by Larry White 3/18/1992
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, “Master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spit on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam,” (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, “Is not this he that sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he:” others said, “He is like him:” but he said, “I am he.” Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He answered and said, “A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash:’ and I went and washed, and I received sight.” Then they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
They brought him that aforetime was blind to the Pharisees. And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and do see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not of God, because he does not keep the Sabbath day.” Others said, “How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?” And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, “What do you say of him, being that he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? how then does he see now? “His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he sees now we do not know; or who has opened his eyes, we do not know: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.” These words spoke his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man confessed that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
Then they called the man that was blind again, and said to him, “Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered and said, “Whether he be a sinner or not, I do not know: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Then they said to him again, “What did he do to you? how did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you did not hear: why would you hear it again? will you also be his disciples?” Then they reviled him, and said, “You are his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses: as for this fellow, we do not know from where he is.” The man answered and said to them, “Why, here is the marvelous thing, that you do not know from where he is, and yet he has opened my eyes. Now, we know that God does not hear sinners: but if any man is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he hears him. Since the world began was it ever heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind? If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” They answered and said to him, “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?” And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said to him, “Do you believe on the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he that speaks with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped him.
And Jesus said, “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which do not see might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin: but now you say, ‘We see’; therefore your sin remains.”
What did the man born blind see?
This man was used to seeing without eyes.
He saw the bigotry of the scribes and Pharisees
He saw the power of God as opposed to the authority of the rulers.
He saw the way they treated Jesus. He answered the rulers in the place of Jesus and for his sake was cast out like Jesus would be.
He saw Jesus - from the inside. He stood in his shoes. He experienced his suffering.
I think it is interesting that when he asks who the Son of God is, Jesus answers, “You have both seen him and it is he that speaks with you.” To me that sounds like he is still speaking to a man that is yet physically blind, because it is in the language of his former state – as if to say that the spiritual sight and vision he has now from experience is not to be compared with the physical sight that he has acquired. In those few words aimed at a man who would understand their import, Jesus cuts through his outward appearance and points to the true sight and vision. He is the Son of God that you need more than eyes to see.
Even if we had a photograph or painting of Jesus – you cannot really see him until you have walked the way he walked and suffered the way he suffered.
Peter says in 1Pet.4:1-2
“Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, likewise arm yourselves with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
Paul says in Rom.8:16-17
“The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Peter again says in 1Pet.2:21
“For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”
So, if we really want to see Jesus, we must walk the way he walked, follow in his steps and we will get the reaction of suffering. That’s when we will see him as no other can see. That’s when we will know him the way he wants us to know him.
Paul said that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But Peter says that when that happens, the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1Pet.4:14) Which means that at the very point of your suffering, to you, heaven and earth are one.
Meditate about these things the next time your faith is questioned.