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Tuesday, March 28

John 9:18-41 (NRSV)

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sightand asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind, but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.”He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 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?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will.Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out. Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see may see and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”


The question that keeps coming up for me in my journey to the cross this Lent is portrayed in John 9:18-41. Am I the Pharisee, or the blind man? As I reread this story I realize I might be more like the spiritually blind Pharisee. John’s account of Jesus restoring the sight of a blind man and the Pharisees’ inability to see this as God’s work is an example of spiritual blindness. It is the Pharisees, the religious elite, Jesus is holding accountable. Jesus says, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see may see and those who do see may become blind.” He accuses the Pharisees of being rule-following Jews who are blind to Jesus’s message. The Pharisees were offended, but Jesus reiterates: ”If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” Jesus wants to be clear with the Pharisees and wants them to understand what is expected of those who profess a faith in God; what it means to trust in the message Jesus has come to deliver.

What does this story mean for you and me in this final week of Lent? Are we able to recognize our own spiritual blindness? The times when we have thought ourselves to be among the spiritual elite, or our failure to see the meaning of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. It is only through humble and regular prayer and seeking that we can truly see God and recognize God’s message revealed in Jesus. Examining this question is at the heart of our journey toward the cross.


Dear Lord, in these last days of our walk toward the cross, help us to truly see and believe the message you revealed in the life and ministry of Jesus. Help us to recognize spiritual blindness in ourselves and embrace the practices that will bring us closer to you. Amen.

Carol Kaffenberger

You Tube Video: John 9: 18-41 Reenactment by LUMO – HERE