The blind man wasn’t the only one who struggled with vision.
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”
Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.
Cultural/theological assumptions cultivated a foggy view of the new Kingdom Jesus represented. Surely, this man caused his own problem. Which he didn’t. But what if he did? Jesus’ desire to restore us doesn’t depend on the circumstances.
He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.
He gained his sight. But the onlookers stayed squinting. They didn’t get it.
Soon the town was buzzing. His relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, “Why, isn’t this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?”
Others said, “It’s him all right!”
But others objected, “It’s not the same man at all. It just looks like him.”
He said, “It’s me, the very one.”
They said, “How did your eyes get opened?”
“A man named Jesus made a paste and rubbed it on my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ I did what he said. When I washed, I saw.”
Jesus had nuanced earlier what he came to do: To transform everyone’s sight. But those in his midst were short sighted. They only focused on the man. His reputation. His assumed narrative. His expected place in the social hierarchy.
But Jesus never leaves us the same when we encounter him. That changes things and threatens earthly identities and power structures of an assorted variety.
You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.
Jesus’ kingdom calls people to open their eyes. It compels us to pay attention. And sometimes what we witness will make us uncomfortable because it challenges our assumptions of our implicit scriptural understanding.
When we are willing to shift our gaze to Jesus, we will see wonders never imagined.
*inspired by John 9:1-12
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