A man's journey from blindness to belief highlights a clash between divine grace and religious obstinacy, culminating in true worship.
John 9:35-41 — No Sight To Insight — Aneel Aranha
Hello and welcome to the Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha. Today we will reflect on John 9:35-41. Listen.
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
We come to the end of a story that is as much about physical sight as it is about spiritual revelation. Jesus seeks out the man who was chucked out of the temple by the religious authorities because of his testimony about Jesus. Jesus' seeking out the man is a beautiful demonstration of God's grace, seeking those rejected by the world—or by people of alleged faith!
Jesus asks the man, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" "Son of Man" is a title that Jesus frequently used to refer to himself in the Gospels. The man's response is as simple as all his responses have been, but all the more beautiful for that. He asks, "Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him." It displays an openness and a desire for truth, standing in stark contrast to the Pharisees' obstinate refusal to see beyond their preconceptions.
Jesus reveals his identity, and the man responds instantly with belief and worship. It is the appropriate human response to divine revelation. We see it repeatedly in Scripture when people have encountered Jesus, as in the case of the apostles (John 1) or the Samaritan woman (John 4). It is not merely intellectual assent but an encounter that leads to worship.
The subsequent dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees serves as a spiritual mirror. Jesus says, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." It is a statement that turns everything upside down, declaring that the kingdom of God operates on principles that are often at odds with those of the world.
The Pharisees' indignant response reveals their spiritual complacency. They ask, "What? Are we blind too?" Jesus' answer cuts to the heart of the matter: "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." It is a sobering reminder that self-assuredness in one's faith can be the very thing that blinds us to the need for God's grace.
In our pursuit of knowledge and understanding, may we echo the posture of the healed man, ever willing to be led from sight to insight, from understanding to worship rather than being like the Pharisees who think they know it all when, in truth, they know nothing.
God bless you.