Friday – February 26, 2016
Day 17 – John 9:1-41
Focus: vs. 5
“5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
America has a population of nearly 319 million and more than 7 million of them are legally blind. If you’re doing the math, that is about 2.2% of the population. While being blind is certainly a handicap it is something that can be overcome in our age with the help of a lot of people who know what to do. There are guide dogs and ever-improving technology available. There is braille for reading and even street crossings are made easier, in some communities, with warnings to help a blind person know when it’s safe to cross the road. This is the world we live in today.
The world that Jesus lived in was much more difficult for a blind man. It was not well understood and it was common belief that a man’s blindness was due to sin and was a punishment. A blind man usually had no opportunity in life except to become a beggar and hope for the kindness of strangers. This was the case of the man healed by Jesus in our scripture passage for today. The disciples asked Jesus whose sin it was that had caused the man to be born blind. Was it his or his parents? Jesus’ answer was neither.
We live in a world where there are many disabilities and afflictions. It’s a broken world that hides in darkness as much as possible. Many want to blame God in our day and age. The Jewish worldview in the Bible often took the spiritual roots of the world’s problems a bit too far and made it personal when it clearly was not. In modern America we don’t understand the spiritual roots of sin enough and we tend to see God as the antagonist. We could get ahead in life if only God would leave us alone. So we either blame Him for whatever is wrong with the world or we choose to think Him out of existence. There is a third option. We can choose the biblical view that we live in a world that is broken by sin and it was the choice of humanity that made it so. God is not working against us but our own sin IS. God is working for us but we need to choose to daily seek His help in being restored.
Once again Jesus talks about being the Light of the world. Light exposes what the darkness wishes to hide. This man, born in blindness, lived in the darkness of the world and it was the darkness, the brokenness from sin, that made him blind. But when that disability stepped into the Light of Jesus, it could hide no longer. Jesus, the Light, heals what has been broken in darkness.
I love this story. The blind man is healed and he can’t shut up about it. His healing starts an uproar in the neighborhood because it’s a big deal. It forced that community to deal with who this Jesus really was. They had a choice to make, do they step into the light or remain in the darkness. In the light is healing and the love of God; in the darkness is brokenness, deception and familiarity.
So tell us what happened, Mr. Blind Man. Tell us about this Jesus! He disagrees with us so he must be a sinner. So tell us what really happened? The no-longer-blind man was dumbfounded. “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They keep pressing him. They can’t stand the light because they are still in the darkness. But the formerly-blind man has more light than he ever had before. He says, “I have told you already, and you would not listen.”
I love this guy. Keep reading. There’s no greater witness for the light than a man who has just discovered it. Jesus is the Light of your world. You once were blind but now you see. You see because of His light. If you still think God is against you, just step into the light and you’ll see more clearly.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, You are my light. You help me to see the world clearly. Open my eyes and help me to see. Help me to be a witness that takes Your light into the dark world. Amen.