The Gospels tell a number of stories of Jesus healing blind people. The Gospel of John describes an episode in which Jesus encounters a man blind from birth. In Jesus’ day, blindness was often seen as a punishment for sin. So His disciples naturally ask whether the cause of the blindness was the man’s sins or his parents’. Jesus’ startling response: “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins. This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
Jesus mixes spit with dirt to make a mud mixture, places it on the man's eyes, and then instructs him to wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam. When the man does this, he is able to see. He comes back to neighbors who barely recognize him and angry Pharisees who want to discredit the whole thing (John 9:8-34).
The Pharisees in the story serve as mirrors for us. They not only fail to repent of their own sin and blindness, but they also reject Jesus and show no concern for this man born blind. They do not rejoice with him who now sees. They do not celebrate Jesus as the one who can do what no one has ever done before. They do not consider how other blind and lame people could benefit from Jesus. They are only concerned with themselves, their agenda, their authority, their control. Let that not be said of us.
Many times in Scripture blindness and sight are used symbolically to stand for unbelief and faith. Two times right before this miracle, Jesus declares that “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12, 9:5). It signifies who Jesus is and what He has come to do on the Earth. Again, physical healing tied to the issue of spiritual healing.
This man's blindness was intended for the works of God to be displayed in him. How easily we forget that God wants the same for us.
God is sovereign over everything we are and everything we have and He intends to display His power in our lives. No matter how bad we want to be, we are not self-sufficient, self-dependent, and self-reliant. We are broken, we are blind, and only God has the power to heal us.
Today read the whole story in John 9:1–41 and ask yourself what would’ve been your response to this miracle? What part(s) of your life do you feel like is there for the works of God to be displayed?