As Jesus 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?”

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that God’s works might be revealed in connection with him. I 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 saying this, Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the man’s eyes. “Go,” Jesus told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

13 They brought this man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight.

“He put mud on my eyes,” the man told them. “I washed, and now I see.”

16 Then some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” Others were saying, “How can a sinful man work such miraculous signs?”

There was division among them, 17 so they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

34 They answered him, “You were entirely born in sinfulness! Yet you presume to teach us?” And they threw him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. When he found him, he asked, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

36 “Who is he, sir,” the man replied, “that I may believe in him?”

37 Jesus answered, “You have seen him, and he is the very one who is speaking with you.”

38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” and he knelt down and worshipped him.

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, in order that those who do not see will see, and those who do see will become blind.”

John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39

During Lent our time spent together on Wednesday evenings brings to mind the darkness of sin.  Ash Wednesday pointed out, For dust you are and to dust you shall return!”  But, the Sundays during Lent point out the victories of Jesus.  The first Sunday we watched Jesus conquer temptations from Satan.  Last Sunday the problem was sin that separates us from God, but Jesus gave Living Water, that is forgiveness of sins through faith in him as the promised Messiah.  Today Jesus meets a man born blind from birth. This isn’t a case of simple vision correction by laser surgery.  Even the man himself said, No one has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of someone born blind” (John 9:32).  That is the problem Jesus faces on the 3rd Sunday of Lent—spiritual blindness. It’s true that by nature no one can know the true God or what he has done to save us, all people are stuck in that blindness!   But, Jesus healed this blind man and illustrates for us:

Jesus’ Eye Opening Ministry

That you see Your Savior

We all experienced birthday parties growing up.  Remember the fun games you played?  Tag.  Swinging at the pinata.  We really laughed when someone was blindfolded, spun around and then trying to take a swing at the pinata or pining a tail on the donkey they can’t see.  The more they missed the harder we laughed.  However, spiritual blindness is such a sad and tragic thing.  The world doesn’t know how to handle guilt or suffering with death.  The world offers nothing more than stories or platitudes that take a swing at the pinata of life or how God really works and governs all things.  The blind world looks for answers and seeks meaning for life—but they are just a swing and a miss!

So, we can understand why the disciples asked, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?  This has been the common thought of people who have the natural knowledge of God in their hearts.  They at last have a hint that God is holy and demands perfection.  So, if you’re born blind or some other defect, it was a punishment from God, either against your parents or against you.  Even the Pharisees pointed this out when they saw this man healed and insulted him by saying, You were steeped in sin at birth! But, you understand that we aren’t just talking about physical defects here.  We are talking about the dark cloud, the infection of sin inside us all.  We can well imagine his heartache when begging for spare change, realizing he wasn’t just blind, but also dealing with a heart of bitterness and guilt.  Do you think this blind man ever heard a word of comfort for his troubled conscience?  Or was he just the poster child for one who “got what was coming to him!”  The only thing he ever saw was a holy, righteous God who hated sinners.

How his heart must have lit up when he heard Jesus say, It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that God’s works might be revealed in connection with him.  His blindness was not a punishment from God.  But, God was going to use this situation to display his holy purpose in him.  It was time for him to see the Eye Opening Ministry of Jesus and to See His Savior!

God’s work from the day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit is to save sinners by opening their eyes to Jesus the Savior.  Now Jesus goes to work!  After saying this, Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and spread the mud on the man’s eyes. “Go,” Jesus told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.  Jesus is showing this man and all who hear and witnessed this miracle the love and power of God.   This miracle pointed to Jesus as the Light of the World.  Jesus could have said, “I forgive you all your sins.  Go and wash your face in the pool and come back forgiven.”  But, who would know?  But, to heal his physical blindness proved the greater gift—his sins forgiven.

We can tell from the man’s reaction that a firestorm of thoughts ran through his mind as he washed and could see again:  This Jesus is awesome!  He must be from God because only God’s power could do such a miracle!”  So, after the man had been rejected by the Pharisees, Jesus found him to continue his saving work in his heart to remove all doubt.  35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. When he found him, he asked, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”  36 “Who is he, sir,” the man replied, “that I may believe in him?”  37 Jesus answered, “You have seen him, and he is the very one who is speaking with you.”   38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” and he knelt down and worshipped him.

Let me give you a definition of “worship.”  It means to “ascribe worth or value to something or someone.”  Everybody has things or people they think are valuable.  We show how we value something by the time, talents and treasures we spend on that person or thing.  This man valued Jesus because his eyes could see, but also because his conscience was at rest. He could see his Savior and ascribed great value to him.  No more blind wandering and endless searching.  He was blind, but now he sees Jesus his Savior. 

Dear Friends, in Jesus you don’t have all the answers to every question of life.  But you do have the only true Light that is our answer for sin, death and the devil.  We worship Jesus because God loves all people.  He sent Jesus to die and pay the penalty of all our sins.  Jesus gives us the victory.  We see Jesus, and Jesus gives us Divine Peace.  We worship Jesus because we enjoy peace with God.  We worship because We See Jesus and his Ministry that opened our eyes of faith.

Trans:  Ask this blind man about his relationship with God before he could see Jesus.  Then ask the seeing man who worshiped his Savior about his relationship with God.  What a difference!  We enjoy the same healing as surely as our baptism washed away our sins and opened our eyes of faith.  We hear God’s message of forgiveness of sins through the death of his Son.  We see Jesus’ Eye Opening Ministry and get to

Reflect that Light

If you were at a birthday party trying to pin the tail on the donkey or swing at the pinata without success, then someone came and removed the blindfold—how silly it would be to say, “No thanks” and put that blindfold back on again!  Listen, I know how you like to put that blindfold back on your eyes of faith by refusing to worship Jesus weekly (3rd Commandment).  No, we’d rather complain or despair like the world does.  Going to church to hear God’s Word or study God’s Word in Bible Class is too much of a drain on our time or the things We determined are more important than God says are important.  We even take on the attitude of the Pharisees that claimed they knew it all and look down on everyone else.  How sad to tie the blindfold back on our heads and imitate those who are swinging themselves silly. 

This Sabbath Day was surely unlike any other for the man once blind. He washed his face, opened his eyes and breathlessly took in the first sights.  The person he didn’t see standing there was Jesus.  Maybe he could find his parents or the people who did care for him while he was begging.  Sadly, he didn’t have much time to enjoy this miracle with others.  Some who knew him as the begging blind man questioned if it was really him and even brought him to the Pharisees. His neighbors and those who had seen him before this as a beggar asked, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”

Some said, “He is the one.” Others said, “No, but he looks like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one!”  10 So they asked him, “How were your eyes opened?”  11 He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is he?” they asked.   “I don’t know,” he said.

13 They brought this man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight.   “He put mud on my eyes,” the man told them. “I washed, and now I see.”  16 Then some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” Others were saying, “How can a sinful man work such miraculous signs?”

There was division among them, 17 so they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?”   The man replied, “He is a prophet.”   18 The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and received his sight, until they summoned the parents of the man who had received his sight. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? How is it, then, that he can see now?”    20 “We know that this is our son,” his parents answered, “and that he was born blind. 21 But we do not know how he can see now, or who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is old enough. He will speak for himself.  Sad commentary on the fearful parents who offered little support.  Welcome to the happy life of the seeing!

If only Jesus had healed him on Friday!   But, that’s the point.  Jesus healed him on the Sabbath Day on purpose.  Just think of all the people that are involved now!  The blind man wasn’t the only one wrestling with, “Where did this Jesus come from?” but the whole city was abuzz!   Now, the whole city had to face this question: What do I think about Jesus and why?  How awesome!  This one blind man let his light shine before people so they could give glory to God.  It certainly led to a great conversation!

 Jesus wants these conversations.  He wants the world talking about him.  He wants everyone in the whole world to see the Light of the World! There was division among them, 17 so they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?”   The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

34 They answered him, “You were entirely born in sinfulness! Yet you presume to teach us?” And they threw him out.   35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. When he found him, he asked, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”     36 “Who is he, sir,” the man replied, “that I may believe in him?”    37 Jesus answered, “You have seen him, and he is the very one who is speaking with you.”   38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” and he knelt down and worshipped him.    39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, in order that those who do not see will see, and those who do see will become blind.” 

Yes, Jesus wants us to have conversations, too.  He wants us reflect the Light of Jesus in the world.  So, one time you talk to your friends, relatives, acquaintances and neighbors about the weather.  Next time you talk about Coronavirus.  Then you ask questions and win their trust.  But, your goal is to share Jesus with them.  You want them to know the work of God in Christ Jesus.

Christian living is also part of letting your light shine.  How you live.  How you speak.  How you conduct yourself at work and school all become an important testimony about who you are.  We certainly don’t want to put stumbling blocks in front of others, or put blindfolds on them.  We want to remove the blindfold and them swing into the light of Jesus.

Dear Christian friends, is there anything better than being called out of darkness into the marvelous light of Jesus ministry?  No!  All you have to do is ask the blind man.  Wait!  You don’t have to ask him, you can see him.  There he is on his knees worshiping Jesus.  He is reflecting Jesus’ light because he believes that Jesus is his Savior.  Let us join him in giving glory to God for the Eye-Opening Ministry of Jesus! Amen!