Were you surprised when you read the Bible passage that the blind man's newly recovered sight caused him problems?
What do you think Tony Robinson means when he says: "When we experience hard things on [Jesus'], that is when we come to really know him.
Are there other forms of "blindness" that Jesus can heal in us? What are some examples?
John 9: 1-34
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him. 4 We[a]must work the works of him who sent me[b] while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man's eyes, 7 saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?" 9 Some were saying, "It is he." Others were saying, "No, but it is someone like him." He kept saying, "I am the man." 10 But they kept asking him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" 11 He answered, "The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' Then I went and washed and received my sight." 12 They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know."
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, "He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see." 16 Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?" And they were divided. 17 So they said again to the blind man, "What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened." He said, "He is a prophet."
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" 20 His parents answered, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself." 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus[c] to be the Messiah[d] would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."
24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, "Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner." 25 He answered, "I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." 26 They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" 27 He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?" 28 Then they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." 30 The man answered, "Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." 34 They answered him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?" And they drove him out.
I Met Jesus and My Life Is Not Better
"The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, 'Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?' Some were saying, 'It is he.' Others were saying, 'No, but it is someone like him.' He kept saying, 'I am the man.'" - John 9:8-9
What happens to someone who is touched and changed by Jesus?
When I watch a religious TV show or listen to some personal testimonies, it seems that after meeting Jesus everything is better. "Jesus came into my life and now business is great, my wife and I are super in love, and the kids, who were on drugs, are getting straight A's. Thank you, Jesus."
It may be that way for some people. But I'm struck by what happened to the blind beggar, in John 9, who was touched and healed by Jesus. He got healed and his neighbors no longer knew him. His parents disowned him. And he was kicked out of the church. If he'd given a testimony it might have been, "Yes, I was healed by Jesus and my life turned into a mess. People I'd known for a long time acted as if they didn't know me, my family didn't want anything to do with me, and the authorities threatened to arrest me."
I imagine his testimony might continue. "Yes, since meeting Jesus my life is harder in many ways. But, you know, I wouldn't have it any other way. Because now I see. I see how afraid many people are, how afraid I was. Afraid to tell the truth, afraid to live, afraid to take any risks. It's like we're blind. It makes me sad. But I don't want to go back."
Being touched and blessed by Jesus may not mean our lives are suddenly successful, as society defines success. Jesus may make life harder, but in ways that matter. He gives us problems worth having. And when we experience hard things on his account, that is when we come to really know him.
When you open my eyes to see by the light of your truth and grace, Lord, grant me the courage to keep 'em open. Amen.