A long time ago, on a Sabbath day, a man blind from birth stumbles, shackled in a prison of darkness. Jesus of Nazareth finds him, spits on the ground, creates mud and puts it on his eyes. “Go”, Christ says, “wash in the Pool of Siloam”.
The blind man followed Christ’s instructions and on his way home something wonderful happened. No longer did he stumble, but now he was sure of his footsteps, in total awe and wonder at the colors of the world around him. For the very first time he can see the blue sky, the golden light of the sun, the faces of his parents, his very own face. His neighbors are perplexed, unsure if he is the same man who was blind from birth.
He boldly acknowledges, “I am the man”.
The neighbors brought him to the rulers of the synagogue, who immediately judged that whoever healed the blind man on the Sabbath was a sinner.
The Pharisees commanded: “Give God the glory by telling the truth. We know this man is a sinner.” John 9:24 NIV
Disregarding their command, he counters the Pharisees with a gripping response: “Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:25 NIV
With hearts of stone, the Pharisees ask him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” John 9:26 NIV
Without fear of being disrespectful, the man who was blind replies “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?” John 9:27 NIV
The Pharisees hurled insults at the man and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” John 9:28 NIV
With the force of logic, he answers the religious authorities: “This is an amazing thing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he healed my eyes. We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he does listen to anyone who worships him and does his will. Ever since creation it has never been heard that anyone healed the eyes of a man who was born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything like that.” John 9:30-33 ISV
In anger, the Pharisees retorted, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.” John 9:34, NIV
For many at that time, to be thrown out of the synagogue would have meant a lifetime of tragedy and shame.
Not this man. Acceptance into religious and social circles was no longer important to him. For years since birth he had been an invalid, but now, with the gift of sight, he has come to gain an inner power, a new perspective, a reversal of values. A new life.
Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, “I am the Light of the world. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12 KJ21
D. G. Vachal © 2015
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, “The Healed Blind Man Tells His Story to the Jews” by James Tissot (1836-1902). This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.