that will be done at this moment and for this specific purpose.

    In John’s Gospel account (remember we’re still a long way from Jesus’ arrest), he is showing that Jesus IS the Light of the world, he IS the “I am!” (John 8:58). Once again he supports the words with actions and does what must be done. “We must do the works of him who sent me.” The use of the word “we” in this case must have had a huge impact on the disciples, I know it would for me. To be considered an integral part of Jesus’ ministry is powerful motivation.

    Night is coming, when no one can work.

    Life and death, day and night. Our time on earth in this present form is fleeting, it is a vapor, a mist. We watch our children grow from toddler to college graduate in the wink of an eye, not able to hold any moment for more than just and instant. We must do the work prescribed today, it cannot wait until some other time. This isn’t a call to workaholics, it just means the procrastinators pledge is not something we can ascribe to. Let’s get to work, patiently, methodically, constantly moving forward. This is our time and it is limited. Night is coming.

    Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

    To be a man blind from birth in those days had many difficult implications, most importantly, he couldn’t support himself or family, instead, he became a burden from birth. That he is now “a man” we come to understand that there are many years that have transpired. He’s become a fixture on the begging steps that everyone recognized in that location, but now this man stands before them. Certainly he doesn’t look like the man they remember. I can’t even imagine the thrill of seeing for the first time, but I can imagine his face was no longer downcast or burdened. His eyes lit up and the joy, the wonder of soaking in all he can see transformed him from a man down on his luck to a lottery winner on steroids (whatever that means)! He doesn’t even look like the same man!

    And so it should be for those of us who proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We must not look like the beggar on the street, we must put on the face of Christ and greet the world with a new vigor, a contagious appeal to come and see what Christ has to offer. Lord help us to throw off the old self, to do the works you have called us to do.


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