March 18, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Seeing the Sightless
“He saw a man which was blind from birth.”
I have always been arrested by the words, “He saw a man which was blind from birth.” If there was any ‘seeing’ to be done, it must be by Christ. The man was sightless. He was totally hopeless and unable to initiate a dialogue or relationship.
To disciples, it was an occasion for a theology lesson: “Who did sin, this man or his parents?” Their belief system was limited by a retribution theology – all ill is due to a person’s sin. To bystanders, the man was an object of pity. But to Christ, here was an opportunity for God’s glory, God’s works, to be manifest.
Blind, begging, bereft all hope, no one had ever heard of a man born blind being able to receive his sight. But God is about to display His glory through the work of His Son. No one else could give physical sight to a man born blind. The Light of the World, however, is about to show, in the physical realm, what He alone can accomplish in the spiritual realm. Combining the spittle and earth, He made clay, anointed the eyes of the blind man, and sent him to the pool Siloam to wash and receive his sight. We may opine over the details and suggest spiritual lessons in the clay, the spittle, and the pool, but the result is not open to opinion: he “came seeing.”
God’s glory, the Excellency of His person and power, had been revealed for men to view. The light had shined in incomparable radiance upon the eyes of men. Yet, the remainder of the chapter details the increasing blindness of the human heart as it resists the light, rails against the light, and finally rejects the light.
In contrast, the blind man moves, albeit slowly, on the light he has until he is brought into the full blaze of revelation, bowing as a worshiper before the feet of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God (38). The next chapter in John will tell us about the Shepherd seeking. But before we get the doctrine, we get the picture in chapter 9.
Thank God He saw us when we did not see or even look for Him. May we, as well, fall at His feet in worship (v 38).
1. Gather up all the ‘musts’ of John’s Gospel relating to the Lord Jesus. Begin with John 3:14.
2. Notice the progress the man makes in his appreciation of Christ: A man (v 11), a prophet (v 17), a Man of God (v 33), and finally, the Son of God (35).
3. In the spittle of men, there was an expression of their vileness. See the accounts of men spitting upon Christ at His mockery and trial. In the spittle of Christ, there was virtue.