Blog 15: John 9:1-41

SNL 20 January 2013 7.00pm

The man born blind

As before the blog written by Derek McKelvey is written as if by John the Evangelist. Of course it is not.

There are some stories that I just had to tell – we learnt so much from this one – it was like a litmus paper for what was happening around us – so much became clear. Jesus is the ‘Light of the world’, he had just told us – and for the man born blind, he proved that one thousand per cent. But what strikes me is that from the very beginning of the story Jesus was shedding light into our thinking – it had always been said that people born like that, someone somewhere must have done but suddenly I saw how foolish such speculation was and how harmful to the man.

He focused our eyes not on human brokenness but on God’s glory – how we needed that lesson. And then he sent him to Siloam[1] – there was such gentle irony in it. But watch what happens as people find out – listen to the man- each time he tells the story it gets shorter – and as the true motives of the Pharisees are revealed by their persistent attempt to find an explanation – anything to disprove the healing the whole town was talking about – he becomes first sarcastic and finally exasperated when he sees they are not interested in him, only in saving their own position.

That day the light Jesus shone into the motives of everyone, the curious neighbours, the parents afraid of the Pharisees, the ruthlessness and total disinterest in their congregation of the Pharisees.

And as he taught afterwards he pointed it out – he has come to let the blind see – and to make the seeing blind. The Pharisees knew what he was saying – they were blind. But the sting was in the tail – if they were blind then they would not be guilty, but they were only too well aware of what they were doing – when he pointed that out they were furious – they didn’t like to be rumbled in public.

But we saw – and we still see for His Spirit still lights up the true motives of people’s hearts. As I say I love this story.


[1] Siloam is the same Hebrew root as the word ‘sent’. The Messiah, Jesus, was the ‘sent’ one – and he sends the man to the pool called ‘sent’.