Truly seeing . . .


John 9 tells the wonderful story of Jesus giving a man his sight. It wasn’t restored because the man had been blind from birth. He was given sight for the first time. That’s cause for celebration! Yet that is not what happened. And it becomes the backdrop to a larger conversation about seeing. 

The disciples didn’t see. They were blinded by the teaching that someone’s sin was responsible for the man being born blind.

The Pharisees didn’t see. They had a genuine desire to honor God and tried to show it by going beyond the Law. In their zeal to please God they were blind to the value of people.

The only one who truly saw was the one whose physical sight had been restored. He knew something substantial had happened that was beyond his sight being restored. He knew someone significant was on the scene because “No one has ever heard of a healing of the eyes of someone born blind. If this man wasn’t from God, he couldn’t do this.” I think part of what allowed him to see more deeply was his desire to see and his willingness to act on what he saw. When Jesus asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” he replied, “Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him.” He had the humility to admit what he didn’t know and to act on the truth when he heard it. It stands in stark contrast to the Pharisees who were blinded by their insistence that they were the ones who saw.

How am I blind? What are the ways I get lost in minor points I hold to and miss the greater good? Am I defensive about my positions or do I have the humility of the man born blind?