- Wayne Chasney
I once was blind, but now...?
One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. (John 9:25b)
Why do you suppose there are so many stories in the gospels of Jesus restoring sight to the blind? Was blindness so common in the ancient world? Was it an easy cure so it got reported more often? Or are the gospel writers trying to tell us something beyond what we see with our eyes?
It's a common metaphor. Do you see what I mean? Do you see my point? Can't you see what I am saying? Seeing is not just something we do with our eyes, it is something we do with our minds, and even our hearts. Seeing is understanding, and the gospel writers wanted their communities to understand what God was doing through Jesus Christ. See?
The story of Jesus healing the blind man in John 9 is kind of comical. The Pharisees are convinced it's all a trick. The man was never really blind. They are sure it's a scam. So they call in the man's parents and ask them if he was blind and if so, how is it that he now sees. The parents confirm the man was born blind, but they are afraid and so they tell the Pharisees if you want to know how he sees, ask him.
The Pharisees do ask him, for the second time, mind you, and they still don't believe it. When they overhear Jesus say to the man who had been blind, "I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind," they think, correctly, he is talking about them. The Pharisees ask, "Surely we are not blind, are we?"
So the blind come to see, and those who think they see clearly turn out to be blind. Hmmm.
Jesus does have a way of turning things upside down for us. "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see." Makes me wonder; surely I am not blind. Am I?