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Different types of blindnessMinimize

Different Types of Blindness (John 9: 1-41)

On the surface, we have a blind man who has his outward sight restored but who demonstrates that he has inward sight, by acknowledging Jesus as the Lord, sent of God.

It is very sad that the religious authorities are not amazed by the miracle of healing, but are angry that Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath. Not much has changed in the intervening years the shadow, rather than the substance is still the focus of religious authorities of our day.

Three areas have been selected to reflect on, based on this passage from John:

(a) PERCEPTIONS - they can blind us to reality

(b) ENLIGHTENMENT - do we have light within us?

(c) DARKNESS - why do so many choose this?

Perceptions

In 1 Samuel 16: 1-13, Samuel did not want to do what God was requiring of him, that of anointing another in place of Saul. Samuel’s perception was that Saul was being hardly done by; there was also a fear that Saul would act violently towards him if he anointed another as King in place of Saul.

However, Samuel did do as God commanded and found himself with the sons of Jesse; his perception was that God would choose one of grown sons, but as we read, this was not what happened:

“But the Lord said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or the height of his stature, because I have refused him; for the Lord sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”

As we now know, God chose David, the youngest son of Jesse, to be king in place of Saul.

There is a story told of a seaman, who was blinded in an accident on a ship and who was found, more dead than alive, on the beach near a fishing village.

He was taken in by and cared for by a middle aged woman; one day the opportunity arose for the seaman to have an operation to restore his sight.

Sadly, the woman waved goodbye to him, as he left for his operation, feeling that she would never see him again and if she did, that he would reject her because she was plain and very ordinary.

However, this is not what happened; the seaman returned and ask her to marry him; he said that all he could see was this person who had so lovingly cared for him.

Enlightenment

Sometimes the true nature of things is not appreciated by us; consider the following story:

Natives of a Third World country were given a sundial. They were thrilled as they learned how to tell time by observing the shadow of the sun on the face of the sundial. As days passed this amazing instrument attracted such interest that the leaders of the tribe decided that it deserved some sort of worship.

To the delight of the leaders, large crowds gathered to worship. However, this created a problem. They now feared for the safety of this remarkable device. It was decided that a beautiful building be erected to house it. This, they thought, would protect it from any would-be thief. The project was completed and a formal celebration was announced. As thousands gathered, the leaders stood before the sundial at which time they made a startling discovery. The sundial, the centre of attraction, was now useless. Rather than admit error, the leaders decided to preserve it as a shrine for future generations, thus preserving their dignity.

You may smile as you read this, but isn't this what we have done to the Christian faith? The church started out over nineteen hundred years ago with a strong workable faith, a faith in Christ that would change their lives, a faith that would direct their thinking, a faith that would produce action in the face of opposition. This faith was not”pie in the sky”or wishful thinking. It was reality before anything seen. Today, however, we tend to house our faith in beautiful buildings, hoping to preserve it. Have we enshrined our faith for future generations, hoping that they might guess what faith is all about? Has our faith become useless because of what we have done with it?

--Donald Raub

Darkness

Why do some people prefer darkness to light?

In the reading from Ephesians 5: 8-14, we have this:

The Holy Bible, New International Version

Eph 5:8 For you were once z darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light a

Eph 5:9 (for the fruit b of the light consists in all goodness, c righteousness and truth)

Eph 5:10 and find out what pleases the Lord. d

Eph 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, e but rather expose them.

Eph 5:12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.

 Eph 5:13 But everything exposed by the light f becomes visible,

 Eph 5:14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:”Wake up, O sleeper, g rise from the dead, h and Christ will shine on you.”

The religious leaders who feature in the story of the healing of the blind man, from the Gospel of John, chose darkness; their hatred of Jesus, their sense of offence at what he did, blinded them to the miracle that had taken place.

Note that there is no suggestion that the blind man asked to be healed, nor is there any suggestion that this man born blind believed in Jesus prior to his healing. By his actions, this man demonstrated that he was not inwardly blind; whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see”.

This simple statement was too much for the religious leaders; they threw him out of the Synagogue.

Why do so many people despite the light of God?

Because they would have to change, they would have to give up their dark ways and worst of all in their eyes, they would have to acknowledge that their past ways were wrong.

AMEN.

 

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