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

What’s worse: physical blindness or moral and spiritual darkness? Sin clouds the mind in darkness and closes the heart to God’s love and truth. Only in the light of God’s truth can we see sin for what it really is, a rejection of God and opposition to his will. The Pharisees equated physical blindness and sickness with sin.

The Pharisees were upset with Jesus on two counts. First, he healed the blind man on the Sabbath, which they considered a violation of the Sabbath rest. Second, how could a sinner and a sabbath-breaker do such a marvellous work of God! The cured man must not have really been blind at all! This blind man was well known to many people and his parents testified under oath that he had indeed been blind since birth. Their prejudice made them blind to God’s intention for the Sabbath and to Jesus’ claim to be the One sent from the Father in heaven to bring freedom and light to his people. Paul the Apostle warns us to avoid the darkness of sin that we might walk more clearly in the light of Christ (Ephes. 5:8-12).
Do we allow any blind-spots to blur our vision of what God is offering and requiring of us?