Jesus was walking down the street and saw a man who was blind. The story that follows reveals much about human nature and the world that we live in.
Jesus places mud pies on the eyes of the man and tells him to go wash them out in order to enact the healing. Jesus healed him but he had to take the next step of acting out that healing. I encounter so many people who have the means to heal themselves of the sickness of hate and slander in their hearts but refuse…I guess you could say they would rather be blind.
When the man regained his sight, he went to claim his identity amongst many who should have had many reasons to celebrate the miraculous restoration of sight. Instead of loving the man and celebrating his miracle, the people questioned his very identity. The people declared, “That’s not really you!” How many of us have encountered hateful people who claim…that’s not really you? When you find love and freedom in who you are and who God has called you to be, there will always be those who want you to continue living as if you are blind. The people were blind and the formerly blind man just kept on seeing.
The formerly blind man was called before the Pharisees or the keepers of the normative boundaries of his day. How many of you have known a few of these folks who think they get to make the rules? Under Roman rule, the Pharisees were amongst the oppressed and ultimately they took on the role of oppressing everyone else. Pharisees and other oppressors come in all colors, genders, sexualities, classes, orientations, and so on…most speak of justice…but often their hearts are proven to be far from it.
These Pharisees of Jesus’ day kept challenging the formerly blind man over and over again. They would not leave him alone. The formerly blind man’s answer was always the same, “I once was blind but now I see.” When they couldn’t get more of an answer out of him, they grew angrier and angrier. Eventually they couldn’t find anything else to do but make claims against the identity he claimed for himself.
The man tried to teach the Pharisees about love but was driven out of their sight. The anger that the Pharisees get when confronted with love betrays their motives. One quickly realizes that justice is a secondary concerns to controlling others. The formerly blind man however refused to have his eyes closed.
Jesus ultimately met up with the formerly blind man. The man encountered love and was changed. Jesus responds in declaration, “I have come to restore sight to the blind and to tell those who think they see that they are blind.” There was a little creeper or troll Pharisee that snuck up behind them, “Are we the blind ones you speak of?” Jesus responds, “You tell the world how to see yet you are blind.”
We carry on the mission and ministry of Jesus…the mission and ministry of love.
We seek to give sight to the blind whether they think they can see or not.
We are here and we will not be blinded.