John 9

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. He then spat in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.

Soon the town was buzzing. His relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, “Why, isn’t this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?”

Others said, “It’s him all right!” But others objected, “It’s not the same man at all. It just looks like him.” He said, “It’s me, the very one.”

They marched the man to the Pharisees. This day, when Jesus made the paste and healed his blindness, was the Sabbath. The Pharisees grilled him again on how he had come to see. He said, “He put a clay paste on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “Obviously, this man can’t be from God. He doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” Others countered, “How can a bad man do miraculous, God-revealing things like this?” There was a split in their ranks.

They came back at the blind man, “You’re the expert. He opened your eyes. What do you say about him?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

They said, “You’re nothing but dirt! How dare you take that tone with us!” Then they threw him out in the street.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and went and found him. He asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The man said, “Point him out to me, sir, so that I can believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You’re looking right at him. Don’t you recognize my voice?”

“Master, I believe,” the man said, and worshiped him.

Gospel Reflection

The story keeps emphasising that the man was blind from birth. To heal him then means the beginning of a completely new life, a life where he can see. He will enter a new world of brightness. Not to know Jesus is to live in blindness and darkness. In fact, this story is an illustration of Jesus’ statement: “I am the light of the world”.

In the beginning of the story, the man is blind – he cannot see; he is a beggar – he has nothing; he is an outsider – no one accepts him. His affliction indicates that he is a sinner or the son of a sinner and as such, a person to be avoided. In the end, when he is able to see, he becomes a disciple of Jesus. In terms of the Gospel, it is the logical and inevitable outcome. Once we really see Jesus, we are hooked.

In the beginning he was blind, he was in darkness. In the end he is in the light, because Jesus is the Light of the world.