WORKING HARD TO NOT BELIEVE
March 19, 2023
Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem for His date with the cross. Even with His focus on the cross He still stops and heals a blind man, blind from birth.
In verses 1-12 notice that this whole event starts from a place of disbelief.
Everyone is focused on questioning “why is this man blind” - not on “this blind man needs healing.”
There seems to be great discomfort in this scene to be around this man who could not see - by people who themselves only see in a limited way.
How are we in this day?
In my days as a pastor, and in personal experience of being in the hospital, the discomfort with disease or disability has been highlighted. It is as though some people think they should be separated from the community, when there is disease and disability. We need to ask ourselves: are there people we are uncomfortable with so much that we would separate from them? Even family?
Notice the response to this man’s healing. Questions about the source of the blindness - whose sin was it, his or his parents. Questions about when it was done? On the Sabbath? Did God think there was something wrong with the healing? According to the Pharisaical law, healing was work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. So this healing was not sanctioned.
The Pharisees launched an investigation to track down the answers to these questions that make them uncomfortable. Notice that this investigation arises out of disbelief and discomfort. Is this what we do today, when we demand to know?
Jesus the Healer was accused of being not-from-God because of how He handled the healing.
We seem still in our world to be uncomfortable with healing. It's something we all want, but have trouble accepting or believing. Look around our world:
We can see healing that is needed in every area of life. Are we so uncomfortable ourselves that it keeps us on the sidelines? As an observer and not active in needs of those around us?
We could even begin to justify our actions, or lack of, by comparing the sinner and the righteous one. Trying to find an explanation for our own discomfort.
One of the questions I have in this event on the way to Jerusalem and the Cross, is why does He give sight to the blind, and blindness to the sighted?
It’s a paradoxical situation - God tends to use these to make a point.
Out of this event, it seems that Jesus is the Light by which we have faith and can “see,” spiritually. I believe That Jesus was contrasting the humble man who was blind, but was able to receive healing. The Pharisees were arrogantly, self-righteously , not able to see that Jesus was doing the Father’s will.
To make matters worse, the Pharisees threw the healed man out of the synagogue, believing that they were right. They cut him off from the fellowship, instead celebrating his healing. Sometimes we add pain like this today, instead of having grace.
How do we begin to apply this chapter to ourselves?
We have to ask ourselves if we we have the humility to “see” what God wants for us, and for us to be of service to others.
Give grace to those who are spiritually blind - even if they are arrogant and too proud, God gives them grace, and wants them to “see.”
Follow God’s lead - see the world through God’s eyes, not our own.
Lord God, Our Father:
Open our eyes to what you are showing us, in our world and in ourselves. Help us to walk in the light You provide, and to shine that light on others. For when we walk in the light as He is in the light, we will have fellowship with one another.