Today’s Scripture: John 9:35-41
35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”
41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
Remember those “Magic Eye” posters that were popular in the 90s? Supposedly if you stared at them long enough you would see some hidden picture in the design. I could never see it. Until one day I was eating at a restaurant that had one of these things are the wall next to my table. As I stared at that thing suddenly the design shifted and there stood the Statue of Liberty! I figured out how to see. It was a bit of a let-down if I’m honest. But at least I knew how the things worked now. And once I knew how to see, I could see things in every Magic Eye poster I came across!
Chapter 9 in John is all about seeing. The main part of the chapter is the story of Jesus healing a blind man on the sabbath. He had been blind from birth and the healing sent the Pharisees into shock and rage. How dare this man heal on a sabbath! Where did he come from? Who does he think he is?
The section of the text we read today is what happened after all the healing. Jesus had to get one last dig in on the Pharisees when he said that he had come to give sight to the blind as well as those who think they can see but are actually blind. Of course, he was talking about spiritual blindness.
I think this might be our problem too. We think we see. We claim we see. But in reality, we’re blind. We think we know how to love. We think we know the rules to follow. We think we can tell if someone else is a disciple or not. We think we welcome everyone without barriers. We think we are acting for justice and mercy and advocating for the marginalized. But Jesus is reminding us here that even though we think we see, our actions betray us.
The Pharisees thought they could see and they acted like it. But we are shown here that the one who truly sees is the one who sees Jesus. Maybe that’s our prayer for today “God, help me to see Jesus.” But there is a second part to that prayer: “Once I see Jesus, help me to act like it.”
God help us to see Jesus. And help us to act like it.