I don’t remember if I told the story of the day that we found out that Clay was blind. I already knew this as his mother, but we had to make it ‘official’ by taking him to an opthamologist in Houston. And even though I knew that he couldn’t see, the news was still devastating to me when she spoke. Her words seemed to make it so very final.
Once I got home, I called my Sunday School teacher and told her about Clay. She said that earlier that morning she was teaching a bible study class on John 9. This is the story about the disciples seeing a man blind from birth, and asking Jesus, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”. Jesus replied, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
Wow. Can you imagine the comfort that I felt at that moment? No, it didn’t change the fact that my child would never see my face, nor did it change the fact that this was just one more problem that he had in his life. But it did give me a peace that only Christ can give through His Word. I knew that we were going to be just fine.
When I was looking at the passage again today, I found a scripture that seemed to leap off the page at me! But let me back up a bit.
Jesus spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam”, is what he told this man and he came back seeing. The people were amazed! They asked him how his eyes were opened and he told them, “The man they call Jesus put mud on my eyes, told me to wash and I did, and now I see!” The people then brought him to the Pharisees, who were angry because Jesus had performed a miracle on the Sabbath. So here he has the leaders of the church grilling him so they bring in his parents. His parents feared that they would be excommunicated from the church so they told the Pharisees that their son was old enough to speak for himself. (yeah, thanks for your support, mom and dad)
The once blind man told the Pharisees, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” What is troubling here is that no one is rejoicing over the miracle! But here is where I like the formerly blind guys story…
After they kept hurling insults and abusing him, they began to exclaim that he was Jesus’s disciple and that they were disciples of Moses. So (here is where he gives a little sarcasm! You go, blind dude!) ..the man answers..”YOU men are the rulers in Israel…YOU are the teachers of the Jewish people…and there is a man in your midst that opened a blind mans eyes and YOU don’t know who he is?” OH….this got their tunics in a wad…..and with that, they threw him out of the church.
This whole situation started when the disciples wanted to know about this mans condition. Sadly, they did not look upon the man as an object of mercy, but more of a riddle to be solved. And when Jesus responds, he doesn’t explain the cause of the mans blindness, but the purpose. He sees in the blind man an opportunity to display the works of God.
BUT HERE IS SOMETHING I LIKE…. in the next verse (which is verse 35) I will highlight what struck me as …. comforting.
“Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when He found him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”………Just those four little words…..when He found him. To me, that means that Jesus was looking for him! How awesome is that? This blind man had a miracle in his life and was thrown out of a church because of it and in the meantime, where is Jesus? He’s looking for him….and He found him.
Put yourself in his place! First of all, his hearing was fine! How do you think he felt with people standing around him (while he was still blind) and discussing his spiritual condition with no concern at all for his own thoughts? But don’t worry. That blind man put them in their place with his obedience and did exactly as Jesus told him. He went and washed in the Pool and his sight was restored.
And with his sight restored and his faith restored, Jesus asks him if he believed in the Son of Man. The man said “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him. He had received his physical sight and now had his spiritual vision restored. WHAT A GREAT DAY FOR THIS MAN!
Clay’s vision was never restored, but my faith in God certainly was! I had people come to me that told me that they had never in their life prayed before, but they were praying for us. Imagine that? My little blind baby was being a light!
When you see suffering, do you see it as a problem or a possibility? If someone close to you suffers from some sort of impairment, what do you see in them? I see an opportunity to display the works of God. Are you living in darkness today? We can learn from this formerly blind man that was washed and received his sight.