(Un)Blinded By the Light

What’s worse: physical blindness or moral and spiritual darkness? Sin clouds the mind in darkness and closes the heart to God’s love and truth. Only in the light of God’s truth can we see sin for what it really is, a rejection of God and opposition to his will. The Pharisees equated physical blindness and sickness with sin. While the scriptures indicate that sin can make the body and mind sick as well as the soul, not all sickness, however is the result of sin. Sickness befalls us for a variety of reasons. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “in everything God works for good with those who love him” (Romans 8:28). One of the most remarkable miracles of Jesus is the healing of the man who was blind from birth. Even the blind man, once cured, marveled and proclaimed that “never since the world began has it been heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind” (John 9:32). This miracle remarkably reveals the power and glory of God.

Why did Jesus use his own spittle in healing this man? Jesus wanted to identify with this man’s misery and to draw faith and confidence in him as well. He covers his eyes with clay and bids him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. This pool was one of the landmarks of Jerusalem. Hezekiah had a secret tunnel bored through 583 yards of solid rock in the hillside in order to bring water from the Gihon Spring, which was outside the city walls, into the city proper (2 Chr.32:2-8,30; Isa.22:9-11; 2 Kgs.20:20). At the Feast of Sukkoth (also known as the Festival of Tabernacles or Booths) water from this pool was brought by one of the priests to the temple with great trumpet blasts while the people recited the words of Isaiah 12:3: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” It was poured together with wine beside the altar and ultimately flowed into the Kidron Valley. This was both a thanksgiving offering for the summer harvest and a petition that God would continue to provide water and growth for the newly planted seeds for the next harvest. It was during the Feast of Sukkoth that Jesus identified himself as the source of this life-giving water (John 7:37). Jesus gave not only physical sight to the blind man, but spiritual vision as well. That is why Jesus proclaimed himself the “light of the world” (John 9:4). This miracle at the Pool of Siloam points to the source of the miraculous life-giving water which Jesus offers throughout the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 7:38). Do you thirst for this life-giving water?

The Pharisees were upset with Jesus on two counts. First, he healed the blind man on the Sabbath, which they considered a violation of the Sabbath rest. Second, how could a sinner and a Sabbath-breaker do such a marvelous work of God! The cured man must not have really been blind at all! This blind man was well known to many people and his parents testified under oath that he had indeed been blind since birth. Their prejudice made the Pharisees blind to God’s intention for the Sabbath and to Jesus’ claim to be the One sent from the Father in heaven to bring freedom and light to his people. They tried to intimidate both this cured man and his parents by threatening them with excommunication from the synagogue. This man was ostracized by the religious authorities because he gave witness to the Lord Jesus in his life. If our witness of Jesus and his redeeming power in our lives separates us from our fellow neighbors, it nonetheless draws us nearer to Jesus himself. Jesus is ever ready to heal us and to free us from the darkness of sin and deception. There is no sickness, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual that the Lord Jesus does not identify with. Isaiah prophesied that the “Suffering Servant” would be bruised for our iniquities and by his stripes we would be healed (Isaiah 53:5). The Lord offers us freedom from spiritual blindness due to sin and he restores us to wholeness of body, mind, soul, and heart.

Go to Day 8 Devotion by Cristy

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