Day 17 (Monday, March 25, 2019)
1 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is
A blind man begging on the side of the road was a familiar sight in ancient Palestine. But this man wasn’t blind because of the dusty roads and disease-laden air. He had been born blind. In answer to the disciples’ question about who was to blame, Jesus responded by pointing to the purpose of this man’s blindness; it was so that God’s power through Jesus to give sight to the blind might be revealed. Here and elsewhere Jesus implies that physical blindness is an outcome of living in a fallen world.
Jesus’ stunning miracle is told simply. It is another occasion when he didn’t look for any expression of faith: he just took the initiative and acted. When the man obeyed Jesus’ instructions, he came back seeing. Imagine how this narrative would be reported today. ‘How did you feel?’ would be the question. But John wants us to focus on Jesus’ action, not the man’s feelings.
As the chapter unfolds, it becomes increasingly apparent that the man had not only been physically blind, he was also spiritually blind. In a conversation with the neighbors (9:8-12) immediately following his healing we get the sense that when he’d gone home everyone was talking at once – some saying it was the blind beggar while others were saying it couldn’t be. ‘How can you see?’ was their question when he affirmed that he was the
Merciful Lord, let your glory shine upon your Church; so that, enlightened by the teaching of your blessed apostle and evangelist Saint John, we may walk in the light of your truth and come at last to the splendor of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, St. John the Evangelist)
Daily Reading Plan
Read John 9:1-23