Essay / Philosophy

Blindness and Sight

John Mark Reynolds, 2004.

John 9- Jesus heals a “man born blind.The Greeks wrote that the blind could see better in the spiritual world, because they were not distracted by the physical. They made their great sages and prophets blind (Homer, Tiresias). To see the world where the gods lived, one had to ignore the physical world. Homer would not have wanted to be healed, because it would have deprived him of his great gift of poetry. Christianity tells a different story. Jesus heals the man born blind. Then Christ says He has come into the world so the “blind can see.” The healed man asks Jesus to tell him of the Son of Man. He has learned to rely on his “hearing.” Jesus Christ tells him to look and see. The man born blind is not just healed in his physical eyes, the miracle of the incarnation allows this miracle to become a spiritual moment as well. He “beholds” Christ’s glory, “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) God wants us to see and makes us whole to do it. We need not stay blind in order to see!This reminds me of a key idea at the end of Job. Job has complained about God. What he has heard about God does not fit his experience. He complains bitterly. God does not tell Job more. . . since that “hearing” cannot trump Job’s experience. When Job sees God, it overwhelms him. He knows: that God, that God I see, must be good and just. He is not just overawed, he “gets it.” The details are unimportant. If you know God is good, know it in a way you cannot doubt, because you have experienced Him, then you cannot help but trust.Christians begin with a religious experience. This experience is rational and passionate at the same time. We see God. In growing, we must not forget that to be “born again” and transformed by the Spirit is our life goal and mission. We do not need more hearing, I think, but more seeing. God show us yourself.

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