I Sam 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41
Dave and Steve went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Dave awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Steve, look up and tell me what you see.” Steve replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.” “What does that tell you?” Steve pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologic-ally, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you?” Dave said, “Steve you idiot, someone has stolen our tent.”
Dear Friends! Today’s gospel invites us to focus on our spiritual blindness than the physical blindness. The man born blind receives not only his physical sight but also the spiritual sight by surrendering himself to Jesus as the Lord. Sometimes we are blind to what is going on right in our midst, and in a spiritual sense, we can be blind to what God is doing so well for us like some of the people in today’s gospel story:
What was the reaction of the disciples of Jesus when they saw the blind man? They entered into a theological discussion. The Disciples of Jesus were blinded by judgment. What did the disciples say when they walked up on the man? “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” this was a common belief among the Jews of that day. As a matter of fact, it was widely taught that God punished people right now for their sin. And that punishment came in the form of some sort of sickness or disease. So, for the disciples to ask that question was not out of the ordinary. Jesus is not interested in the round table conference on poverty and sickness. Many people talk more and do less. We see Jesus in action reaching out with compassion and love and restore the sight to the blind man. We can be like the disciples making judgment on others and fail to do something what we can within our limit.
The people around: The Neighbors were blinded by skepticism! What happened when this man returned to the people who knew him? – Some didn’t believe it was him – Others demanded him to tell how this happened. The neighbors and those around were skeptical of what had happened. They remembered this man as being blind and begging at the Temple gate, and now he is up walking around. I am sure some of them wondered for the rest of their lives, “Was he really blind, or has been doing this in order to be a beggar?” How many of us in here this morning struggle with skepticism?
The Pharisees were blinded by their religion! What happened when the Pharisees were confronted with the man who was born blind but now sees? – They debated the fact that the man was blind at all. – They said Jesus must be a sinner because he healed on the Sabbath. You know it is easy to sit back and point the finger at the Pharisees for using their tradition and religion to remain blind to the work of God. However, I contend that the same thing can happen to us. Here is one thing that we have to be sure of, and that the Bible is clear on. No one is going to be saved because of their race or church they attend. The only way that someone is going to be saved is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The church, tradition, culture etc all should lead one towards that relationship with Jesus.
The parents of the blind man: The man’s parents were blinded by fear? When the Pharisees wanted answers they were not getting from the man himself, they called his parents in. How did they respond? Well, they wanted no part of it. Why, because they were afraid. What were they afraid of? Being thrown out of the synagogue. Fear is a crippling agent. Fear keeps up from experiencing the work of God completely. Not only in our personal walks with Jesus Christ, but in our corporate walk with Jesus as well.
Don’t be blinded by fear. The Bible is clear as to the type of fear that we should have. We read in Proverbs, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. When we fear the Lord, we won’t fear anything else and we will step up and step out in faith.
Are we blind too? Well, if our lives are controlled by: Judgment, Skepticism, Religions Pride, and Fear, then we are blind, not physically but spiritually. The central figure in the gospel is the man born blind. He was in darkness and received the light of Christ. Let us pray that Jesus our Savior cure our spiritual blindness that we may see as He sees us.