The blind man did not have the education of the Pharisees. He did not have the sight of his neighbors. All he had were two eyes that did not work. But when Jesus put that mud on his eyes, and the blind man went and washed it off, more than just a physical healing took place. At the moment his eyes began to see, his life began to transform, as well.
Though the Pharisees are spiritually blind, the blind man is not, and as the story progresses he becomes more and more aware of the true identity of Jesus. At the beginning of the story, the man does not do or say anything. He is merely a flat character used as an opportunity for the disciples to ask a question and for Jesus to teach a lesson. As soon as Jesus speaks to him, however, the blind man does as Jesus tells him. His unquestioning obedience is rewarded by the immediate cure of his blindness. His prompt obedience is remarkable, considering that he knows very little about Jesus; just how little he knows is made clear when he refers to Jesus as “the man called Jesus” in verse 11. Clearly he expects his neighbors to know who Jesus is, but he does not yet understand that Jesus is more than a normal person. He does, however, recognize that it was Jesus who healed him. The man’s amazed neighbors take him to the Pharisees, who ask him how he received his sight. The man’s response is often passed over without more than a cursory glance, but J.L. Staley reveals that the man’s response is a fascinating insight into his character. Unlike the lame man of John 5, who baldly stated that Jesus was the one who healed him, the formerly blind man seeks to protect Jesus from the persecution of the Pharisees. The man tells the Pharisees, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see” in John 9:15. The man does not mention Jesus by name because he is aware of the Pharisees’ attitude towards Jesus.
The blind man plays a part in this, as well. Jesus told him to wash off the mud in the pool of Siloam. Now, he could have just as easily been walking, heard that there was water closer, and used that water, but he completely obeyed the instructions Jesus gave him. His readiness to obey the command of Jesus is an essential element in the cure. Jesus didn’t go with him to make sure he followed the directions, he went on his own. Jesus provided a way to get rid of the label he had, and the blind man did what Jesus told him to do, and the blind man now became the healed!
What this blind man knows is that once he was blind, then he had an encounter with Jesus Christ, and now he can see. The label he had on himself his entire life, the blind guy, no longer exists anymore because of what Jesus did. And Jesus can do the same for you.
- Perhaps you label yourself as depressed. Will you allow Jesus to take that label off?
- Maybe you label yourself by your addiction. Will you allow Jesus to take that label off?
- What label have you put on yourself? What label have others put on you? Regardless of the label, Jesus Christ can, and will, take that label off.
Will you let Him?
Will you let Him?
Will you let the Healer replace that label, that label that the haters put on you, and let you be the Healed?