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a clearer picture

One of my favorite stories of Jesus’ ministry is in John 9. It is a story of gradual change. The story begins with a homeless beggar born blind sleeping in the streets and ends with a renewed man seeing and worshiping Jesus as Lord. How does he get there? This story involves a man gaining physical and spiritual sight. Let’s jump into the account and see.

it begins with meeting Jesus

He (Jesus) spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”. So he went and washed and came back seeing.

John 9:6-7

The blind man is going about his day begging on the street when he is met by a man named Jesus, who gets spit-made mud and rubs it on the man’s eyes. What a weird first memory of someone! The man gains his eyesight after washing the muddy goop off his face.

Jesus’ method for changing this man’s life involved messy and intimate means. When was the last time you let someone, let alone a stranger, rub spit and dirt on your eyes? Probably never, but this is what Jesus precisely did.

The importance of this encounter wasn’t the mud. It was the personal touch and relationship that began in these moments.

If you reread the passage above, it seems like the man had to navigate blindly to the pool of Siloam. By the time he got there and could see, Jesus left the scene. It seems like Jesus would reveal himself in that life-changing moment. Yet he waits.

tell your story

So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”

John 9:10-11

Right after this man sees for the first time in his life, he is met with a community questioning his change. The city-goers saw his blindness as a family curse; therefore, he was a social outcast. The man responds that it was a man named Jesus when questioned. He does not know all the details. He knows a name and retells his story.

clearer vision

So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

John 9:17

The community continued to be perplexed about how a sinner and blind beggar could be changed and questioned him further. This time, the man says that Jesus is a prophet. Is his story changing? I believe the man is beginning to see Jesus more clearly.

He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see…Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

John 9:25, 32-33

As the dialogue with the city-goers continues, he suggests that this man, Jesus may not be a sinner and is from God. This response infuriates the religious people, and the man gets kicked out of the temple area.

Jesus is clearly seen

Finally, Jesus meets this man face to face and asks him a life-changing question.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you. ”He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

John 9:35-38

By the end of the conversation, we read that this man now addresses Jesus as Lord. Lordship is significant. He begins with addressing him as a man, then a prophet, then maybe sinless and from God, and now he sees and believes Jesus to be Lord.

How many men are there in the city? Countless. How many prophets? A few. How many sinless men from God? Only one. He finally sees Jesus, the one who had opened his eyes, and now he spiritually sees him as Lord.

we all have a story

Here is the takeaway I want us to see: everyone has a unique journey of seeing and believing in Jesus as Lord.

It took time for this guy to understand who Jesus was. It did not happen immediately. I hope this is encouraging to you as you’re figuring out what you believe about Jesus.

It’s a journey and a process. At first, the guy didn’t know much about Jesus, all he knew was that he was once blind, but then he could see. That was his starting point. What is yours?

We all have a story. Maybe Jesus is at the center of your life. Perhaps you do not know what you believe about Jesus, or you’re still figuring it out. That is ok. He is patient and gracious with us throughout our spiritual journey.

Jesus meets us when we are ragged and without value in the world’s eyes. He desires a relationship with messy people. He did it in this man’s life, and he is still doing it in ours. Believe in Jesus and receive a new life today.

questions to consider

  • What comes to mind when you think of “spiritual blindness?” Do you think you see Jesus clearly today?
  • Where are you in your journey of following Jesus?
  • Do you believe that Jesus loves you and wants to be your Lord?