So that those who see might become blind

March 10, 2014

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am taking the good news today from John 9:35-41, the end of the story of the blind man.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshipped him. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.”

Here we have the essence of our belief in Jesus, both man and God. The blind man had recognized that Jesus was from God, that he could not otherwise have performed such a miracle. However, his belief was not full or complete. It’s interesting that Jesus sought out the blind man, knowing this his faith was lacking the fullness of revelation and confession. It was this encounter with Jesus that he came to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of Man, because that is what Jesus professed. The blind man’s eyes had been opened so that he was able to see the truth, the reality of God among His people. So, he made a simple declaration of faith, “I do believe, Lord.” And he worshipped Jesus, significant in that only God was deserving of worship. As John Shelby Spong in The Fourth Gospel writes, “Since worship was reserved for God alone, the author of this gospel was asserting that God had been met, had been engaged and was indeed present in the life of this Jesus.”

Francis Moloney in The Gospel of John states, “The supreme revelation of God will take place when the believer looks upon the Son of Man….[Jesus] is the one who makes God known.” That has been the consequence for me in reading the gospels. It has only been by coming to know the man Jesus that I have come to know God, not as a distant creator of the universe but as my loving Father and Mother who is present in me and active in my life. I have been made blind in a way, freed from my arrogant attitude that I am in control. My eyes have been opened to a whole new way of seeing what God desires for me and for all of us so that we may live in HIs kingdom. Barclay puts in this way, “Only the man who realizes his own weakness can become strong, Only the man who realizes his own blindness can learn to see. Only the man who realizes his own sin can be forgiven.” That’s what Jesus was trying to get the Pharisees to understand, but their sin remained. Spong writes, “That [to have a closed mind] is to pretend to be seeing when in fact one is still blind….That is to refuse to step into the new life being offered, the new consciousness that invites the world into a new and unlimited understanding of what life is all about. That is to step beyond human limits into the universal consciousness that Jesus opens for all to see and to enter.”

I pray that I may always question so that my eyes will continue to be opened, opened to the new life that is offered to me every day, to a universal consciousness.

Mike
mmaude@develop-net.com

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