Gospel: John 9:1-41 The blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored

What do you think I meant when I was saying “I see”? So there is the type of seeing where you see things with your eyes, right? And then there is the type of seeing where you understand things in your mind…

Sometimes in comics or cartoons, a character will have a little lightbulb light up above their head as a way to show this kind of seeing; the lightbulb is a way to show that the character can SEE a new idea/a new thought. I am talking about these two types of seeing because both types of seeing are in today’s scripture story.  We hear about the first type of seeing (seeing with eyes) when Jesus heals a man who was blind. Being blind means what, again? That’s right! Someone who cannot see with their eyes.  So Jesus, with God’s help, healed the man’s eyes so that he could see.

But then the Pharisees, who are the religious leaders of Israel, they get upset because Jesus healed on the Sabbath. The Pharisees think Jesus did work when he healed the man. And because they think that working on the Sabbath is a bad thing to do, they are very upset with Jesus. This brings us to the whole point of the story: Because the Pharisees are all upset about this “working on the Sabbath” thing, they can’t “see” God’s work. They don’t see and don’t understand what God is doing through and with Jesus. There is no light bulb going off above their heads. This is why at the end of the story, Jesus has to tell them that even though they can see things with their eyes, they cannot see the things that God is doing right in front of them. In other words, even though the Pharisees can see — they are also blind.

Although the healing of the blind man is a very cool and exciting thing, how the Pharisees act make this a pretty sad story. The very people who should be most excited about how God is at work were completely blind to how God was at work. But, we don’t need to be like the Pharisees. In the same way that Jesus helped the blind man to see with his eyes, Jesus can help us better “see” God. When I say “see God,” I’m using the type of “seeing” that means to better understand and know God. And when we see God better, then we will also learn to do like Jesus did and be able to help others see God better, too. Then, they will be better able to help other people know and understand God better. And on and on and on. And that’s the Good News for today. Let’s pray.