Sunday 18 January, 2015

John 9:13-41

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 The day Jesus made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath day. 15 So the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied. “Then I washed. And now I can see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “Jesus has not come from God. He does not keep the Sabbath day.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such signs?” So the Pharisees did not agree with one another. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man. “What do you have to say about him?” they asked. “It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 They still did not believe that the man had been blind and now could see. So they sent for his parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered. “And we know he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know how he can now see. And we don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is an adult. He can speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The leaders had already made this decision about Jesus. Anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why the man’s parents said, “He is an adult. Ask him.” 24 Again the Pharisees called the man who had been blind to come to them. “Give glory to God by telling the truth!” they said. “We know that the man who healed you is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “I don’t know if he is a sinner or not. I do know one thing. I was blind, but now I can see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have already told you. But you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28 Then they began to attack him with their words. “You are this fellow’s disciple!” they said. “We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses. But we don’t even know where this fellow comes from.” 30 The man answered, “That is really surprising! You don’t know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does what he wants them to do. 32 Nobody has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man had not come from God, he could do nothing.” 34 Then the Pharisees replied, “When you were born, you were already deep in sin. How dare you talk like that to us!” And they threw him out of the synagogue. 35 Jesus heard that the Pharisees had thrown the man out of the synagogue. When Jesus found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me, so I can believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “I have come into this world to judge it. I have come so that people who are blind will see. I have come so that people who can see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this. They asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you claim you can see, you remain guilty.

A blind man from birth has been healed by Jesus. Rather than amazement, rejoicing & glorifying God, this caused a great commotion amoung the Pharisees, when the man is brought to them. They question the man but can not believe – they send for the parents of the man & still they will not believe what they are seeing and hearing.

So many paradoxes in this passage but the biggest one is physical blindness of the man who now sees Jesus clearly for who he is, with the spiritual blindness of the Pharisees who should be able to see who Jesus is but are completely blinded by their traditions & unbelief. I love the irony of the now seeing blind man who plainly tells the Pharisees that no one could do this miracle but God!

The sad thing is, that it is still the same today, people seem to want God to be real and want to see a miracle so that they will believe but then when they see one, they make all sorts of excuses for not believing .. like the Pharisees, the reality is too confronting.

Lord, may I never get to a place of not believing your work in our lives, regardless of how confronting that may be to me. Help me to never put you in a box so small that my eyes & heart will be blind when you move in astonishing ways.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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