Reading For Wednesday John 9:1-41
Jesus and the disciples pass by a man that has been blind from birth. The disciples raise a question concerning the relationship between sin and suffering with regard to the man's blindness. Jesus challenges their simplistic correlation between this man's blindness by stating that none of the individuals were the cause of the congenital blindness. Imagine the disciples' surprise when Jesus explained that this man was blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him. Jesus follows with the metaphor of light and darkness. This event would have been connected to the festival of lights, the man's life in darkness, and the blindness caused by religion. Imagine the sensation of the blind man as he hears Jesus spit on the ground and experiences the gritty, warm compress covering his eyes. The man does not cry out in fear or question Jesus' intentions, he obeys and goes to wash as Jesus commanded. As the water washes across his face, something extraordinary happens–he receives his sight! Imagine the joy he experienced as his mind is flooded with accurate imagery for the first time.
The neighbors and those that recognize him were astonished conflicted as to whether or not this was actually that man. Everyone was curious as to how this took place and the man explained to them what Jesus had done. Everyone wanted to know where Jesus was, but the man did not know because the last time he was with Jesus, he could not see. The people brought the man to the Pharisees because they would be the ones to assess what God had done and it was the Sabbath. The Pharisees questioned the man about how he had received his sight, and some declared Jesus to be a sinner since he healed on the Sabbath while others believed that he must be from God in order to do such signs. There was a division and some even believed the man to be a fraud. They called his parents in to verify his claims and to find out what they knew, but out of fear, they told the Pharisees to ask their son because he was of age. They asked the man again, and as he grew weary of their accusations and queries, he told them that he could not judge whether he was a sinner or not but he knew that he had been blind, and now he could see. He finally lost patience and asked them if they wanted to be Jesus' disciples. The Pharisees reviled him as their tone changed completely. A heated exchange broke out until they threw him out. The implications of being excommunicated were severe.
Jesus sought the man out and asked him if he believed in the Son of Man. Shaken by his experience and perhaps eager to try and understand what had taken place more fully, he wanted to know who the Son of Man was. Jesus statement is clear as he not only identifies himself but also reminds him that he is seeing him. The man's response was belief and worship. Jesus revealed that he came for judgment and to enable those that were blind to the truth to receive their sight. Some nearby Pharisees asked if they were blind to which Jesus responded that they lied about their ability to see by not believing in the Son of Man and, therefore, they remained in the guilt.
Things To Consider:
* Is it difficult to accept that this man's suffering was for God's glory? Why or why not?
* What does the man's willingness and obedience indicate?
* How do you cope with people doubting you?
* In what ways do you struggle with being religious?
* How does fear keep you from testifying to the truth?
* How do you respond when people revile you when you try to share your faith?
* Why does belief lead to worship?
* Has religion blinded you to the truth about Jesus? If so, how?
* What will you do?