Text – John 9:1-41:
9:1 As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.
This whole healing story is quite lengthy, however the story is well-developed and contains six scenes: 1) the disciples discuss the man’s blindness and Jesus heals him, then leaves, 2) the now-healed blind man disturbs his friends and family, 3) the poor man is hauled before the religious authorities because he was healed on the sabbath, 4) the authorities quiz his parents, 5) the authorities again interrogate the blind man, and 6) Jesus returns to encourage the blind man and confront the religious authorities.
There are some important principles revealed in this story. The first is that blindness has more than one form. In this story, it is the religious leaders who were really blind. Blind to truth. Blind to God’s work.
The second is that is a subtle look at what happens in the between times of the blind man’s contact with Jesus. First there was the healing. Seeing the physical world for the first time. And at the last there is the return of Jesus, the reassurance regarding what had happened to him, and the exposing of the religious leaders who were truly blind.
Lent is a kind of healing when it’s full possibilities are explored – examining our own blindness and then letting the full truth of the gospel explode our darkness into light. Lent is facing up to our darkness. Meditating on it. And then the blessed opening up of our lives to Christ.
On this day there are twelve more days in Lent, then Easter. A day of sight. A day of luminous brightness.
God of sight and awareness. Please be with us today by helping us see what is around us and what is before us. Give us divine sensitivity and responsiveness. Help us to avoid the blindness that slowly obstructs the light. May we see evidence of you all around us and walk in your company. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.