Spiritual Blindness


John 9:39-41
Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “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.


The man who was speaking to Jesus had been born blind.  In life there may be accidents or diseases that cause blindness but someone who has never seen, this is something completely different.  Jesus had healed this man and suddenly he could see.  The miracle of this is huge for modern science would tell us that his brain, unaccustomed to seeing would not even have known how to interpret the things he was seeing and yet he seemed able to make sense of it all, trying to explain to the religious leaders what had happened to him. 

The religious authorities were so hung up on how they interpreted the law of Moses they they could not grasp what they were witnessing right in front of them.  The living God was being revealed in front of their faces.  God had become incarnate and was standing before them.  The blindness of the Law was putting on flesh and they were witnesses to this new life.  They were no longer blind, but since they chose not to believe they would have to live with their sin.


We can find ourselves in the different characters of this story.  First of all we meet up with the blind man himself.  He had done nothing to be deserving of his condition.  He was simply born without sight. The people of the world wanted to believe that he was deserving of his condition.  Surely he or his parents had sinned or he wouldn't have been blind.  He wasn't looking for healing that day.  He was simply sitting by the gate begging when someone pointed him out and asked Jesus a question.  The result was that Jesus took the man's weakness and turned it into more than the man could have ever imagined.

This miracle was also for his parents.  Their personal needs would now be met because they would have a healthy son who could work and support them, rather than spending his days begging in the city. However, when the authorities come after them they are reluctant to declare who it is that has done this miracle.  They tell the officials to go ask their son...for he is old enough to respond for himself.  While they are willing to accept the benefits of this miracle, they are unwilling to confess that Jesus is Lord.

Finally we meet up with the religious officials who should have known better.  They had studied the Law for years and were proud of all of their knowledge.  However, their knowledge had, in some ways made them blind.  They couldn't see the truth of Jesus who stood right in front of them.  They were too busy trying to do church right, that they missed The Messiah for whom they had been waiting.  He was right there!

Where are we in this story?  We are invited into a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Christ...where we fall deeply in love with him...where our spiritual eyes are opened and we can see God incarnate...Jesus.  We are invited into a face to face relationship with him.  When we see him face to face, we reflect him to the world.  When we refuse to see him, we will reflect our own spiritual blindness. He wants to open our eyes so that we may declare the truth that Jesus is Lord!


Lord, may I never be ashamed to declare you to the world!  Amen.


  1. The religious officials have great power and status by being authorities of the law of Moses. In Jn. 9:28 they tell the blind man, "You are his (Jesus') disciple, but we are disciples of Moses." Their high position in Jewish society is dependent on their devotion to keeping and teaching and enforcing the law of Moses. And that law is about much more than their sabbath laws, which Jesus breaks. This law includes civic rules for the nation; it is their national constitution. Thus the authorities of this law are not just religious officials; they are political rulers over their towns and cities, throughout Israel. They remain blind to Jesus because he threatens their authority over the people.


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