Christian Articles Archive

Light Blindness

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Jesus heals the blind manMy late mother was going blind. What was once a tiny black hole in her vision grew until she could no longer see out of that eye. Then the same blackness begun in her other eye. But she knew what it was to see, and in her mind's eye she could visualize the faces and flowers and waterfalls of a lifetime.

One day Jesus came across a man who had never ever seen — ever. He had been born blind. He had never looked at his own hand, wondered at fingerprints, watched his fingers flex, cleaned the dirt from under his fingernails. He was utterly, totally blind.

Perhaps he is at the side of a Jerusalem street begging, his cloak spread out to catch the coins that the merciful might drop in his lap.

"Night is coming," Jesus says to his disciples as they pause, "but I am the light of the world."

And then Jesus, ever compassionate, kneels down. The blind man doesn't know what is happening. He hears someone scratching in the earth and then spitting. Suddenly he feels Jesus' finger gently touching his closed eyes, covering his eyelids with warm, moist mud. What is this?

"Go wash in the Pool of Siloam," Jesus tells him, and helps him to his feet. The pool is close, so he makes his way down the cobbled street, one hand carefully feeling along a wall, the other stretched out into the darkness beyond.

"So the man went and washed," the Bible records, "and came home seeing."

Imagine it. Your twenty-seven-year-old blind son yanks open the front door, and strides into the living room. "Mom," he shouts, "I can see." Tears stream down his cheeks as he embraces his mother.

She calls out to her neighbors, "Our Simon can see! He can see!"

Who is this one who heals? Who is this one who kneels next to a beggar and gently touches his eyes? Who is he?

A few days later Jesus approaches Simon on the street. "Do you believe in the Son of God?" Jesus asks.

Simon remembers that voice and the words, I am the Light of the World. He looks up — for the first time — into the Master's face. "Who is he? Tell me so that I may believe in him."

"You now behold him," Jesus says. "He is the one speaking with you."

"Lord, I believe," says Simon, and drops to his knees in worship.

Some self-righteous Pharisees sneer at the Master and the man kneeling in the dust. Jesus looks their direction.

"For judgment I have come into this world," he says, "so that the blind will see, and those who see will become blind.... If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains."

Interesting. The blind see, and the self-righteous become blind.

Which are you? One who has groped about in darkness for much of your life, just now beginning to glimpse the Light of the World? Or one of the self-righteous, sneering cynics, who wouldn't recognize God's Son if he were standing in front of your eyes?

Light, darkness. Blind, seeing.

Jesus.

The story told here is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 9. Copyright Ralph F. Wilson. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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