Day 19 - Wednesday, March 25 Light of the World DAILY READING - Jn 9:13-41 Once again, the Pharisees are seething mad about a healing happening on the Sabbath. They claim that Jesus is not from God because He doesn’t keep Sabbath. Some of the Pharisees step forward and call to question how a person who is not from God can perform miracles of healing. The Pharisees are trying to figure Jesus out. Remember, Moses is their savior and they are waiting for a Messiah that looks very different than Jesus looks. Some of them, at least, now begin to look deeper. Read Isaiah 29:17-19, Isaiah 35:3-5 and Isaiah 42:6-7. In all three of these passages, what does the Lord promise will happen in the messianic age? One of the signs of an approaching messianic age is the restoration of sight to the blind (Carson, 375). The prophet Isaiah proclaims God’s truth that the Messiah will bring sight. The Pharisees know the Hebrew Bible better than anyone. They know the words of the prophet Isaiah. Yet, they cannot see that this miracle of restoring sight to a man born blind could be a messianic act. The Pharisees are, ironically, blind to the miracle of sight restoration. In verse 41, Jesus calls the Pharisees to the mat. What is Jesus saying to the Pharisees, who cannot see that He is the Messiah? Let’s take just a few steps backward in the pericope and look at the blind man’s parents for a minute or two. The Pharisees interrogate the parents wanting to know if the man was, in fact, born blind. The Pharisees are searching for any facts that will falsify the work of Jesus. The parents are scared. What are they scared of? The parents are scared of the Jewish leaders and being excommunicated from the local synagogue. The Pharisees had that kind of power. They could expel people from the church community. Can you imagine what that might be like? What if your priest had that kind of power? Would you be inclined to agree with them? The parents are scared of losing their community and probably more. The parents of the healed man know, without a doubt, that something miraculous happened. Their son was blind and he is no longer. They know. But, they can’t courageously step forth in Truth. Fear forges a wedge in their own ability to proclaim truth and in their relationship with their son. How do you think he feels when they can’t step forward in faith and support him? The healed man, on the opposite side of the continuum, proclaims that Jesus is a prophet. He doesn’t know, yet, what Jesus is other than a prophet. But, he knows that Jesus is from God because he healed him. In the son, we see courage to claim truth. Physically and spiritually his eyes were opened and it is significant. Glance back at John 5:1-15 again. Remember the healed man on the mat? How are these two stories similar? How do the two stories differ? In which story does the healed person go and tell the Pharisees? In which story do the Pharisees seek out the healed person? In 9:34, what do the Pharisees say to the man healed of his blindness? Read 9:2 again. What do the disciples ask Jesus? Read 9:18-20 again. In this portion of the reading, the Pharisees are interrogating the parents about the man’s condition. Surely, they presume, he could not have been born blind. Surely he was not healed of a condition present from birth. Yet, in 9:34, they admit that the man was born blind by saying he was steeped in sin at birth. The Pharisees are so blind, they cannot see their own hypocrisy. Let’s not be like the Pharisees. In 9:34, what do the Pharisees do to the healed man? Hearing that the healed man was kicked out of the synagogue, Jesus goes to him. Jesus find him. What happens? Jesus is worth courageous claims. We have been blind. Jesus restores our sight and brings new life. When Jesus brings spiritual sight, we can proclaim that he is Savior. Jesus heals us. Jesus comes to us. Jesus finds us. Jesus asks, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Do you? Lord Jesus, you are the Lord of Light. You bring light into the darkness. You bring sight to the blind. Open our eyes to all of the ways that you are Messiah and Savior in our lives. May we step out in boldness and proclaim your miracles. Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. Amen.