John 9 describes how Jesus healed a man who had been born blind. When he was questioned about this by the scribes and Pharisees, who suggested that Jesus was a sinner, the man healed by Jesus said: ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see’. (John 9:25)
Can any of us with eyesight imagine how a blind person lives? Can we really understand the reality of a blind person? What are the difficulties experienced by those who are blind? How does one live in permanent darkness or even blurry light? We may feel pain and compassion for people who are blind, but we cannot experience what they are experiencing.
In the story we are contemplating today, Jesus uses the condition of a person blind from childhood -- a condition that many in the world have not experienced -- to give healing and peace, and to give us a practical and spiritual lesson. In fact, Jesus not only healed a person of his physical malady, but he also used the event to give us wonderful lessons about spiritual sight.
Jesus authoritatively said of himself that he was the light of the world. He came into the world to give us light. The world today is filled with darkness, as it was in his day also. Many things around us are dark and ugly. There are religions with no faith in Christ. There is sin, corruption, uncleanness and love of money. Hate is present all around us, and many walk in the ways of evil. Jesus came to give us the light of God’s truth … to give us love, salvation, and holiness. I cannot imagine my life without the Lord Jesus. Nor can I imagine what the state of humanity would be without him. He took on our human nature and lived among sinful people in order to save us sinners and make us new creations.
Jesus redeemed people who were blind. He was not obliged to do so. Nor is he obliged today to heal any disease among people, whether it is a mental illness or a physical illness … or even a spiritual illness. Yet in his great and eternal love he has compassion on us. He shows us mercy and reveals the glory of God to us.
Jesus said (John 9:39): For judgment I have come into this world. We must not forget or ignore this fact. We speak about God’s love and salvation, but that is not enough. We must also tell people that those who do not repent of their sins and do not receive salvation will be subject to God’s judgment. Anyone who does not believe in Jesus will be subject to eternal judgment and torment. We have to be honest with people.
People suffering from spiritual blindness need the light of faith in Christ, or they will remain in sin and live in spiritual blindness. Those with physical sight can become spiritually blind when they reject the only Savior who could heal them and give them sight and life. Those who are spiritually blind can become spiritually sighted. As believers, we have the responsibility to pray for others and invite them to get closer to our Savior who is the light of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ. To him be the glory.
Raeda Mansour, Parish Nurse
Christmas Lutheran Church, Bethlehem