What do you think of when you hear the word SALVATION? Some think about heaven. Others about Jesus saving from sin. I tend to think of it as simply SEEING GOD.
In John’s gospel today there is a lengthy diatribe between the healed blind man and the Pharisees. But ultimately this isn’t a story about Jesus healing – it is about SEEING GOD. Some get it. Others don’t.
In many ways this is the central focus of the entire gospel of John – SEEING GOD.
This blind man had been healed by Jesus on the Sabbath – he had taken mud and rubbed it on his eyes and healed him. This man was brought to the Pharisees to answer some questions. Their concern is an odd one: “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” There was a pervasive thought that being blind was a condition of one’s sin. So their question is not only “How could Jesus do this?” but also “How could this blind man, a sinner, have deserved healing?”
Jesus turns this argument on its head. He takes on the theology of the day, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” The Pharisees are upset and ask themselves “Surely we are not blind are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘we see,’ your sin remains.”
Jesus makes some enemies fast!! He is taking on the establishment! He is stirring the pot.
This passage is a good reminder that Jesus’ purpose is not all about peace, goodwill, and good deeds. His mission is something more. He is here to break open the establishment. There is a time for meekness, and a time for bold action. Jesus is more than a Good Shepherd, but also a rabble-rouser when he needs to be one.
I find great comfort in following this man from Nazareth for this very reason. I see meek and mild, but I also see strength and fortitude. He is going to speak the truth, even if that truth is going to break apart the Pharisees’ construct.
And that is the lesson for me, as we face Holy Week. There is a time for the old constructs, the old ways of thinking and being to be put to rest. There is a time for us to turn it all over and follow our leader to the cross. It may not seem like the strength and fortitude we need, but it is. God works in mysterious ways. And our job is not to tamper with the Almighty, but to follow.
THANK YOU GOD, FOR HELPING US TO SEE YOU FULLY, THE WORD IN FLESH. AMEN.