Dark as Night?
A recent video traveled around social media featuring a blind person explaining blindness and it had people … shook. Why? A fully blind person doesn’t see darkness as seeing people do when we close our eyes. They “see” nothing. Seeing people, of course, struggled understanding this concept. Including me! The concept is mind-boggling. Someone explained it that it would be like expecting your elbow to see. Your elbow doesn’t see blankness.
Your elbow doesn’t see anything.
During the few weeks that I’ve been trying to comprehend this, I read one of my favorite passages in the Bible, John 9. And with this new understanding of full blindness, I “saw” the passage in a new light.
We meet a man blind from birth. We don’t know the extent of his blindness. He may have been fully blind and living in this world of … nothingness. The disciples ask Jesus who sinned that the man was born that way, and Jesus replied, “It was not that this man sinned…but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (Jn 9:3, ESV)
Then Jesus does a unique thing. Instead of just speaking or touching the man, Jesus spat on the ground and made mud. He put it on the man’s eyes and told him to wash it off. When the man did so, his sight began.
This healing becomes known to the religious leaders and the man is brought before the Pharisees. They don’t believe the news of his healing because they aren’t too excited about Jesus and they question the man about where Jesus came from. The man gets snarky with them, and it’s glorious. Because it kind of seems like Jesus gave them a realllllllly big clue about where he came from.
In Genesis at the creation of the world, man did not exist. We were literally nothing. Then God reached down….into the clay. He fashioned it into a person. Something that had not existed before now existed.
Bright As Day
In the previously blind man’s response to the Pharisees when they questioned wanting to know more about the healing, he says “You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes….Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.” (Jn 9:30, 32 ESV, italics mine)
The man, whether meaning to or not, pointed directly back to when God created man with clay during the creation week and the beginning of the world. Seems like maybe this Jesus and the God that they believed created the world were, perhaps, there at the same time. Big if true!
Maybe this was the work of God that was to be displayed in the blind man’s life. That Jesus would show, in such a small but significant way, that the Person who had created the first man with clay could use clay to heal a man’s eyes.
And God is still making men and women as new creations when he opens their spiritual eyes. John Newton wrote these timeless words hundreds of years ago, “I once was blind, but now I see.”
May we, like the blind man says when Jesus returns to him after the pestering questions by the religious leaders, “Who is [the Son of Man], sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord I believe,” and he worshiped him. (Jn 9:36-38)