Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blame no one

 39Jesus then said, "I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind."
(John 9:39)

The ninth chapter of John is the story of a man born blind.  He was forced to spend each day begging for something to fill his belly - something to provide for his welfare.  The day he met Jesus was a day just like all the rest.  He was in his usual spot for begging - awaiting a passerby with a tender heart who might put a mite or two in his cup.  This day, as Jesus was passing by, his disciples pose a question to Jesus about the man's blindness.  Their question centered on who had sinned - the man himself, or his parents.    

They equated his blindness to sin.  A physical ailment in Old Testament times was often equated with sin.  It was either the sin of his parents, or his own personal sin, that they were asking about.  Jesus' response was quite revealing - he told them that they were looking for the person to blame.  So often, we look at ailments, diseases, less than desirable conditions and all we want to do is find someone to blame.  We want to place blame while Jesus is all about showing what God can do in a person's life.  He tells his disciples to not focus on the "fault" for the man's condition, but on what God can do with a yielded life.

The truth of the matter is that there are those who proclaim to have all the truth, while others simply know they don't.  Some claim to "see", while others clearly know they cannot.  What amazes me about Jesus is that he always uses the weak to confound the strong, the lame to counter the upright and haughty.  The blind man didn't even know who was standing before him that day.  When he is encountered by Jesus, he is totally blind to the deliverer at his feet.  He cannot give testimony to "who" healed him when encountered by the religious leaders because he never "saw" him in the physical sense.

There are times in our lives when our blindness is what everyone sees.  We "get by" in our condition of blindness, but we don't really flourish.  We are stuck in the rut of simply looking for enough to get by for that moment or that day.  We don't really hope for deliverance from our blindness - we just live with it.  We can be blind to our faults, our fears, and our failures.  In our condition of blindness, we can do nothing more than "feel our way through life".  

Jesus wants more for us than just "feeling our way through life".  He wants us to experience it fully - the way God intended for us to experience it from the beginning.  The man's eyes were opened - causing him to announce with a certainty - "I don't know who this man was...but I do know this....Once I was I see!"  That day opened up more than this man's eyes.  He no longer had to return to the place of the beggar.  He was free to come and go as he desired - no longer bound to going only to the places he knew well - opened to the possibilities of experiencing new things.

That is what it is like to be delivered from our blindness.  When we stop trying to look for someone to blame for our condition, we are one step closer to being able to see what we could not see before.  When we are open to the newness of experience that comes with our deliverance, we can see that the "truth" we thought we once knew is enlarged by our fresh vision.  There is great deliverance at your feet - will you trust Jesus to touch you?

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