March 22, 2021
by: Gabriel Tseng

As Jesus passed by, He saw a man who had been blind from birth.And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It wasneither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must carry out the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” When He had said this, He spit on the ground, and made mud from the saliva, and applied the mud to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he left and washed, and came back seeing. So the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is this not the one who used to sit and beg?” Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” The man himself kept saying, “I am the one.” So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made mud, and spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” And they said to him, “Where is He?” He *said, “I do not know.”- John 9:1-12

There are a couple things I’d like to fix around my house. When things aren’t working right, they make funny noises or don’t cook food right. Whatever the case may be, I notice when things aren’t right many times in transition or when something is changing. The change could even be in myself and my tendency in these situations is to figure out what is going on. In my discernment process, it can even come off as blaming others, being anxious about situations, and even trying to fix things in a vain attempt to control or figure out what is happening and hoping to restore order. 

When Jesus heals the blind man in this scene, there is a complete uproar. People are thrown off as they don’t literally can’t believe their eyes when the once blind beggar man is now walking around like anybody else. The expectation and perception may have changed and people are trying to make sense of their lives. I used to wonder why people stress when their lives are out of control, but I have now been well confronted by growing change. Sociologists say that even in an enclosed city, the culture of the city will change over every 10 years. I think in the Silicon Valley, in a world a start ups and entrepreneurs, it can feel like every 3 or 4 years. The sense of unending change strikes us sometimes at our core, that our lives are changing. Just recently, I tried to run after a soccer ball, only to realize that I was not the athlete that I used to be. 

I don’t seek to draw us away from the main point in that often Jesus’ freedom that He promises to us will come at great cost in material, perspective, and also comfort. This blind man, belonging to a community in which he knew how to function, had adapted and coped to his lot in life. The change for him was drastic, but it was also quite drastic in its implications for those around him. His parents were questioned, fearful of the religious elite. Jesus’ very life was threatened as the hearts of the religious elite turned callous toward miracles, that even perhaps they were trying to make sense of. We may try to fit what God is doing in our own conception of God’s will.

What if God was doing something new in our midst. Shuffling the deck and orchestrating a new work. We know He never promised a life of safety or comfort, even though He promised to be our Great Shepherd to walk with us and watch us always. We know that He also sends us out as sheep among wolves, but not without Him. That in a storm, He continues to be the rock we stand on. The process of believing does not end the moment we believe, but it ignites the beginning of a long journey to walk with the Lord and in that midst, as we see in this extended scene, the process in which some believe, and yet others’ hearts grow cold, and yet others, who are on the fence. We know this for certain: the one Jesus revealed himself to, he was blind but now he sees. He knows almost nothing, except that it was Jesus, who is from God who gave him sight. So we ask for sight also, and all that it entails. 

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