Have you ever had the experience where you know you can see, but you’re clearly missing something? Maybe you’re looking at an optical illusion, maybe you’re looking at a where’s Waldo but he’s nowhere to be found. Whatever it is, you are physically capable of seeing, but you’re aware that you’re not truly seeing? If you have, then you can appreciate the dynamic that is playing out in John 9. Here a blind man is granted sight, but the physical is meant to lead the blind man to spiritual sight. It’s here that we see: True sight is found in the illuminating work of Jesus that leads to belief in Him.
1. True Sight Comes from the Healing Work of Jesus: v.1-7
The disciples are curious as to why this man was born blind. They assume that he or is parents had sinned. The reality is, all of us are born in sin. We are all being corrupted by sin and its effects. Inasmuch as they can see this physically in the blind man, we would do well to know it’s true of all of us. We must identify our own sin and blindness. As much of a dilemma as this is, we should be thankful that the healing work of Jesus is to remedy this issue. We see this in Jesus’ healing work of the blind man. As Jesus uses the dirt to heal this man, it’s hard not to see the creation motif playing out here. It’s almost as if Jesus is creating sight in this man, and it’s not simply physical sight that He is creating. There is a healing work of Jesus that brings sight to us.
2. True Sight Comes in Seeing Jesus for Who He is: v.8-34
After the healing, the blind man returns and people are stunned and confused. They don’t even recognize him! This is what Jesus does, He transforms His people. We should praise God for this! Not only does He transform, but here we see that Jesus is a prophet and that Jesus is worth following in spite of the costs. Even the man’s parents don’t want to admit that Jesus had healed their son, for they feared being thrown out of the temple. To be thrown out of the temple would have brought about the height of social ostracization. They would have been total outcasts! But in seeing this, we must realize that there is a cost to following Jesus. In fact, there is a substantial cost in following Jesus. Yet I would argue, that not only is there a cost, but that Jesus is worth the cost! Finally in this section, we see that Jesus is sent by God. The man who started the account as being blind is seeing correctly, while those who “see” are proving themselves to be blind!
3. True Sight Comes by Confessing Belief in Jesus: v.35-41
In this final section, Jesus seeks out the man after he has been cast out and asks him if he believes in the Son of Man. He does not know who the Son of Man is, and Jesus makes clear that He Himself is the Son of Man. Upon hearing this, the man believes and worships. This man has chosen to surrender his life to Jesus and to live worshipping Jesus. I wonder if you and I are willing to make that same decision. This decision is markedly different than the religious leaders, who maintain their posture, only to be told that they are in fact blind!
As we consider this account, we must ask ourselves if we are willing to listen to what Jesus says and surrender our lives to Him? Are we willing to live lives of worship before Him? Are we willing to own the fact that if left to ourselves, we are blind and that only in Jesus is there true sight? I pray that you would find true sight in the illuminating work of Jesus that is leading you to belief in Him!