Story 131: The Feast of Dedication: Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

John 9:1-41

Venice - Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind i

Three months had passed since the Feast of Tabernacles, and the time had come for the Feast of Dedication. Once again, pilgrims from all over the nation of Israel would journey to Jerusalem. The events of the last feast were still fresh in people’s minds. Jesus had made stunning declarations right in the courtyard of the Temple. Despite rumors that the religious leaders wanted to arrest Him, nothing seemed to happen, and the people wondered.

Since then, Jesus and His disciples had fanned out all over Judea, preaching about the Kingdom of God and performing glorious miracles that nobody could deny. How many hundreds or thousands in Jerusalem had been healed by Jesus or one of His followers? How many of their family members and friends were there, too?

The whole of Jerusalem was talking about Jesus. But the Lord Jesus wasn’t worried about the crowds or the religious leaders. His constant focus was to do the will of His Father. In the midst of vicious arguments against Him, the surrounding mobs of people, and rumors that the Jewish leaders were plotting to kill Him, what did God the Father ask of His Son? What was His priority? Here is a beautiful story that shows us…

Jesus was going along the road in Jerusalem with His disciples when He saw a blind man. It was obvious from the shape of His eyes that this man had been blind since the day he was born. Can you imagine the grief of his parents that day? The struggle of daily life for this man must have been great.

Not only did he have to suffer from a crippling handicap, he had to bear the shame of disgrace. For you see, everyone would look at his blindness as a judgment of God against his family. Their neighbors, their leaders, and even their own extended family would wonder what they had done to deserve such a fate. They would whisper about secret sins and try to figure out who had committed them. How could it be the son’s fault if he was blind before he was even born? No, it must be the parents fault. What had they done, and which one did it? And so the great pain of the family was used for the the evil pleasure of gossips who cloaked their malice by pretending genuine, spiritual concern.

The terribly sad thing is that the man and his parents probably believed the same thing, too. Without knowing why, they lived with a constant burden of shame. Somehow, they must have brought this on themselves. Every sin they ever committed would bear down on them with extra agony. They would imagine the face of God as stern and unforgiving. But that was not the truth about God the Father of Jesus Christ, and His Son was about to reverse the terrible lie.

When the disciples saw the man sitting on the side of the road, they asked Jesus a question that was typical of the thinking of their day. “‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’”

Jesus answered them with a stunning response, “‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’”

Wow. In God’s eyes, it was not a shame that this man was blind. It was a privilege! God Himself was about to receive glory and honor through this man. That is the highest calling of all! And the man would be rewarded richly…for the next two thousand years, his story would be told in connection with the Savior of the world.

Jesus said, “‘As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’”

What do you think Jesus meant when he said that night was coming? If daytime was a symbol of the bright, amazing time when Jesus walked the earth and did wondrous miracles, what did it mean that darkness was going to come? Jesus was pointing to His death on the cross. As long as He was on earth, He would break into the power of the curse and heal those who were damaged and broken by it.

Did you notice that Jesus said, “we”? The work does not belong to Christ alone, but to all who follow Him. His disciples were going to be a part of His plan. They were going to show Jesus’ transforming power!   But then He warned: one day He was going to leave, and there would be a time when no work was done at all. Jesus’ time on earth was getting shorter.

Jesus spit on the ground and mixed it with dust. He took the mud and put it on the eyes of the blind man. Then He said, “‘Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam.’” The man did just as Jesus said. When he came back home, he could see!

Can you imagine how excited he was? He had never seen anything before! Suddenly, all the sounds he had listened to and voices he heard had faces and shapes and colors! He could see that the sun was not only warm, but bright yellow and shining against the deep blue sky! What a world of discovery lay before him!

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