St. Johns 9th : FIRST MOVEMENT
“And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.” John 9:1 (NASB)
In Symphony No. 9, which was written by Beethoven between the years of 1822-1824, we find that there are all kinds of musical “forms“ but Beethoven called them “movements” of which there are four of them. This symphony is then capped off with “Ode to Joy” (written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785) …”Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen? Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt? Such’ ihn über’m Sternenzelt! Über Sternen muß er wohnen.” (oops, that’s in German) “Do you bow down before Him, you millions? Do you sense your Creator, o world? Seek Him above the canopy of stars! He must dwell beyond the stars.” (there, that’s better) For the classical music enthusiast this was a zenith of its time and still remains as such to this day.
I kinda feel this way about the ninth chapter of John’s Gospel. There are all kinds of things going on in it that speak to what it is like to receive your sight from Jesus. Like Beethoven’s 9th the chapter slowly begins with “And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.” Now it could end real quickly if the next verse was “Then Jesus touched him and he was healed” but that’s too easy and not how The Word of God works. In this chapter we will need to take in the question’s and interrogation’s that ends with Jesus declaring His purpose by making the blind see and those who claim to see…blind.
So without further ado let’s wind up the orchestra…let’s begin with a question shall we? “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” Innocent enough, after all this was pretty much a typical question asked in the ancient world (just look at what happens with Job and the response from his friends) but Jesus sets the record straight…”It was neither” then Jesus goes on to tell them what the deal really is. This man was chosen to have the works of God displayed in him. Now maybe back then that may not have been too cool an idea to most people but us folk in the New Testament era…this is pretty cool.
So after Jesus says “While I am in the world” He repeats what was said back in John 8:12, “Egō eimi to phōs tou kosmou” (I am the light of the world) and here in the 9th chapter is how it will be demonstrated. “He spat on the ground and made clay with His spittle” then puts the mud of the blind man’s eyes. Now this is where I think this through (somewhat), so if the ground is cursed (from that time in The Garden) and Jesus is the Living Water (and the saliva of the firstborn of a father was once thought to have healing properties) was this a demonstration that Jesus has come to free us from the curse and renew mankind? (I just heard the violin section screech) After all, Adam was made from the earth and to me that means Adam was mud (there goes the brass section) before YHVH breathed life into him.
And like Elisha sending Naaman to wash in the dirty Jordan, Jesus sends this man to the pool of Siloam (which means Sent). Now there are some commentaries that suggest that we can interpret Siloam as Shilôah and tie it into Genesis 49:10, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” But the real deal here is this man was physically blind and now he can physically see…those who are going to question the validity of his miraculous healing. Yeah baby, here comes the judge (or those wacky Pharisees again).
In the next “movement’ of this symphony of a Freedom Fighter I am conducting we will examine just what it was like for this once blind man to go from physical sight to spiritual sight and the struggle he had to deal with those around him. But in the meantime take some time and reflect on what it was like when you had your spiritual eyes opened. Were you faced with those who doubted your healing, whether it was physical or spiritual? Did immediate family leave you out there to fend for yourself because they needed to keep a distance or doubted it themselves (this one I know personally). In any case my brothers (and sisters) Jesus is the light of the world and He came to make the blind, see. To think otherwise may be leaving you as blind as a Pharisee. Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony Mercy and blogs weekly on Freedom Fighter. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 9-11; 1 John 2
Think About This: “The Pharisees were religious reformers who carried out every detail of the Law. Their outward religion would dazzle you, but inside they were blinded by their own self-righteousness.”—Fenelon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:20