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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Jesus and the Blind Man

I love the story of Jesus and the blind man in John 9!  I think it is full of meaning.  I never noticed this before, but perhaps there is significance to the location of this story in John’s Gospel.  This episode follows the claim that Jesus is the light of the world (8:12) which was made during Jesus’ visit to Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths (7:2, 14).  There is a note below the biblical text in my Bible that reads, “Great golden lamps in the Temple court were lit during the festival of Booths.”  So, isn’t this cool?  Jesus is strolling along in the Temple court, the conversation turns, perhaps, to the beautiful torches that are burning there,  Jesus sees a teachable moment and makes the bold claim that he is the light of the world, and then soon after, he illustrates it by bringing light into a man’s life, a man who had been blind from birth.  Ah, Jesus the master teacher!

But, these thoughts are not the real reason I am moved to post something today.  The real reason is found in today’s meditation from Jn. 9:8-12 where the once-blind-now-seeing man causes quite a stir among his neighbors and friends who thought he looked very much like the blind beggar they used to pass on the way to wherever they were going.  “He can’t be the same person,” they are thinking.  “I am!!!” he insists.  “Tell us, then, how you are now able to see.”  “This man made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me to go to Siloam and wash my face.  Then I went and washed and received my sight.”

I don’t want to take anything away from Jesus’ power which was revealed in this story.  Once again, he is the hero of the story.  But, John seems to focus more upon the development of the blind man’s faith in this episode than he does upon the miracle itself.  Could it be that here is a lesson in how faith grows and develops?  Could it be that John’s aim and hope is that this kind of faith will be developed in the readers of his Gospel?  What I see in today’s reading is that faith sprouts from or begins with a simple act of obedience.  “Then I went and washed and received my sight.”  The man did what Jesus told him to do.  Not only do good things happen when people do what Jesus tells them to do, but this is how faith grows.  I do what Jesus commands, I see the benefits of obeying him — how this changes my life –, and my faith and trust in him grows.  Today, I am recommitting myself to obeying Jesus each day.

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