When last we left our study of the miracles of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John, we considered the ‘two for one’ miracles of Jesus walking on water and then simultaneously having the disciples be with Him on the far shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Between these occurrences and the next miracle, Chapters 7 and 8 contain many important teachings from the Lord. I would most certainly like to delve into them in-depth, and perhaps in another blog series we shall. I highly recommend reading those chapters in preparation for the topic today, the healing of a man born blind. If you do, you will find that Jesus makes a clear declaration of His divinity. I believe the timing of this next miracle was done to coincide with the Lord’s statement found in John 8:58.
We meet the blind man at the beginning of Chapter 9 as the narrative tells us Jesus and His entourage were walking along the road. It is helpful to know that in that culture many believed that physical ailments and deformities were believed to have occurred because either the person suffering with it or their parents had sinned, thus causing a judgment of God that would manifest in these ways.
Jesus quickly dispels this false notion. He then spits on the ground, making some mud of the dirt and then puts it on the blind man’s eyes. Given the directions to go to a certain pool to wash it off, the man does so and discovers that the gift of sight has been given to him.
As with the majority of the miracles He has performed, Jesus is not present at the time of the healing. Jesus wanted people to come to know who the Father was and His plan for the salvation all mankind. He did not want to get this message diluted by people simply seeking the next amazing (or entertaining) thing.
What I would like us to consider today is the formerly blind man’s response to his friends and neighbors as they quizzed him about how he received is sight. After convincing those asking that he was in fact the blind man they had known, these folks asked, “How then were your eyes opened,” (John 9:10 NIV)
The response the man gave is what has grabbed my heart and mind today: “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I washed, and then I could see.” (John 9:11 NIV)
To you, Dear Reader, I put the question: Who is this man they call Jesus? I certainly hope you are not grilled for an answer as our newly sighted man was by the religious leaders of that time. They crossed examined this fellow; many maintaining that he was not blind in the first place! The leaders even brought in his parents trying to mine information from them about their son and what he was claiming had happened.
At one point you can all but hear the exasperation in the man’s voice as the persistent questioning about Jesus continued: He replied, “Whether he (Jesus) is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25 NIV)
Though the once blind man was not entirely sure who Jesus was, the miracle itself had convinced him that He was someone from God. As you and I ponder this question, I ask us all to consider the events in our lives that gives evidence as to who Jesus is.
Perhaps you have been a witness to a great healing. Maybe you are familiar with the Scriptures and what they teach about the Son of God. Or perchance you are someone who has heard some of these stories but do not have a true sense of who Christ is.
Whatever and wherever you fit into the above context, one thing is true: They (whoever they may be) have talked about this man called Jesus. You have heard this name many times, be in it faith settings or as a coarse word of cursing.
Ultimately, it is not what the theys are saying about Jesus, but rather who do you say He is. If you are reading this and know the Lord as your Savior, I rejoice with you. I only ask that as you ponder the wonders He performed while physically on earth, you allow your heart to grow in love and awe of Him.
But if you are where so many find themselves, not knowing or having given much thought to these things, I ask that you take some time to consider them. The eternal ramifications of your decision regarding Jesus cannot be overstated. I encourage you to read and study these Scriptures for yourself. When you come to the things you don’t understand, seek out a trusted advisor who can give you guidance. For we all must have an answer when the time comes and we are asked: Who is this man they call Jesus.
Blessings to you all and thanks for reading,