24 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 worshipper 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.
John Wants Us To See
I thought N. T. Wright’s words were powerful as I read them on the train this morning. I decided to just pass them on:
John wants us to see … and that is of course what the passage is all about. It isn’t just about a man who is born blind who can now see; it is John’s readers, who are being led towards the light which is Jesus himself (9.5; 1.4-5). As throughout the gospel, we are meant to look at what Jesus is doing and draw the correct conclusion about the presence of God with and in him. It may be surprising; it may upset some cherished assumptions; it may even be shocking. But when blind eyes are being opened there is only one conclusion to be drawn. Just as Moses shocked the magicians of Egypt by doing things they couldn’t copy (Exodus 8.18-19), Jesus is now shocking the world of his day by doing things for which the only explanation is that God is powerfully at work. This prepares the way, as did Moses, for the great new Exodus, and indeed the great new Genesis, the new creation in which God’s people will be set free not only from blindness but from evil and death.
Being a Christian is often confusing. People try to interpret your experience for you, to put you in this category or that category, to label you. Often this is so that they needn’t take you quite seriously. What you must do is stick to what you know. ‘I used to be blind; now I can see.’ It may be costly, but paying that cost is better than the still more costly route of denying what, in Jesus, God truly has done for you.
My physical sight is having issues at the moment, Jesus. I pray that you would heal that. However, more importantly, I pray that our spiritual sight would be sharpened. May you come more clearly into focus as being who you have claimed to be.
- Why did the Pharisees call the man back?
- How do you think the man felt?
- Who ‘won’ the argument? Why?
- What has God done for you?
- Who else knows these things apart from you?