Scripture: John 9:
1 As he went 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 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
6 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means "Sent"). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Observation: Too much knowing, can lead to not enough seeing.
Application: I borrow the title of today’s entry from one of the lines of a song by Ray Stevens “Everything is Beautiful” – Click for video. The scripture selection is a wonderful miracle of Christ where he did what everyone thought was impossible. He restored the sight of one who had been born blind and God was glorified through it.
The rest of the chapter is about how the people around the restored man struggled to accept it. On par with their normal behavior the religious people had the hardest time dealing with it. The man had been healed outside of the temple, and on a Sabbath when no work (even good work apparently) was supposed to be done. They grumbled about how it was done, and they grumbled about when it was done, and they grumbled about who it was that had done this great work. Rather than rejoicing with the man who could now for the first time in his life see the beauty of God’s creation, they were throwing the ugliness of human pride and religious persecution in his face.
It’s a sad testimony of how we block off the beauty of what God is doing with our own rigid beliefs of how we think God should operate. I wonder what those people would have done with Jesus if they could have made him act the way they wanted Him to. Would they have locked him up somewhere in the temple and collected tribute from those who came to see Him? Would they have only allowed those they deemed worthy to sit at His feet?
The real heart of the problem that the religious structures of the day had with Jesus was the fact that they could not control Him. Here is God walking among the people, and some of the people are upset because He doesn’t act the way they have prescribed that He should act. They say, “This man can’t be of God, look he breaks the Sabbath, he goes against our customs, he has no respect for our authority and heeds not our great knowledge of God. We know the scriptures, and our interpretations of them are THE only true way to understand God. We know God, and this man is not from God!” (I’m not quoting directly here of course, but this is what I see as the heart of what they said and thought.)
Truly I tell you, these men who thought they had it all figured out, who thought that they had God minimized into their own understandings were far more blind than the man who was restored ever had been. The final verses of the chapter sum it up perfectly.
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
41 Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
We should never become so tied down to our own beliefs that we are blind to see how God is working in the world today. The true Spirit of God is alive and well, and He is all around us, whether we accept it or not, and whether we believe it or not, God is moving in our lives. Who are we to tell Him what He should be doing? All we can do is stand back in awe and wonder at His magnificence.
Prayer: God of Glory and Light,
Thank you for your grace and love. Thank you for forgiving me when I fall short of what you want me to be. Grant me the anointing of Your Spirit so that I may accomplish what you have sent me here to do, and let it all be for your Glory for ever and ever.