He was blind from birth. He couldn’t see the blue skies with soft white clouds or the faces of his mom and dad. People told him his blindness stemmed from sin—either from his parents or his own. His blindness was a dark black cloud that hovered over his entire life.
Shamed for his blindness, this grown man sat alone. Even his parents abandoned him. He was a social misfit. Not even the church opened its doors when he came by. Having been rejected for all his life, he now gave up any hope of “fitting in.” He accepted his blindness as “God’s will” and carried on as best as he could.
But then Jesus came.
“…Rabbi, who committed the sin that caused him to be born blind, this man or his parents?” (Jn 9:2 NET)
“Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him. We must perform the deeds of the one who sent me as long as it is daytime. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn 9:3-5 NET).
Jesus looked down and spat on the ground. He made mud and then smeared some on the blind man’s eyes. The man began to sweat.
“Go wash on up in the Pool of Siloam,” Jesus told him.
So the man left and did as Jesus instructed him. It took him quite a while to make his way to the Pool because of his blindness. He tripped over some rocks and twisted his ankle.
“Ouch!” Is He for real? This is stupid.
He continued onto the Pool. He needed to know if what Jesus promised was for real. So he went on and washed.
Reaching down into the water, he scooped up some water and splashed it against his face. He could taste the saltiness of his sweat. It was hot outside and the coolness of the water felt good. So he dunked his entire body into the Pool. But as he came out, he saw puffy white clouds against a sapphire-blue sky.
The man ran back to tell the town what happened. He explained how Jesus smeared mud on his eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. And how he tripped on the way and tweaked his ankle on a stupid rock. And how he came to the water and washed and saw those big puffy clouds.
So they took the man to go speak with the religious leaders. The man told his story all over again. He told him he washed and now was able to see. That he was no longer blind.
But the leaders didn’t believe his story. So they sent for the man’s parents to verify his identity. His parents came and confirmed this was their son who was blind from birth. The conversation grew heated as the man raised his voice and repeated his story yet again.
Having enough, the leaders dismissed this man’s story. They threw him out of the church. They could not believe in his preposterous claim that Jesus healed him of his blindness.
So the man found himself alone. But this time, he could see those who had turned their faces away from him in disgust. Rejection cut deep.
Just then, he heard footsteps. He turned and saw Jesus.
“…Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
The man replied, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus told him, “You have seen him; he is the one speaking with you” (Jn 9:35-37 NET).
As we reflect on this narrative, we can pause and insert our lives into the story. We, like the blind man, have experienced rejection from others. Some of us have been burned by the church. And all of us have been born spiritually blind without a relationship with Jesus. A dark cloud of sin hangs over our lives. We know things are not right between us and God. We question who is Jesus.
If this describes you, then reflect on Jesus’ question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
And as you think about this question, be comforted in knowing “You have seen him; he is the one speaking with you.”
Scripture and/or notes quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org All rights reserved.