What is it to be blind? Who is the blind man in this story? What an amazing clinging to traditional belief, traditional understanding and routine, so powerful that truth cannot be ascertained because the truth is expected to fit into the presupposed framework of the tradition. This can be seen in the story where the fact that a man born blind was healed is challenged time and time again. It can’t be true. The Pharisees ask where is he? How did He do this? How can this be true if the healer broke the Sabbath rule and did this work on the Sabbath? Here is the sticking point. The Pharisees cannot see the Sabbath rule as their own creation. What does it mean when Moses brought the law saying to keep the Sabbath day holy? Jewish rabbinical tradition had defined it and tradition had created a monster. Jesus broke mans version but kept Mosaic law, for as Jesus said, the Sabbath was created for man. The work of God is ongoing. Think on how much holier it is to do this work of healing on this particular day- a Sabbath day, holy and set apart for the Lord. Jesus, in His healing process, did not have to make clay (the work) but He did so deliberately to use this healing to challenge the Pharisees.
The questions continued. So they ask the opinion of the man who received his sight, about Jesus. They had decided his healing was a lie, so they asked his parents, they were doing their research. He was blind from birth. They had no choice now but to accept a miraculous healing had indeed occurred. How do you suppose that made them feel?
Damage control! Call the man back! He is ordered to glorify God not Jesus. They repeated “what did He do to you,?” Now, by this time the healed man is frustrated. He has said all this before. They don’t like what they hear, they are rejecting the truth, what else can he say? The formerly blind beggar understands the real issue where the preachers and teachers of law are stuck.
The Pharisees see the issue as a choice between Jesus and Moses. What is obvious to the healed man is impossible for the Pharisees; Jesus is from God. The Sabbath tradition is the stumbling block for the Pharisees.
After the man was kicked out of the temple, he was found by Jesus, sought after by Jesus. Jesus made sure the man knew he had a place in the true kingdom. The man was followed still by the Pharisees. And once again Jesus challenges them.
This is a story if how unbelief and habitual authority is challenged and overcome by Jesus. This is also an example of how to handle persecution when doing good.
- Who is at fault?
- What hang ups do I have or expectations that I need to let go of that make me blind to truth?
- Have I found truth and been rejected by those who hold to tradition? Know that Jesus seeks me and I belong to Him.
- Am I willing for the work of a God to be displayed in me?
- Or would I rather seek to cast blame? Work is for “the day” not “the night”.
There is obedience here. Jesus is obedient to the One who sent Him. The blind man was obedient to Jesus who sent him to the pool to wash. I wonder what he thought as he walked to that pool? And on his return?
- Where is Jesus sending me so that His work can be displayed in me? In this story, the display was to the man’s hometown.
- Who does God hear? Those who fear God and do His will.
Trust and obey.
Check out Carlene Davis, singing Trust and Obey. You can buy this song for 99 cents on Amazon