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Devotional thoughts on the Story of the Blind Man

Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Reading From the Gospel according to St. John 9: 1- 41

We are not sure whether the blind man who was cured by our Lord in the reading had any desire to meet our Lord and to obtain the cure as the incident, is explained by St. John as we read in 9:1, “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man, who was blind from his birth”

In verse 2 we find the doubt of the Apostles. They asked “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” Such a style of thinking we find in Acts 28:4, where we read “And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffers not to live”. In St. Luke 13:2 also we come across such a thought and doubt. 

Our Lord’s answer is concrete and solid, which we read in verse 3 as “neither he nor his parents have sinned, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”. When we find the innocent suffer in their lives, usually we might ask ourselves “why do the innocent suffer? ” Our youngsters usually raise this question whenever they might get a chance, especially whenever they are persuaded by the elders to practice a strict church life. They might put up the examples of a few innocent suffering, who might have been leading the virtuous and solemn life of prayer and dedication. Our Lord’s answer to the Apostles is the only answer. When we find the suffering of a person, we should not think why he or she is suffering, but we must consider the Lord who is behind all these and we must ask for Lord’s immediate action for His greater glory.

Moreover our Lord said “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes when no man can work.” 

Our Lord has reminded us about the will of His father in St. John 4:34, 5:19, 5:36, 11:9, 12:35, and 17:4. What is the work entrusted by God the Father? Or what God the Son has worked as the work of father? It was nothing else other than the sharing and caring of Love. That is what we saw in the beginning of today’s thoughts.

When our Lord saw the blind man, he became compassionate and kind. He extended his caring love. Our Lord is exhorting us to work the will of God when it is day time. We all have been given chances to work for the greater glory of God. We could share the divine love among our fellowmen. Are we willing to share the great treasure, that has been entrusted to us by our Lord God. Just think what is our attitude when we might come across either one of the suffering and needy in the society in our day-to-day affairs. Many of us might try to avoid interference with such. Isn’t it? We should forget the fact that once we might also enter the night, when none could do any work.

Our Lord again explains in verse 5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world”. The light makes the day and night. So it is made clear that as long as we might live in Him or with Him, we could do His will. 

In Isaiah 42:6 we read, “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep thee and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles”. Such a promise is again given in Isaiah 49:6. 

St. Luke ascertains that our Lord is the light of the Gentiles when he describes about the incident when infant Jesus was brought to the temple of God. (St. Luke 2:22) Kindly read St. John 1:4-5, 3:19, 8:12, Acts 13:47 and I John 2:8.

In verse 6 and 7 we read how our Lord healed the blind man. He applied and spread the clay on his eyes and asked him to wash in the pool of Si-lo-am. The pool’s name had an interpretation, Sent. In Exodus 4:11 we read about Moses, who was sent by God Almighty with the greatest mission of delivering the sons of Abraham from the captivity of Egyptians. In 2 Kings 5:14 we read about Naaman, who was sent by Elisha to river Jordan for his purification. The Psalmist foresees our Lord’s works and says (Psalms 146:8) “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind, the Lord raises them that are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous”. 

When the blind man was healed, his neighbors doubted him. As written in verse 9, some said, This is he: others said, He is like him, but he said I am he. We should appreciate his boldness in admitting that he was blind before. Immediately they all asked him how he got back the eye sight. When they heard about Lord Jesus, they started enquiring about the presence of Jesus. When the matter was brought to the notice of the Pharisees, they took it a chance to find fault with the deed of our Lord. 

In verse 17 we find the answer from the blind man, he is a prophet. How could he say so? He had no idea about our Lord. He had enjoyed a tender soft touch by the holy hands of our Lord on his eyes. So he became wise enough to answer the Pharisees' question. We all are blessed to have his flesh and blood. What would be our confession about our Lord. We must think how many of us would be in a position to confess that He is our Lord, God and Savior. 

In the following verses we could find the arguments of the Pharisees and their attempts to defame Lord Jesus. Finally the man who was blind argues like a Scholar that If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. (Verse 33). Instead, he could have given a statement, which would be pleasing to the Pharisees and listeners. Finally the Jews cast him out. 

In the verses 35 onwards we find the discourse of our Lord with this man who got back his sight. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him (Verse 38).

Let us also say: Lord I believe you.
I adore you and I worship you.

May God bless us all.

See Also:

Where is God while we face difficulties in life?
He asked me a perpetually valid question. Where is God in the chaos and pandemonium of life!? Why did God take away my father 6 months ago in a fatal accident? Why do I feel a vacuum in my life as a result of that loss?

Intimacy of God
God knows each of us intimately. He knows our human-ness with all the accompanying flaws. He knows our hearts.

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