An exploration of John 9
By Rev. John W. Nupp
What is the first thing you open every morning? The medicine cabinet? The refrigerator door? Your Bible? How about your eyes?
We cannot even imagine all that our eyes take in. Maybe you’ve heard that the colors we register in our minds are only a fraction of what we might perceive. For all the abundance of light waves which reflect the countless flowers and various skin tones in the faces around us, there are countless other realms of light that we cannot even begin to perceive. This adds whole new meaning to the promise of scripture, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love God” (see Isaiah 40:13 and I Corinthians 2:9).
Still, this lack of perception does not keep us from wondering and from asking questions. When Jesus and his disciples are walking along and see someone who is blind, they ask a question based on their limited perception: “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus, as he is apt to do, sheds new light on the “problem” at hand (which, in all
In these words, Jesus says something remarkable; but even more remarkable still is what Jesus does. E. Stanley Jones points out in a series of devotions on the life of Christ that we follow the Concrete Christ. Not “concrete” in the sense of immovable or unfeeling, like a stone statue casting blank eyes above a suffering landscape, but “concrete” in the sense of real and living and active. And so, Dr. Jones points out, Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world” and then promptly causes the one who was born blind to see. What he says, he does. Who he
You would think that this miracle would stand alone. In the other gospel
This transformation is not always as easy as changing water to wine, or as sudden as the woman at the well, whose life overflows into the streets of the Samaritan town of Sychar as Christ touches her heart. This new birth takes place more slowly in other lives, like the leader Nicodemus, who comes to Jesus by night (see John chapter 3) then speaks up on Jesus’ behalf again later (see John 7:50) before finally acting on his faith by taking Jesus from the cross to prepare for proper burial (John 19:39). There is so much going on in John’s gospel that we do not have time to trace it all!
Indeed, there is more than enough happening just in this Ninth chapter, where the Light of
The life of Jesus is marked by Miracles, by Overflowing, by the simple, profound gift of Sight. Jesus sees us. Jesus notices you, not you as a problem, but you as a person. Jesus is Light and Jesus brings Light. Open your eyes and you will see a lot of things wrong with this world. But I pray you can find the grace to see that smile, those eyes, full of love for you.