My grandmother Alda was great at everything—Southern style cooking, gardening, and hosting family gatherings. Of her many fine traits, the one I most fondly remember was her ability to diffuse arguments, especially between my brother and me. She would calmly begin, “Now, Donnie, don’t you see that if you would just…” (add advice here). Her phrase “don’t you see” encouraged me to look at the situation from a different and wiser perspective. Fortunately, I sometimes did.
- In what areas of your life are you unwilling to see (and, therefore, are blind to) a better perspective?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 9:24-34 (ESV)
24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- The Pharisees summoned the formerly blind man a second time to judge how, and by whom, he had been healed. In their exchange with him, what did they reveal about their impartiality?
- Reread the man’s responses to the Pharisees’ questions in verses 25-30. What changes do you notice in the progression of his responses?
- What reason did the Pharisees give for throwing the man out of the temple (vs. 34)? What was the true reason?
- To whom have you most recently described the transformative impacts of your encounter with Jesus and the strength he provides you?
RESPOND TO GOD
Unwilling to accept the formerly blind man’s testimony of his healing, the Pharisees questioned him again in order to discredit him. For those who watched, it must have seemed the Pharisees had prevailed. After all, at the end he was sitting outside the temple walls (ostracized socially and spiritually). We wonder how the Pharisees could have been so blind to Jesus’ work and power.
In stark contrast, the formerly blind man’s understanding of Jesus’ identity grew. Convinced that Jesus was from God, he spoke boldly to the Pharisees even as they hurled insults at him. The blind man’s transformation, from not knowing Jesus to being a witness for him, is “the work of God” that Jesus described at the onset of this encounter in John 9:2.
- Prayerfully consider those areas in your life where you feel stuck or held captive by sin. Seek God’s help and forgiveness, knowing with confidence he will provide them.