“A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.” John 9.24-34
This poor man! He was blind since birth until Jesus healed him. But now, he’s been cast out of the synagogue for being healed! What a disaster!
So Jesus heals this man, no name given, and then the man is questioned several times by the religious leaders who for the life of them can not wrap their heads around what happened. It’s plain for us who have faith in Jesus to see what he did. He healed the man because he is the Christ, God in the flesh, Messiah. But for those who are “spiritually” blind, they can’t comprehend the miracle.
And so they question him and his parents relentlessly. They ask him to tell and retell his story. The man does a great job of defending himself saying, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.” This man’s life has just been radically transformed and doesn’t really have much chance to celebrate before he’s being grilled, blamed and doubted for being healed.
Yet I imagine that his life can never be the same again anyway. Being kicked out of the synagogue was rough but for one who most likely would follow Jesus, the change was going to happen eventually.
Sometimes there is a price to pay for transformation. The gift of sight brought with it a whole life change. He gained his sight but lost his immediate community. He not only gained physical sight but also spiritual sight as well.
Isn’t it the same for us? The cost of discipleship is often hard. Following Jesus demands a difference but it’s worth it. The healing we receive, the forgiveness of sins, the washing away of the old self is so gratifying and grace-filled yet sacrifices have to be made.
Just as the blind man received sight and gained new life, so shall we when we surrender to Jesus and find salvation in his name. Thanks be to God!
“O Lord God, you are good. I am so blessed that you would save me from my sins. Thank you for the power of the cross and the fullness of your Spirit. I praise you Lord for allowing me to walk in holiness with you and to know you by name. Thank you for writing my name in the Lambs’ Book of Life and for giving me what I could never earn on my own — eternal life. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen