Week 3, Day 6

Day 6: John 9:1-7

As he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After he said these things he spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he left, washed, and came back seeing.

1. Jesus and the disciples have a conversation about a blind man. The assumption of the disciples is that the man was blind because of the sin of either the man or his ancestors. Jesus turns their assumptions on their heads: the man’s blindness was for God’s glory through what Jesus is about to do. This evokes the book of Job, where there is “behind the scenes” activity between God and Satan that Job never hears anything about. Similarly, this blind man has been blind since birth without knowing why… until now. Jesus also makes a somewhat cryptic statement: as long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Is the light gone once Jesus ascends to his throne? It is not, because the body of Christ, inhabited by the Holy Spirit, is still here. Jesus then uses the materials of the world (spit and mud) and heals the man for the glory of God. Just so, the church may use the materials of the world to bring healing and to bring glory to God. Finally, the man must obey- Go wash in the pool of Siloam. Siloam, the place of sending.
2. Jesus is the light of the world, and he continues to illuminate the world through his body.
3. We should be very cautious in assuming the cause of a person’s pain, suffering, or disability- including our own! It is a strong temptation even today to assume that presently bad things are ultimately bad. The ultimate purpose of everything single thing that has ever happened or will happen is the glory of God, with absolutely no exceptions. The present situation can be bad- we can and should address the brokenness of the world for restoration, and even be angry about it- but we should never assume cause or treat with contempt those who suffer. Also, we should look for the opportunities to use the materials of the world in front of us to address the brokenness of the world in front of us, always calling those in pain and suffering into obedience to Jesus’ call.
4. The presence of Jesus is the light of the world. We the church currently reflect that light through a dark mirror. Sometimes, we shine with a brilliance that brings healing to all who see it. More often, we are a dim flicker. But the source of the light is Christ, and in his presence all things are made new. The day will come when all the brokenness of the world will be healed for the glory of God.