Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Then He told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. (Luke 7:22)
Jesus went through towns and villages, and preached the Word of God. He truly comforted the hearts of the hearers, and those who heard His message tasted Heaven even on earth. John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus. The disciples of John asked Jesus,
“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’” (Luke 7:20b)
Then He told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.” (Luke 7:22-23)
Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and He restored sight to those who were blind. Jesus was the healer and the preacher of the Good News to the poor and those were suffering so that they have the hope and the riches of the God’s kingdom.
As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man who had been blind from birth. The disciples saw the blind man with Jesus. For years, they saw Jesus’ miracles, healings, blessings and comforts that Jesus gave to the people. They learned many things from Jesus, but they hearts were not fully open to the truth and the mercy and the love of God. They were still of the world, because they were still work-in-progress under Jesus. One part of their hearts was with Jesus, but the other part still followed the worldly teachings and wisdoms that they received before meeting Jesus. As a result, they were still thinking like the people who did not know Jesus, and used the wisdom of the world to discern the cause of the blindness of the man. In some sense, what they reflect what we often do. We still think like those who don’t know Jesus and get to a conclusion using the wisdom of the world. Of course, the disciples were not perfect and we are not either. We are learning Jesus, but we are still of the world, which is the fact as long as we are on this world. Thus, sometimes we think and judge like those who do not know Jesus, as the disciples did. The amazing fact is that the disciples were with Jesus, which did not make little difference in their hearts and minds. Here is the question that was raised to Jesus by the disciples.
“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (John 9:2)
The initial reaction of the disciples to the blind man from his birth was to figure out why he was blind. As the disciples of Jesus, they should have showed a compassion, mercy and love toward him. In fact, in their hearts, they thought, “Here is a blind man. He must have done something wrong. We must be more righteous than the blind man because we are not blind. Wait a minute. It is something odd. He has been blind from his birth. Hmmm. He could not have sinned before he was born, but he was born as blind. His blindness must have come from sins, and if he could not have sinned, then where did the sins come from? The next person who can impact on his blindness is, then, his parents. If so, the blindness should have been caused by the parents’ sins. However, we are not sure whether his parents’ sins can really cause his blindness or not. It is a hard problem. We cannot find a clear answer. We put together all our knowledge and wisdom, but we cannot tell. Ok. Let’s ask Jesus. Before getting Jesus, let’s summarize. There are only two reasons why he is blind:
1. His own sins have made him blind -- it is less likely that he has actually sinned before birth.
2. His parents’ sins have caused him blind – we are not sure through whether parents sins really made him blind or not.
They decided to present the two choices as above. Then Jesus would pick one of and
Upon hearing the disciples’ question, Jesus did not hesitate even one moment before responding to them. However, Jesus’ response was not what the disciples expected. His focus was the misery and suffering of the blind person and God (especially, God’s plan in the person.
How many times do we do the same thing? When a person suffers from sickness, financial hardship, or broken relationships. What’s the first thought popping up in our heats or minds? Do we see the person’s sufferings with the loving eyes of Jesus? Our eyes are quick to judge and label the person suffering with sins. Then we think we are more righteous before God because we are not suffering like the person. In reality, it is not. Judging others through our own eyes is an even bigger sin. The Bible warns us:
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. (Matthew 7:1-2)
Yes, we are not much different from those who are suffering. We are doing the same things bad before God. But God has spared us with His love. This is the only reason why we are not suffering or sick. His love and mercy trump over everything in our lives including our sins. As long as we humbly come back to God, and confess our sins, God forgives us all. This is the reason why we give thanks to God, and we praise His name. Let’s go back to the today’s Bible verses, and see how Jesus responded to the disciples’ question.
Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)
Jesus quickly homed into the very center of their reasoning, and explained. The man’s blindness was, on the contrary, not caused by the sins of either himself or his parents. The real reason was to display the works of God in him. Have we thought about all sufferings of others in this way as Jesus explained? If not, now is the time to change our hearts and minds by sifting our focus on God, and to look at the person with the loving eyes of Jesus. If not, we are the judge of the person. Remember that we are not the judge to the person, but God. If we judge, then we effectively dethrone our God from the center of our heart and put ourselves above the God. The Bible tells:
No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8)
We do the right in the eyes of God with love and mercy toward others as God did to us. Then walk humbly with our God to continue hearing His will and understand what He wants from us. Where are we? Are we humbly walking with God while loving others with the mercy that was given to us? Or still are we living like those who belong to this world?
We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5)
Yes, we must work the works of God. This means that whenever there is an opportunity, we show our love and mercy to others as we received His love and mercy from God. We walk with Jesus throughout our lives, who is the light, while reflecting the light of Jesus to the people in the darkening world. Yes, we are not the light, but He is the light. In Him and through Him, we can be a light for Him, when we humbly walk with God sharing His love and mercy with others, especially those who are suffering.
Jesus, who was merciful and full of compassion, spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him,
“Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). (John 9:8p)
Jesus loved the blind man, while the disciples were discussing whose sins made him blind. Jesus cured the blind man, while the disciples wanted to be theologically right before Jesus. What the blind man needed was healing and love. Jesus lovingly told him to go and wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. Jesus could have cured him at the very place, but Jesus didn’t. Why? The blind man should have not remained where he used to be. Instead, he had to go to the place where he could wash his eyes and be cleansed. The blind man followed what was told. He left his place although he could not see because he was blind, but he believed. Then he went, and washed. He came back seeing! The miserable blindness in him was gone forever.
What’s the message that we get from the blind man and Jesus’ miracle of curing his blindness? First, we have to listen to Jesus, and believe Him. Then as Jesus tells, we go away from the old-self, which is always our center of love of our own while judging others from there (i.e., our own standards). This is the place that we should not stay any longer. As soon as hearing Him, we immediately leave this miserable old-self. Then we come to Jesus and wash ourselves by the blood of Jesus t be renewed in Him.
What does mean being washed by the blood of Jesus? We confess our sins before Jesus, and receive His forgiveness, which was purchased by the blood of Jesus on the cross. That is, Jesus was sacrificed for our sins on the cross although He was no sin at all. Washing our hearts in the blood of Jesus is not onetime event for one’s life either. We have to wash our hearts in His blood as often as possible because we always get contaminated by the world. The world tenaciously clings to us so tightly, and If there is even a slightest glimpse of our own old-self, then Satan quickly wedges into our hearts in order to make us his prey falling from the grace of Jesus. Of course, later we realize our fall being deceived by Satan and our own old-self full of ego. Then we have to remember the most important fact that even when we fall again and again, Jesus is always waiting us with wide open arms to embrace us with His love. When we reach out to Jesus and grab His hands with our repenting hearts, Jesus lovingly embrace us and restore us. This is the love of Jesus, and the love is so strong that nothing can separate us from His love, whether it is something that we know and fear, or we even cannot know now and till the days that we will see Jesus face to face. What an assurance! Thus, we have confidence in Him in every situation and anytime. This is our hope and our faith in Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord! We heartfully present the song of our heart to Him so that His name be glorified from now and forevermore.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)