Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Healing a Blind Man

John 9:1-23

“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:1-5)

Seeing the blind man, the disciples made the same assumption most people make, that it must have been punishment for something he or his parents had done.  It is the same assumption made by Job’s friends when he was being tested.  Such assumptions hurt a lot of people.    Jesus said that the blindness was not the result of either one’s sin, but that God had allowed it so that they could see God’s power in the man’s life.  By healing him Jesus would be showing god’s power to the world, so that people could believe on him and receive salvation.   While Jesus was alive he was the light of the world, but after his death, he would not be able to do those things, and it would be up to his disciples to portray him to the world. 

In Job’s case, God was revealing himself more fully to Job, helping him to understand it was God’s mercy rather than Job’s goodness that had given him so much, but in the process, Job’s friends got a new understanding of God’s working.  If the problem is God’s judgment for something the person has done, we don’t usually need to tell them.  For example liver cirrhosis as a result of alcoholism or drug addiction, AIDS as a result of a promiscuous lifestyle , a mate leaving as a result of one’s unfaithfulness, or bankruptcy as a result of materialistic greed are fairly obvious, as they are directly related to what one has done.  Frequently the connection is less obvious but if it is God’s judgment, they still know why they are experiencing the problem, though they may deny it.  A woman who was unable to get a certain job because of certain legal constraints accused me of believing it was because she walked out on her husband, even though I hadn’t been aware she was having the problem.  Apparently God was causing her conscience to bother her. 

Frequently, like the blind man, or Jo, people go through problems to draw them or others closer to God, or simply because those things are a natural part of life.  Because we do not know what God’s purpose is, we are not to judge them.  Job’s friends were rebuked by God for what their blasphemy against God and Job.  . 

“When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” (John 9:6-7)
It is interesting that this time, Jesus spat on the ground and rubbed the resultant mud on the man’s eyes then told the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam.  Other times he touched a blind person’s eyes or just spoke.  It makes it very clear that God does not always do things exactly the same way, but uses various things, as he sees fit. 

I Corinthians 12:4-11 states, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”  Just because a person has a different experience or way of doing things does not mean he is wrong. 

“The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?  Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.  Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.  Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.” (John 9:8-12)

The people who knew the man were amazed.  Some thought it must be somebody who just looked like him and others were sure it was him and wanted to know what had happened.  He explained what Jesus had done and his command to go wash and that when he did so, his eyes worked.   He didn’t know where Jesus might have gone while he went to the pool to wash. 

“They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.  And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.  Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.  Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.” (John 9:13-16)

Under the law, a person who was healed was to go to the priests and offer a sacrifice to God.   Hillel’s school of Pharisees required they be brought to the Pharisees instead so they could decide whether it was from God or not and what the person needed to do.  The man explained what Jesus had done ot the Pharisees.  Some of them stated that since he had done it on the Sabbath day Jesus could not be from God, while others questioned how anyone who was not from god could do it at all.  It caused serious conflict.    

”They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes?

He said, He is a prophet.

But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. Joh 9:19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?

His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.  These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.  Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.” (John 9:17-23)

The former blind man was convinced Jesus was a prophet.  Unwilling to acknowledge that he was or might be, the Pharisees attempted to discredit the miracle, refusing to believe the people,  His parents confirmed that it was their son and that he had been blind from birth but they had no idea how he had been healed except what he said.   Knowing that the Pharisees had threatened to excommunicate anyone who said they believed Jesus was the Messiah, they told the Pharisees they’d have to ask the man.  It is amazing how far some people will go to try to force others to accept their opinion regardless of the evidence tot eh contrary. 

1 comment:

  1. Praise God that we cannot put Him in a box! As you so well stated, He does things in different ways depending on how He sees fit. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, and we should not question Him, but be thankful for His mercy, love and grace.
    Thanks for the great post & God bless,