Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jesus Heals The Blind Man - Fourth Sunday of Lent

     Today we hear the second of three lovely stories from John’s Gospel.  It is the story of Jesus restoring sight to a man born blind, and we are invited to think about what it is to be spiritually blind.  Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  He is alluding to the time when he would no longer be with his followers.  Jesus was teaching them, and even now is calling us, to be His light in the world. 
     Questions - Jesus’ followers questioned why the man had been born blind.  Was it because of his sins?  Was it the sins of his parents?   Jesus, told them he was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in him.  Then Jesus talks about doing the work of God while it is still light.  
     Healing - The disciples must have been excited.  Knowing Jesus as well as they did, they probably knew He was going to heal the blind man.  Perhaps they wondered how he was going to do it.  Would there be a flash of lightning?  A ball of fire?  A boom of thunder?  No, Jesus used what was at hand.  He made mud from his own spit and dirt from the ground, and pasted it over the blind man’s eyes. Just as he had once used a young sheep herder with a simple sling and stone to defeat Goliath and the Philistines, Jesus chose ordinary mundane elements to heal this man.  God’s power was shown through this miracle, just as Jesus had said.
     Doubt - The Pharisees questioned the blind man, but despite the obvious evidence, they refused to believe that Jesus had healed him. They said he could not be from God, because he did not keep the Sabbath.  They even asked the man’s parents if he had indeed been born blind.  They became indignant when the man insisted that Jesus had healed him, and they threw the man out of the Temple.
     When I or someone I love is going through a painful or difficult circumstance, I question why it has to be.  Yet, I do know that God gives us grace to carry us through our trials.  When we handle our afflictions with grace and trust in God, we are a testament to His faithfulness and His love.  I often find that God puts someone in my path who is experiencing a trial that I had previously endured.  I am able to empathize with that person, and offer support and ideas that have helped me through.

     What is God calling me to do for him?  What is he calling you to do?  Am I ready to do what he asks of me?  Are you?   We may feel inadequate.  Indeed, on our own, we are.  However, God doesn’t call the able, he calls the available.  If he calls us to a particular task or purpose, then he will be faithful to supply us with the means and strengths and talents to do his will.  If God used sticks and stones and spit to do his will, then he surely can use us.  
     Jesus’ miracles seem hard for us to believe.  We live within the structure of time and space.  But God created the time and space, so he can certainly defy them, and easily perform miracles.  We serve a powerful God. Go to him, tell him how you need his help today.  Ask him how he can use you today to be his light in the world.