This with week of Lent we look at a few details of the gospel of the man born Blind.
The disciples ask why is the man born blind as they walk by. They want to know if it because of his sins or the sins of the parents. Jesus responds, "neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him."
Who is that for an answer.
Many times we ask similar questions not unlike the disciples. Usually or questions are about why this ir that is the way it is. Why is so and so sick or crippled, or lame or deaf or fill in the blank. We struggle with comprehending how a good and gracious God can allow such pain and suffering. So we ask why?
Jesus' answer seems the best yet. SO that the works of God might be made visible. That is, God is not done yet. God is still actively involve in the lives of those who are afflicted and those who are near or far away. Some how some way, God's work is going to be made visible through the situation or suffering or pain.
God is never done. God is always working. Give him a minute or two.
The man born blind, once he receives his sight his world goes from bad to worse. The miracle he receives restores his sight but it also starts a bit of controversy. His neighbors begin to interrogate him, the pharisees ridicule him, his parents denounce him, and eventually he is thrown out of his community.
But when the world turns against him, he does not turn against God. Th man digs deep and maintains his faith. No circumstance can waver is firmness and his adherence to the man who cured him. In fact he worships all the more.
What a great witness for us. How often do circumstances interfere with our faith? How often do we stop worshiping when things get difficult? We need to let th mean born blind show us how to see more clearly.
In fact when the man is thrown out, who comes to his rescue? No one other than Jesus himself.
The man takes a stand for Jesus ad Jesus comes to stand with him. What a great thing to remember. We never stand alone when we stand in faith.
Jesus uses his spittle and earth to form a paste then he rubs it on the man's eyes. We too must rub Jesus into our life. The scene is indicative of a new creation. Just as Adam was created out of the earth and received the breath of God and came to life so does the blind man. Then he is sent to he pool to be washed which is symbolic of baptism. Through the waters of baptism we experience a new sight, a new way of seeing. We no longer are bound to darkness but we receive the light of Christ.
When ask whether or not the man born blind was in deed the same man who use to sit and beg the man responds "I am." This is huge. Through out the gospel of John, Jesus uses the phrase I am, to connect himself to the divine name revealed by God in Exodus, "I am who am." Every time he uses the phrase and he uses it a lot, "I am the vine, I am the gate, I am the good shepherd, I am the bread of Life, and again in the garden the soldiers come he says "I am" and all the soldiers fall to the ground. In fact in John 8, Jesus says "I am" and they all pick up rocks and want to stone him. It is a powerful phrase that has deep connections to claiming to be God, divine, the same as the Great I am of the OT.
When the blind man says "I am" and is helping us realize that once we have gone through the waters of baptism, Jesus now lives in and through us. We have a new identity. We are another Christ, as the church teaches.
Just a few things.