John 9: 25, 30-33 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”...The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
This is one of my favorite bible passages because it is a story of resistance and faith. The healed blind man confronts the religious authorities on their own blindness. The Pharisees are incapable of seeing beyond their own religious rigidity. They were trapped in their limited understanding of God. “Had Jesus performed a miracle on the Sabbath? Was he a sinner because of that? They could only understand rules.
Even Jesus’ apostles were prompt to accuse. They wanted to know who had sinned in the case of this man so that he was born blind. Our brother Jesus explains: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3 God wants us to see the world without our learned parameters of what is a sin.
While the religious authorities were debating their own scarcity of grace, the blinds man gives them a lesson of faith. The blind man is certain that getting his sight back was a sign of God’s benevolence. He now “sees” and will not condemn even when being persecuted the one that had brought him sight. He now “sees” and he will not question a miracle that has changed his life.
Prayer: May God give us a heart to see the manifestations of God’s grace even in and on those who are most marginalized. Amen.
Bio: Rev. Rhina Ramos, founder of Ministerio Latino, an open and affirming congregation serving Spanish speaking LGBTQ and allies in Northern CA. Rhina also works for the Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network.