So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him,“Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. – John 9:24-41
Have you ever met a person who knows so much that he knows nothing at all? He has answers to questions no one is asking. She is able to correct any slight deviance from what is most certainly true. His eyes and ears are closed to any new ideas. Her world works just as she supposes it to…no exceptions.
It’s that whole paradigm thing. We are prisoners of our paradigms – our beliefs about the way things are and how they work. In the case of the Pharisees who encounter this man born blind but now healed, we see this so very clearly. They know – or so they think – that Jesus could not have healed the man. So if the man they see before them is now able to see, it must not be him. And if he offers the lame-to-them explanation of how his sight was restored by Jesus’ act of making mud and putting it on his eyes so that he would go wash in the pool of Siloam, they reject it out of hand. This simply can not be.
But this is the man. And Jesus did make mud, and command him to wash, and he did and he came back seeing. He was born blind. It wasn’t his fault; he did not sin, nor did his parents. He was born blind so that the glory of God might be revealed.
God’s glory is revealed in Jesus in at least three ways.
- He heals a blind man in this miraculous manner: mud on the eyes, washing in the pool of Siloam, seeing.
- An uneducated man confounds the Pharisees (drawing that inference from the fact that he was blind and therefore unable to go to school or to be in any kind of formal educational process).
- The blind man is brought to faith – this being the most wonderful miracle of all, and one which we who call Jesus Lord have experienced.
This story is a delightful plot-twisting narrative. You and I might find ourselves somewhere in the plot. In the end the hero is Jesus and his glory is seen in the healing, and his grace is for you.