A Light Intervention

Posted: June 1, 2015 in John

John 9:1-12, “A Light Intervention”

It was an incredible miracle: a man born blind was given sight.  We tend to take it for granted today – it’s simply part of the gospel accounts of Jesus.  It’s even part of the most famous hymn of American culture: “I once was lost, but now I’m found – was blind, but now I see.”  It’s so commonplace to read of Jesus giving sight to the blind that we tend to lose the wonder of it all.  Jesus gave the gift of sight…to someone born blind.  That is truly amazing!  Many of us have problems with our sight today – some are even legally blind without their glasses.  But technology helps us.  We have eyeglasses, bifocals, trifocals, contact lenses, lasik surgery and more.  Yet for some, no surgery or technology ever helps.  They are truly blind, with no help of seeing apart from a miracle.  And that is exactly what Jesus gave.

In this particular case, it was even a greater miracle than most.  The man Jesus encountered did not gradually lose his sight over time – it wasn’t taken from him by a freak accident – he was born blind.  He had never known sight, and had no possibility of ever knowing sight.  He had come to grips with that long ago, to the point that it didn’t even occur to him to ask Jesus for a healing.  Yet Jesus saw him – had compassion upon him – and healed him.  Jesus brought sight where there was no sight.  The light of the world brought light into the life of a blind man.  God intervened, and that made all the difference.

When Jesus intervenes in our lives, miracles happen.  It did with the blind man, and it still does today.  Jesus’ ministry is somewhat different today, but He is the same Son of God.  He is still the light of the world.  He is still the Creator God and Savior of Mankind.  To this man in Jerusalem, Jesus brought the light of day.  To us, He brings the light of life.  He brings forgiveness of sin.  He brings freedom from slavery.  He brings miracles far better than ones we could readily imagine.  The work of His intervention lasts into eternity – far longer than the physical sight of this blind man would last.  Jesus’ work as the light reveals the work of God, and it is wonderful!

John 9:1–12
1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.

  1. When and where was Jesus “passing by”?  He is certainly in Jerusalem, due to the mention of the Pool of Siloam, but there is no precise dating given.  The events of Chapter 9 are possibly connected with those of Chapter 8, though we cannot date it with precision.  Thematically however, there is no doubt about the connection.  In 8:12, Jesus had called Himself “the light of the world,” and does so again in 9:5.  His miracle serves (among other things) as a powerful illustration of what His light can do.  In any case, Jesus just “passed by” – He seems to be going about His day, seemingly at leisure when He and the disciples come across the blind man.  There’s no rush – no panic.  However long this took place after the end of Chapter 8, for the moment there are no riotous mobs looking to stone Him.  It was just a normal day. For the man, it would be anything but normal!  GOD was about to intervene in his life!
    1. When does God do His miraculous works?  Sometimes when we least expect it.  Sometimes on the most “normal” of days.
  2. The man had been “blind from birth.”  How did everyone know?  Obviously this was no surprise to the all-knowing Jesus.  Yet the disciples seem to know this for themselves as they are the ones that mention his condition and circumstances.  Perhaps the man had said it while he was begging – perhaps Jesus had previously informed the disciples – we don’t know.  All we’re told is that his only experience was darkness.  He was born into that condition & had no expectation for anything different.
  3. So the blind man is there, doing what he always did, and that’s when Jesus saw him.  Jesus saw the one who couldn’t see Him.  How many times had Jesus passed this man before?  Surely with as much as He had been in Jerusalem, this wasn’t His first time to see the blind man.  The man had been there long enough to be well-known by the people.  It seems that Jesus would have often passed Him, yet there was no healing during those times.  This time was different.  This time, the time was right.

2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

  1. The disciples had a common question, but a faulty premise. They automatically assumed that blindness (or any disease) was retributive punishment from God.  Someone must have done something wrong in order to deserve such a punishment.  Perhaps it was the man’s parents who sinned, and God was visiting their iniquity upon them to the 3rd and 4th generations (per an incorrect rabbinical interpretation of Exodus 34:7).  Perhaps the man himself had sinned so badly within his mother’s womb, that God punished him this way (another false rabbinical teaching).  Today, other religions would take up this same logic and blame it all on karma and reincarnation.  If the man sinned in a past life, he might be punished in a following one.  That however, was a foreign concept to the Jews.  Nowhere does the Bible teach or support the idea of karma & reincarnation.  We have one life on earth, and when that ends, we face eternity in either heaven or hell. 
  2. In any case, the disease was viewed as punishment, and although the idea was common, the premise itself was faulty.  If disease/sickness/disability is punishment, then that takes us to some pretty scary places.  All of a sudden, disabled people have less value than “normal” people – after all, they deserve their fate.  They are to be treated as criminals, rather than with compassion.  Life is devalued and death itself could be justified (through abortion or euthanasia). It’s “survival of the fittest,” after all, and so only the fit are treated as full human beings.  This is the same “logic” that was used by the Nazis and others who were influenced by the pseudo-science of eugenics (including Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood) to kill literally millions of people. And it doesn’t end there.  Beyond how the diseased are treated, what about the healthy people?  If disease is punishment, what about all of the blatant sin done by the healthy?  Is it less sinful?  If it’s punishment, why doesn’t healing come to those who truly repent?  Did they not have enough faith?  Did they do insufficient penance?  None of this is biblical theology, but it’s all the logical conclusion of treating disease as a punishment.  If disease/disability is punishment, then that punishment is most unjust and random.  Since God is just and righteous, there must be a different explanation.
  3. This is the same issue dealt with by Job and his three “friends.”  Ultimately, the question boils down to the existence of evil.  Although God often does marvelous work through people afflicted with disease and disability, none of us would wish that disability upon them if things could be different.  Disease is evil – it’s undesired.  Why does it exist at all?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Of course no one is good but God, but why do bad things happen to people if they haven’t done something to deserve it?  In Job’s case, God explicitly tells Satan that Job was blameless and upright (Job 1:8, 2:3).  Job deserved no punishment, but Satan was still allowed to do his worst.  In the case of the blind man, he certainly did not life a totally sinless life, but what could he possibly have done in order to deserve being born blind?  Nothing.  So why did it happen?  Jesus will address the specifics in vs. 3. 
  4. Generally speaking, the question is one of theodicy: the study of why God permits evil.  This has been a big question throughout history, and many people still struggle with it when considering their belief in God.  “How could a good God permit suffering?”  The Bible tells us that God is supremely good, that He is absolutely sovereign, and that He is all-powerful.  Can those three things co-exist in regards to the existence of evil?  An all-powerful God could relieve suffering or erase evil.  A sovereign God could prevent people from suffering in the first place.  An ever-good God should desire to relieve suffering.  It seems there is a glaring contradiction.  Does the Bible have an answer to these things?  Yes: the cross.  The ever-good God has so much love and compassion for us that He put on flesh to suffer the worst of all sufferings.  The ever-sovereign God had an eternal plan in place from before the foundation of the world to deal with the root cause of suffering.  The ever-almighty God dealt the definitive blow to evil and suffering when Jesus rose from the grave in the resurrection.  Death no longer has a sting.  Yes, God has an answer for evil: His name is Jesus!
  5. Ultimately, the reason suffering exists at all is because of sin.  Not our specific sins, in punishment – but because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden.  At the fountainhead of human history, mankind sinned & suffering entered the once-perfect creation.  Suffering didn’t come as a punishment; it came as the inevitable result.  It is the symptom of a far greater disease: spiritual death.  That’s why God’s plan to deal with it culminates in the cross of Christ.  Through Jesus, God deals with the root cause & from an eternal perspective, sin & suffering are forever gone.  Right now, we deal with the residuals until the plan of God is fully completed at Jesus’ Second Coming.
  6. Of course, that’s all in general.  Jesus did have a specific answer to the immediate situation.  Vs. 3…

3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

  1. In regards to this man, his blindness was not any punishment for sin, but an opportunity for God’s glory.  Whether God allowed the man’s lifelong blindness for this particular moment in time, or God simply desired to turn the tragedy of blindness to a showcase for His glory is not specified – but either way, God would show His mighty works.  He would make His power and glory known to all through this man’s circumstances.
  2. Let it be known that God can use any circumstance for His glory!  That’s not to say that God is the cause of every circumstance.  Some things indeed are the direct result of sin.  For instance, God does not cause someone to get addicted to drugs or alcohol.  God does not force someone to engage in perversion or adulterous relationships.  God does not make someone steal from their job, etc.  Those things (and many others) are sinful, and are followed by dire consequences – and sometimes those consequences affect people completely unrelated to the situation (such as a victim of drunk driving).  But God can still glorify Himself in those circumstances.  Other things are simply accidents – the results of living in a fallen creation.  Things like flood damage, tornado destruction & more might be termed “acts of God” by insurance companies, but those things aren’t God’s fault.  Even this still boils down to sin (the sin of Adam in the Garden).  Nevertheless, God can (and does) still demonstrate His power in the midst of those circumstances.  Even the worst possible scenario can still be infiltrated by the power and presence of God!  In fact, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have that specific promise: Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."  Note that verse does not day that all things ARE good, but that “all things work together FOR good.”  God takes these things and works them over.  God works in the lives of His children, using even the most tragic events eventually to His glory.  God may even grieve with us in the moment of our suffering (as Jesus did with Mary and Martha over Lazarus), but that doesn’t mean the moment is limited to tears.  In God’s timing, He can still work good out of that evil.
    1. Note this promise is specifically for the Christian.  Those who are called by God and love God can hope in God’s sovereign purposes and workings.  Those who don’t, see only tragedy.  Only those who love God trust God – those who don’t have nowhere to place their trust.  (The good news is that God invites all to know Him, love Him, and trust in Him through Jesus Christ!)
  3. So the cause for this man’s suffering wasn’t sin.  That was the past.  What about the present?  Jesus had a glorious plan for him: “The works of God should be revealed in him.”  What an amazing privilege!  We have no idea if Jesus said this in earshot of the man or not, but can you imagine what he must have felt if he heard?  The works of God, revealed in him!  The works of God, made manifest in a sinful man.  The blindness had not come because of sin, but the man was certainly sinful just like the rest of us.  Who was he, that the works of God could be revealed in him?  The only work of God any of us ought to rightly expect is His judgment.  Yet Jesus spoke of something so much greater!  The “works of God” were the works of His glory – His power.  That is what would happen to this undeserving blind beggar.
    1. That’s what happens to each of us when we come to faith in Christ!  Almighty God works His work within us.  God the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside us.  God the Son forgives and intercedes for us.  God the Father sovereignly uses our lives for His glory.  Amazing!  Think of it in terms of your testimony.  God might use your story to save someone and bring them into eternal life.  That is an amazing possibility!  God CAN use you for His work, and God WANTS to use you for His work.  This is privilege beyond our imagination!

4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

  1. The NKJV says “I must work…” – NASB & others say “We must work…”  Either way, it’s true.  Jesus is working, and He called His disciples to participate in the work.  For Jesus, He had a specific timeframe for His work: “while it is day.”  This gives us a bit of a hint at the chronology in play.  Jesus is getting close to the cross, and there wasn’t much time left to keep demonstrating the power of God in His earthly ministry.  His disciples were working with Him, and likewise they also had a limited time to learn what they needed to know during those three years of ministry.  That’s not to say either Jesus or the disciples would cease to work after the cross and resurrection, but the nature of their work definitely changed.  No longer would they wake up next to Jesus, learn from Him while walking down the road, witness Him personally giving sight to the blind, walking on water, etc.  The disciples would go on to do incredibly great things and experience the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in ways that were previously impossible, but the earthly ministry of Jesus would be over.  So they had to work while they had the chance.  Especially during the three days that Jesus would be in the tomb (“night”), there was no work that would be done.  Time was short.
  2. There would be work to do later, though – and there still is!  When Jesus rose from the dead, He commissioned the disciples and all of us to continue doing the work of God.  And just like the disciples with Jesus, we’ve got to do the work while we have the opportunity to do it.  Although we don’t often think of it this way, the Age of the Church has an expiration date: the rapture.  There is coming a time that we as the Church will no longer be able to participate in the Great Commission.  Individually, any of us could die at any time and be in the presence of our Lord.  Corporately, the Church could be called home at any time the moment Jesus sounds His trumpet.  We have no idea when Jesus might come for us, so we need to be about His business while we have the chance.
    1. Are you working the work of God?  If not, why?  We are given a glorious privilege in the invitation to participate in the gospel work of our Savior.  We ought to jump at the opportunities He gives us!

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

  1. Jesus’ statement here ties this event together with His earlier statement in 8:12.  Technically, the wording is a bit different.  There, Jesus emphasized His deity – here, this is more of a statement of His mission and purpose.  The Father sent Jesus to be the light.  He sent Jesus to reveal sin, and to reveal the love, grace, and salvation of God.
  2. Question: if Jesus is speaking of His earthly ministry (the incarnation), did He stop being the light of the world after His ascension?  He said “as long as I am in the world,” or “while I am in the world,” – did His identity change when He was no longer in the world?  No.  Jesus is still the light of the world, but the earthly aspect of His ministry is over.  He could no longer be light IN the world, because He would no longer be here.  While in the world, men and women could physically come to Him, looking to Him as the light – the representation of the glory of God.  Now, the world still sees the light of Jesus, but through the Church (who Jesus also called the light of the world – Mt 5:14).  They see Him indirectly though us.
  3. Jesus had spoken of the work of God – now He goes about it.  Vs. 6…

6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

  1. To 21st century Westerners, this seems like a most unusual (and rather gross) method of healing.  Not too many of us would want our doctors doing much of anything to us with their spit!  In the culture, however, this was a common thing.  Why Jesus chose to use the common method of the people at all, is the question.  After all, Jesus could have simply spoken a word & the man would receive sight.  Technically, Jesus didn’t have to speak or do anything at all – if Jesus simply willed the healing, it would have come.  Why did Jesus go through the motions of spitting on the ground & smearing the mud over the eyes of the man?  Why give the man instructions to go away to the far south end of the city and wash in the pool of Siloam?  It seems like it’s an awful lot to go through when Jesus could have simply pronounced the man healed.  There are several possible reasons:
  2. Reason #1: Jesus is gently leading the man to faith.  There is much compassion in the actions of Jesus.  Obviously any Jewish superstition about mud made from spit isn’t curative, but Jesus used the common method of the day to help this man understand what was going on.  Remember it’s unknown how often Jesus had passed by this man in the past.  The man had been blind all his life, and had likely begged for the majority of it.  No doubt he had heard of Jesus, and knew the stories of what Jesus could do.  Yet the man never once asked to be healed.  HE isn’t the one who approached Jesus with a request; Jesus saw him and stopped.  Jesus had compassion on a man who seemed to have no faith as of yet.  So although the man couldn’t see Jesus, by the actions Jesus took, the man would be able to know what Jesus intended to do for him – even though there is no record of Jesus ever explicitly telling the man that He would give him his sight.  Jesus’ actions give the man the expectation of receiving sight, if he believed.
  3. Reason #2: Jesus is giving the man the opportunity to participate.  Jesus did part of the work; the man was expected to follow it through.  Jesus rubbed mud on the man’s eyes, but there would be no healing if the man didn’t go to the pool of Siloam to wash.  Throughout the course of Chapter 9, the man’s faith in Jesus seems to grow – here, Jesus gives him his first opportunity to exercise it.  Faith is internal, but it always demonstrates itself on the outside.  It begins in the heart, but shows itself through our hands.  As James writes, we show our faith by our works (Jas 2:18).  That is true not only in acts of compassion and love, but simply our faith in general.  How can someone know if he/she really believes in Jesus as Lord?  By his/her obedience.  If Jesus truly is our God & King, then we obey the commands of our Lord.  It’s quite simple, really.  If we really believe that Jesus is who He says He is, then we will do the things He says.
    1. Objection: “That’s legalism!” No, that’s reality.  If we believe that we will get a ticket if we run a red-light, then we won’t run it.  If we believe we will break our leg when jumping off a roof, we won’t do it.  Yet if we truly believe we can fly, we’ll jump. (And be proven wrong!)  If we really believe Jesus is the Living Lord God in the flesh, then we will act upon that faith and do the things He tells us to do.  We’ll forgive as He says to forgive, love as He says to love, walk as He says to walk, testify as He says to testify, etc.  That doesn’t mean we’ll do it perfectly, but our faith will definitely show itself in some form and fashion.
    2. If your faith never has any follow-through, you might need to ask yourself if you really believe in the first place.  Do you believe?  Act upon it!
  4. Reason #3: Jesus is demonstrating His power as God.  What did God use to create man in the Garden of Eden?  Clay – dirt.  This man had been blind from birth, and God the Son uses a bit more clay to give him the sight that he never received in the first place.  The creative work of God is at play as Jesus smears the mud on the man’s eyes.  Jesus had declared Himself to be I AM in 8:58 – He gives the proof to His claims as He shows the creative power of God at work through His actions.
  5. The man went to the pool of Siloam, incidentally the same pool used by the priests during the Feast of Tabernacles during their water-drawing ceremony.  It was during that ceremony on the last day of the feast that Jesus gave the invitation for people to come to Him to receive the Holy Spirit, in order that rivers of living water would flow from their lives (7:37-39).  It was a famous pool in Jerusalem, originally built by King Hezekiah to provide water within the city during the days of the Assyrian siege.  There are actually two pools (and upper and lower one), one of which was known for centuries & the other recently discovered in 2004, and archaeologists are certain that is the pool Jesus referred.  In any case, John deliberately translates the Hebrew name for the pool for his Greek readers, saying that it means “Sent.”  The One sent by God (vs. 4) directed the blind man to go to the “Sent” pool to receive sight – a not-too-subtle hint that the prophet who healed him was sent as the Messiah.
  6. So the man went, and what happened?  He was healed!  Everything happened exactly as Jesus said that it would.  Nothing is written of the man’s emotions – we can only imagine what kind of roller-coaster of emotions he must have gone through.  Other blind men healed by Jesus had gone blind over time; this man had been blind from birth.  Never once had he seen anything at all.  Now light floods his eyes for the first time as he visually takes in everything around him.  He sees colors he had only had described to him.  He sees the faces of people of whom he had only heard voices.  He sees the decorations of the temple that were always out of reach.  His whole world had changed in a moment – all due to the intervention of Jesus.
    1. Isn’t that what happens to each of us when we come to faith in Christ?  To be sure, this man had still had a ways to go in his own journey of faith (he doesn’t come fully to faith until vs. 38), but even in the beginning his whole life changed.  Do you remember the moment you first came to faith in Jesus – when you realized that He is the Lord & that He saved you?  It was like a light had been turned on that you never even realized was turned off before.  You saw things differently, thought of things differently – everything was different, and for good reason: you were now a new creation!  All things had been made new, all due to the intervention of Jesus!
    2. That same intervention is available to everyone – but like the blind man, you need to respond in faith…

8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” 9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.”

  1. It’s no wonder the man’s healing attracted a bit of attention.  After all, people knew he was blind – that isn’t a disease that could be authentically faked for any amount of time.  He had begged for his food day-in and day-out, and many of the “neighbors” had likely helped him at some point.  They recognized the man’s face, but not his demeanor.  Now, when this man looked at them, he could look them in the eye.  Now they witnessed him gazing with purpose at his surroundings.  The evidence was so obvious that this man could see that they could hardly believe the results.  Surely, this must be some doppelganger or twin brother?  Surely there must be just a strong physical resemblance?  No.  This was the man, and he personally affirmed it.
  2. BTW – some of you have likely had a similar experience in your own faith.  Your own life was so dramatically transformed by Jesus that some of your previous friends wondered what happened & if you were the same person.  The answer?  Yes & no.  Yes, you’re physically the same, but no, you’re entirely different.  You were transformed – you were born anew.  Life will never be the same, and praise God for the difference!

10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

  1. It’s only natural that they asked the question.  Once they were convinced this was the same guy, they knew some miracle had taken place.  When Jesus and the disciples encountered the man, there’s no indication that Jesus attracted much of a crowd.  The only witnesses seemed to be the disciples themselves, with no one else taking notice.  (There’s a sad commentary in that.  Jesus did one of His most profound signs, and no one even knew He was there!)  The people naturally wonder what happened, so they ask the man.
  2. That opened the door for the formerly blind man to give his testimony.  It’s short, simple, and to the point – but it communicated everything they needed to know.  He didn’t know anything about Jesus other than His name, and it was He who came, anointed his eyes, and gave him instructions to wash.  That’s what he did, and the man was now able to look up in sight.
    1. Testimonies don’t have to be complex to be effective.  We don’t have to weave together a sad tale of what we used to be.  People already know what we were; without Jesus they are exactly the same way.  This man’s neighbors already knew that he was blind – what they wanted to know was how he could now see.  Our neighbors already know we were lost in sin; we don’t need to spend any time building up our past to paint the picture for them.  What they want to know is what changed us.  How did we move from death to life?  How did we move from blindness to sight?  The most important part of anyone’s testimony is the simple story of Jesus.  “I was blind – I met Jesus – now I see.”  “I was lost – I met Jesus – and now I’m found.”  Too often we make our testimonies self-centered instead of God-centered.  We make it about our past, rather than about God’s work in our present.  Be sure to tell them what the “Man called Jesus” did in your life – tell them about the God who intervened and saved you.

12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.”

  1. This is one of the best parts of the whole event.  When Jesus ministered to the man, he was still blind.  He couldn’t see until he washed his face in the pool.  And yet the people ask him where Jesus is.  How could the man possibly know?!  He was blind.  He couldn’t even point Jesus out from the crowd if Jesus happened to be silently standing there! 
  2. It brings up a good issue, however.  If we don’t know Jesus, how can we worship Him?  This man knew of Jesus & experienced the work of Jesus – but he didn’t yet know Jesus.  He hadn’t yet fully come to faith in Jesus as the Son of God.  Without that, the man’s knowledge was incomplete…which he seemed to realize.  Although he didn’t know it yet, he would soon have another encounter with Jesus, and that one would be far different.  At that time, he would truly know Jesus as Lord, and he would know the comfort and salvation that only Jesus can bring…a gift far better than the gift of sight that he had already received.

Jesus intervened in the life of this formerly-blind man, and he would never be the same!  The darkness was gone, and life was brand-new.  His neighbors immediately saw the difference, and every time they looked at him looking around, they would be reminded of the authority and power of the Man called Jesus, the light of the world.  (That’s the power of a Christian testimony!)

He wasn’t the only person impacted that day – so were the disciples, as they received a powerful lesson.  Years of false teaching and misunderstanding was corrected in a moment when someone they simply assumed to have deserved his suffering was used by Jesus to reveal the glory of God.  The existence of evil wasn’t punishment upon a sinner, but it was overthrown and undone by the Person of Jesus Christ.  Evil may have been ultimately brought on by the original sin, but it finds its consummate answer in the Lord Jesus.

So where are you in the story? 

Perhaps you’re the one who suffers.  There are definitely spiritual principles we see in this account, but don’t forget there was a legitimate physical problem at the core of it.  The man was truly blind, and he was given sight by Jesus.  Obviously not everyone experiences a physical miracle when they believe upon Jesus.  But Jesus does offer comfort to those who are physically afflicted.  Jesus still intervenes in the lives of those who are caught in terrible circumstances.  And Jesus still works things for the glory of God.  Go to Him for His comfort – trust Him for His sovereign work.  He can reveal the works of God through your life as well…believe that He can and will!

Perhaps you’re the one looking from the outside.  The disciples looked upon the blind man and saw an intellectual problem of theology.  The neighbors looked upon the formerly blind man and saw an unaccounted wonder.  Both groups were missing the work and will of God in it all.  The disciples at least knew the Lord, but they missed an opportunity to show compassion and intercede on the man’s behalf.  They were about to miss out on their opportunity to participate in the work of God.  Let us ask God to open our eyes to the opportunities around us!  We have a limited time to do the things God desires for us to do – we don’t want to waste it.  Maybe there is a ministry here in this church God wants you to get involved with – maybe there is a ministry outside of these doors – maybe there’s a mission trip God wants you to go on – maybe there are some people at work God wants you to build into.  It may have gone unnoticed right in front of your eyes – like the number of times the people passed by the blind man, maybe you just haven’t had your eyes opened to the opportunity.  Ask God to open your eyes!  (And once He does, act!)

Perhaps you’re the one in darkness.  Spiritually speaking, every single one of us is blind until our eyes are opened to faith in the Lord Jesus.  Maybe to this point, you’ve heard the name of Jesus, but you’ve never reached out to Him in faith.  To this point, you’ve been lost in your sin, just walking according to how you were born – but you’re beginning to realize things can be different.  You no longer have to be blind.  You no longer need to be enslaved to sin.  You can be free – you can walk in light & life – you can be made a child of God.  Respond in faith to the call of Jesus!  Just like to the blind man, Jesus has extended His invitation, but you still need to respond in faith.  The blind man needed to walk to the pool of Siloam and wash; you and I need to turn away from our sins and trust Christ.  We need to go to the cross. 


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