Scripture: John 9:1-41
Observation: Jesus heals a man who is blind. The Pharisees confront the man to figure out what happened and refuse to believe that Jesus is who he says he is. The once-blind man puts his faith fully in Jesus and worships him.
Application: Before becoming pregnant, I was a pretty avid runner. I followed training plans, was strict with my nutrition, and changed my running shoes every 300 miles, like shoe companies recommend. (Pretty sure it’s a made up rule so that you keep buying running shoes, but it works, as evidenced by the TWELVE pairs of matching Mizunos in my closet. Send help.)
After recovering from an injury and then going through nine months of pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to lace up my running shoes again. I gave myself permission to start running about 2 ½ weeks after I had my son and ran a 5K on his one month’s birthday. (Who needs a doctor’s clearance when you can just clear yourself?! Just kidding. But really. Don’t take my medical advice.) Within a few months, I started running faster than I ever have before – but here’s the kicker: I was training way less, not very committed to a healthy training diet, and definitely stopped following the change-your-shoes-every-300-miles rule. (My shoe budget was now basically a diaper budget.) So, what changed?
Honestly, I’m not really sure. Even after a few months of reflection, it doesn’t really make sense – I trained less, ate worse, and was way less focused, yet got faster and stronger. Something shifted, and the only thing I know for sure was that it worked. Analysis complete.
When the Pharisees started grilling the once-blind man about the man who healed him, he couldn’t fully dissect it. Was the man the Son of God? Was he a demon-possessed sinner? Was he simply a prophet who could perform miracles? The once-blind man didn’t know. But there was one thing he knew for sure: he was blind and now he could see.
“’I don’t know whether he’s a sinner,’ the man replied. ‘But I know this: I was blind and now I can see.’” (v. 25)
The man didn’t know exactly who Jesus was, but he experienced a miracle firsthand – and that was enough for him.
When I think about our roles as followers of Jesus, I believe that we’re supposed to spread the Good News about who he is and what he’s done, inviting others into a relationship with him. But I also believe that sometimes we walk away from that calling because we’re scared we won’t measure up. We assume that telling others about Jesus means that we need to know everything there is to know about Jesus, to be able to quote Scriptures, to have the answers to every atheist’s toughest questions, and to speak eloquently. And because we can’t do all of that, we don’t do anything at all.
But what if we have it all wrong? What if we don’t show the world the love of Jesus by preaching more about him, but instead by exhibiting his character in everything we do? What if we tell others about Jesus through the way we love, serve, listen, give – imperfectly and brokenly but with everything we have? What if people say this:
“I don’t know what I believe about Jesus, but I know this: people who follow him are genuinely loving and kind. They serve the people who need it most. They’re generous. They’re good neighbors and great friends and enjoyable to work with. They’re others-focused, positive, and encouraging.”
Like the once-blind man, they may not know who Jesus really is, but eventually, they’ll start to believe what they can see. And when they see loving, compassionate, generous people calling themselves Jesus followers, they may just begin believing, too.
“’Yes, Lord, I believe!’ the man said. And he worshipped Jesus.’” (v. 38)
When people look at us, what do they see? Do they see Jesus?
Prayer: God, when people see me, I pray they’ll see your son Jesus. I pray you’ll continually work in my heart and shape my life to align more and more with the life you’ve designed for me. I pray that you’ll give me the courage to invite others into relationship with you, allowing your Spirit to work through me. Amen.