SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- The disciples see the man who was blind from birth and ask Jesus a strange question: “who sinned… that he was born blind?” Back in that culture people thought if someone was sick, it must be punishment by God for some sin. Jesus does not agree, and says this man was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in his life.
- Jesus rubs dirt and his spit on the guy's eyes to heal him. In other places Jesus heals by touching, or even just by speaking. Why the difference? We don't know, but perhaps he healed in different ways so people would realize that it wasn't about the "method" of healing, but about the power of the person (Jesus) doing the healing.
- Instead of being able to enjoy his healing and new life, the formerly blind man is grilled with questions. While the Pharisees treat the man harshly, Jesus gives him an invitation. And the man comes to put his trust in Jesus, calls him his master (Lord) and worships him.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- The Pharisees and the blind man both encounter Jesus but react very differently. The Pharisees claim they are without sin and reject Jesus because they have no need for him. The blind man knows he needs Jesus, receives miraculous healing, and worships him. These differing reactions originate with their differing beliefs about themselves. Though the Pharisees needed Jesus they didn’t think so. Perhaps Jesus was drawn to the poor, disenfranchised and the sick because people in these conditions realize their need. But people who are financially secure, culturally accepted and physically healthy typically believe they have all their needs met. When we are blessed in this way we should watch out for our faith, lest we become spiritually blind like the Pharisees.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Think about the "blessings" you have - like the fact that you live in the richest country in the history of the world, your health, your friends. In what ways can those "blessings" keep you from feeling a need for God? In what ways might they be keeping you from seeking God and getting close to him everyday? What do you need to do about that?