Devotions on John 9:1-41–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
February 5-11, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him’” (John 9:3).
Henry was at a difficult point in his life—a crossroads of sorts. The decisions that he faced were forcing him to reevaluate the priorities of his life. He also found himself asking the question, “Why?” “Why did his heart beat and he take up space on the earth?” “Why was he given the talents, desires and ambitions that he had?” We all come to this point in our lives at one time or another.
It was commonly believed, during the time of Jesus, that bad things happened to bad people and good things happened to go people. In his conversation with his disciples, Jesus wanted to dispel this view of life. He provided a more profound insight into human life to replace it. Jesus informed his disciples (and the readers of this gospel) that the man’s situation in life happened so that God’s works might be revealed in him. Is this not true for all of us? We live today so that God’s works—God’s love and grace—might be revealed not only to us, but to everyone around us.
Shine, Jesus, shine so that all can see! Amen.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
“As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world” (John 9:5).
Jesus certainly was the light as he lived among us. With the light of his love, he showed us the value of caring for others, the injustice of marginalizing people, the fallacy of judging groups of people and the emptiness of religious ritual. As the light of the world, Jesus showed us who we are and what God created us to be.
As followers of Jesus, our lights may not be as bright as Jesus’, but they still shine and pierce the darkness that surround us. Our words can bring light and life. Our actions can offer comfort, strength, hope and encouragement. Wherever we go and whatever we say and do light shines and weakens the power of the darkness around us. It is night and we wait for the bright light of the sun. Yet, as stars, we shine as brightly as we can and together we make a beautiful night sky.
Shine through us, Lord, so that our words and deeds may pierce the darkness that surrounds us and bring life and hope to all whom we encounter. Amen.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
“Then he went and washed and came back able to see” (John 9:7).
Lamar dumped the contents out from the box marked, “Some assembly required.” Ripping open the envelope that contained a bunch of screws, he began to attach parts to other parts—purposely ignoring the crumpled instruction sheet that was included in the box. Soon he was at an impasse. He couldn’t put anything else together, but he was far from finishing the project. With a sigh, Lamar turned to the instruction sheet and began to read it.
The blind man might have thought that Jesus’ instructions to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam were odd—perhaps even ridiculous, but he obeyed. When he returned, he could see. We do not need to be bound to the law to realize that it provides us with a good set of life guidelines. It is more fulfilling serving others than stealing and using all of our energy for our own benefit. Forgiveness is freeing and immensely better than the feeling of revenge or the regrets of gossip. Contentment and thankfulness enrich life and remove the rancor of envy and coveting. It is worth exploring obedience as a path toward freedom and new life.
When you speak, Lord, grant us both the will and the ability to obey. Amen.
Thursday, February 8, 2018–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
“’One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see’” (John 9:25).
The Pharisees, Sadducees and other religious officials were frustrated. They were confronted by an apparent miracle, which was at odds with their religious beliefs and political aspirations. Rather than question their beliefs and change their politics, they attempted to disprove the miracle. Their tactic to do this was to force the man, who was once blind, to admit that it was a trick and that Jesus was a charlatan. The man refused to play their game. Instead he simply bore witness to what had happened. He had been blind, but now he could see.
In our daily lives, we meet people who do not agree with the fact that we are followers of Jesus. They want to argue theology and dispute various religious practices. Our intelligence is questioned by others because we believe in God. They shake their heads over the fact that we get up early Sunday morning to worship (when we could sleep in) and we give away ten percent of our income to help the poor and needy, when we could keep it for ourselves.
To argue is fruitless. All we can do is to tell the story of our lives—what Jesus has done and how we have responded to God’s steadfast love and overwhelming grace. We do this while patiently loving even our harshest critics and while praying that the light of the world might one day pierce the darkness of their lives.
Lord, grant that the witness of our lives may be authentic and true and might be used by the Holy Spirit to draw others to faith in you. Amen.
Friday, February 9, 2018–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
“’You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he’” (John 9:38).
The man had not seen a glimmer of light—nothing—only darkness. A man then touched his eyes with mud and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. He obeyed and, when he opened his eyes, he saw light and he saw Jesus. We can only imagine the thoughts and the amazement that flashed through his mind. Though we might have become accustomed to the light, we do know what it’s like suddenly to see Jesus.
Gene walked through the front side door of his home and was immediately engulfed in hugs by his two daughters. “Welcome home, Daddy!” they cried in unison. After a stressful and discouraging day at work, Gene saw Jesus. Juanita had journeyed along the long, dark path of recovery. There were times when the darkness was so thick she did not know how she could take her next step. One day she saw a glimmer of light in the distance, and though it was short lived, still it gave her hope. As she drew closer to the light, she realized that it was Jesus.
The darkness of life not only surrounds us, but it presses in upon us. In the midst of that darkness there is a flicker, a shimmer of light. We realize that it is Jesus. He is with us and the darkness no longer has any power over us.
Lord, as we walk through life, open our eyes and help us to see you—our Lord and our Savior. Amen.
Saturday, February 10, 2018–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
“He said, ‘Lord I believe, and he worshiped him.’” (John 9:38).
Beliefs alter how we live. When Gayle moved to New York, she avoided riding the subway. She believed that it was filled with drug addicts, pick pockets and terrorists. One day, however, she was forced to ride it. She did so clutching her purse to her chest and her eyes searching the crowd for any possible threat. She was amazed at the nonchalance of the other riders. After living in New York for several year and riding the subway frequently, Gayle has changed her beliefs, though still vigilant, she now views the subway as an efficient and economical method of transportation.
The man who was once blind believed—that Jesus was the Messiah (Son of Man)—the one who would lead him out of darkness into the light. His knowledge of Jesus was incomplete, but that did not hinder his belief from transforming his life. The man’s belief led him to worship Jesus. He honored and glorified God through his words and deeds. In a similar manner, our belief in Jesus has changed our lives and has inspired us to worship and praise.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith. May it always inspire us to worship you through our words and actions. Amen.
Sunday, February 11, 2018–Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
“I came into the world for judgment so that those who do not see may see and those who do see may become blind” (John 9:39).
Anytime we see the word “judgment” in the Bible, our thoughts turn to a judgment day where people are condemned to hell or admitted into heaven. This is not the type of judgment to which Jesus is referring.
We have met the people—perhaps we’re some of them—who say, “I see, I know, now don’t confuse me with the facts.” These people who claim to see will eventually realize that they are blind and that their blindness has allowed them to wander far away from Jesus. Such knowledge brings with it the invitation for confession, repentance and the gift of sight.
Jesus bursts into our lives to bring light into our lives and sight to our eyes. Like the man born blinded, we are invited to open our eyes and behold the glory of God, the wonder of life and the needs of our neighbors. With the gift of sight comes new life.
Forgive us, Lord, when we claim to see, but remain blind. Open our eyes so that we may see what you see and live as you would have us live. Amen.