Day 18 - Tuesday, March 24 The Blind See DAILY READING - Jn 9:1-12 Chapter 8 ended with the Pharisees picking up stones to stone Jesus. Jesus is claiming to be one with the Father and the Pharisees insist this is blasphemy. As Christians, we know the end of the story and the Truth. For just a minute, place yourself in the Pharisees shoes. If someone came along today and said they were one with the Father and they were God, would you consider them blasphemous? The Pharisees respond to Jesus in this way,”The only Father we have is God himself ”(Jn 8:41). Jesus later proclaims, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me”(Jn 8:54). Jesus, himself, says that his own glory is for nothing. His glory is God’s glory. All he is doing is for the Lord. How is this instructional for us? Jesus brings glory to the Father and the Father glorifies Jesus. Glory is flowing from one to the other. Glory flows. As humans, we often want to hold onto glory. We want glory to remain and reside within us. But, glory is meant to flow. We are not meant to hoard glory for ourselves. We are not to be human glory hoarders. It belongs to God. In what ways do you try to hold onto glory for yourself? This brings us to today’s reading. Jesus discovers a man born that was born blind. The disciples ask a very interesting question. What do they ask in 9:2? In the ancient age, people believed that disability and disfigurement were signs of sin. The disciples ask who sinned to cause the blindness. Think for a minute about your own beliefs regarding disability. When you are stuck in a hard place and unable (disabled) to do something, what is your first response? What about when things aren’t going your way? Are you likely to ask God, “Why am I being punished?” Or, “What did I do wrong?” What are your first questions in times of suffering? Jesus says that the disability is not a result of sin. Let that soak into your soul. Your inabilities and weaknesses are not a result of sin. What does Jesus say is the purpose of disability or inability in 9:3-4? God’s glory. It is all about God’s glory. Jesus, once again, proclaims, “I am the light of the world.” Then, he heals the blind man. How does the blind man’s healing give physical proof the truth that Jesus is proclaiming, that He is the light of the world? Jesus, as the light, brings the blind man out of darkness and into the light. The blind man sees. Jesus does the same for us. He heals our blindness and brings us into the light. People will turn away from healing. They will turn away from the light. Sometimes, when we have been living in darkness, the light is too bright. Think about turning on a bright light in the middle of the night when you have been sleeping. The light hurts your eyes. What is your first reaction to a bright light when you have been in darkness? Do you squint and gradually get used to the light? Do you rush to turn the light off? What is your reaction when you’ve been in darkness and someone flips on a bright light? Jesus flips on the bright light of hope in the world. Some cannot handle the brightness. To some, the light is irritating. Have you ever been in a merry mood and encountered a cantankerous creature that couldn’t embrace your joy? How does that feel? I bet,that’s how Jesus felt a lot. Jesus is Joy among the lost. Think for a minute about which person you tend to be. Are you generally more merry and joyful? Or, are you generally more grouchy and cantankerous? Do sunny people encourage you or irritate you? Jesus could have touched the man and healed him. We see Jesus heal with and without touch in several other places in Scripture. But, Jesus made mud with his saliva and the dirt on the ground (9:6). Jesus placed the mud on the man and healed him. Do you find some significance in Jesus using the mud from the ground? Read Genesis 2:7. By using dirt from the ground, could Jesus be calling us to remember how life was formed? Could Jesus be saying, by using the essence of life in the healing, that he gives new life? What else could Jesus be telling us by using the mud? Jesus is the light of the world that brings new life by healing. When we choose to turn toward the light, we find real and abundant life. We know this, and, yet we so often want to stay in our darkness. Why do we resist the light of Christ? Spend some time thinking about what makes you ready to turn toward the light of Christ. When in the past have you been in darkness and tired of it? What did it take for you to walk toward the light? Was it hard at first? Or, were you so desperate for light that you ran toward it?