Seeing and believing

John 9:1-41

John's gospel drips with meaning. Every time you open a story you come to see another layer imbedded in it. Today with the blind man it is no different. The blind man sees and believes who Jesus is without ever having set eyes on him. The Pharisees can't see who Jesus is even though their sight is fine. Instead they want to make Jesus out to be sinful. The question of sin and who is sinful plays throughout the text. Jesus makes it seem as though sin isn't the right question. All this and yet what stands out to me this time is that Jesus found the blind man.

It is so different from the other gospels. The man born blind yells for his attention. In John Jesus is just walking along and stumbles into him. The man never cries out, never begs to be healed, never asks anything from him. It is the disciples who start it all. "Who was sinful, the man or his parents?" Jesus lets them know they are asking the wrong question. How many times do we ask the wrong question?

Sometimes there is a real tough question on our hearts, but we don't dare to ask it. We don't want to open up that can of worms. We would rather stay on what has always been our belief. We don't want this new one to pop out because we might discover we have to change instead of they have to change. This is what Jesus is doing by telling the disciples they have asked the wrong question. Its a statement he makes instead about displaying God to all.

This is where the man is found. Not in sin, not in labels which make it okay he is blind, not in making him less, but in saying he is an equal child of God too. Its what the Pharisees refuse to see. It is why they label Jesus as sinful. Because we haven't done it this way before. Jews of the time believed every sickness was tied to someone's sin. Whether it was the man or his parents or even his parents, parents. This made it possible to exclude them from the community. Jesus healing him meant they had to include him back in. They had never had to do this before. So they had to label Jesus a sinner so the blind man would have to repent of him and be made clean.

Being let back into community didn't mean the man born blind was willing to do this. This was a good thing, so the man must be good. He sticks to his story because he has been found and included into the community by someone who didn't label him first. Jesus loved and healed him. A long time ago there was a claymation movie made about Jesus. Everyone that he healed ended up following him, just as the disciples did. There was a community built around the removal of the stereotypes and labels. They followed not only because they were healed but because they were loved.

What grace do you need to bestow to another? Are you asking the right questions? Ones which take you deeper into change or do you shy away from those which would change you? Come and dare to be found.