As I stood in line at a sandwich shop waiting to order, two paramedics came in and got in line behind me. I really didn’t think much of it and went about placing my order.
As the restaurant worker asked me what I wanted on my food, I heard a call come in over one of the EMT’s radios. I heard the dispatcher say, “We have a 3-year-old boy having a seizure.”
Just as I began to process what I had just heard, the dispatcher continued saying, “Fire and rescue are on route to the address – 111 Main Street.” My heart dropped and then raced. Complete fear took over.
I turned to the paramedics who were running out the door and said, “That’s my address and that’s my son!”
I drove quickly home, praying the whole way.
They were able to revive my son, who was unconscious for nearly five minutes. It was a very traumatic experience for my whole family.
My son was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was three years old and put on medication to keep his seizures under control. I was thankful to keep the seizures at bay, but unfortunately the medication brought about some difficult behavioral issues. Eventually, the medication stabilized his behavior and the seizures became few and far between.
Much to everyone’s surprise, at one of his neurological appointments at Children’s Hospital, his doctor said he was “cured!” All his tests came back normal.
It was a miracle!
There was really no medical explanation for his cure, but he was given the “all clear” sign and taken off all medication.
I love to tell this story. I want people to hear that God’s miracles are still happening today. I want people to hear about God’s healing power in our lives!
And thinking about God’s miracles and His glory leads me into a beautiful story of healing and redemption for the man born blind.
You see friends, God sees us and our suffering. Like He saw the man born blind. Like He saw my son. And His response always has a greater purpose behind it.
In this story, Jesus healing the man born blind was for the sole purpose of giving God glory. The fact that the blind man was healed physically isn’t the only miracle that Jesus performed that day. He also brought spiritual healing and salvation to him.
JESUS SEES OUR SUFFERING & RESPONDS
If we turn to the Scripture behind this story, we see that right before this event took place Jesus had just been run off and almost stoned by the Jews.
Scripture tells us that Jesus had slipped away from the temple. So, we see Him on the run and the first person He runs into is the man born blind. I think this is important to note as Jesus could have easily passed this man by. After all, He was in a hurry to get to safety.
But He didn’t pass him by. He stopped and had compassion and love for him. Interestingly enough, the man didn’t call out to Jesus. He never asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus saw the blind man and approached him.
I would guess that most people passed him by, not stopping to see the grief and sorrow in his eyes. The suffering that he had endured throughout his whole life. Perhaps even the religious leaders passed him by as well.
But not Jesus.
Jesus saw him and met him where he was at in his life journey. He showed the love and compassion of God to this poor man.
The blind man was not searching for God, but God was seeking him.
We can see this in Scripture in Luke 19:10 (NIV) when Jesus told Zacchaeus the tax collector:
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
And friends, only by God’s grace does He seek us. Only by His grace does He chase after and pursue us.
OPPORTUNITY FOR GOD TO BE GLORIFIED
We see as Jesus stops to engage with the blind man that His disciples ask Him a very difficult question:
Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jn 9:2 (NIV)
Back in Biblical times, Jewish teachers often believed that sickness, disabilities and suffering were all a result of the sins of one’s parents. Today, we call it “The Generational Curse.” That whatever your parents did or didn’t do would follow you into your life and wreak havoc.
But Jesus sets the record straight in this instance as He replies:
Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Jn 9:3 (NIV)
Essentially, He was saying that as hard as it is, sometimes people suffer in order for a greater purpose to prevail. Sometimes God allows suffering so that He will be glorified in the midst of it.
While the disciples asked the question in reference to the Jewish leaders’ teachings about sin and suffering, we can find truth in the fact that Jesus removed this “Generational Curse.” Scripture tells us this in Romans 8:1-3 (NIV):
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.”
We know that Jesus paid the price for all sin. His blood shed on the cross set us free from sin and from this “Generational Curse.”
After explaining to His disciples that sin was not the cause of the blind man’s circumstances, Jesus brought sight to him.
JESUS BRINGS HEALING
Back in those times, saliva was thought to be a helpful remedy for eye troubles. After setting the record straight, we see Jesus go to work.
He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam.” So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” Jn 9:6-7 (NIV)
The man easily could have questioned what Jesus was doing, but he followed Jesus’ directions in pure faith. And that faith led to complete physical healing.
How often do we follow in blind faith like this man?
Don’t we always want to have all the details worked out before we will take a leap of faith?
I know I’m guilty of this.
It’s easier to trust in things we can see than it is to trust in something that God is working out behind the scenes, isn’t it?
But Jesus restored sight to the blind man out of His compassion and this man’s faith and obedience to God. And his healing brings glory to God. Perhaps not in the beginning, but always in the end.
As the story continues, we hear that the religious leaders got wind that Jesus had healed the blind man on the Sabbath. They opened with a tirade of questions, diminishing both the character of the man born blind as well as Jesus.
Scripture tells us that they began to investigate the circumstances of this miracle and we hear in John 9:16 (NIV) that:
Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
They continued to question the once blind man and when his answers didn’t condemn Jesus, they turned their interrogation to the man’s parents and then once again back to the man.
Finally, after fielding insults and threats, the man turned the situation back around on the religious leaders as he said:
Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.” Jn 9:30-31 (NIV)
This enraged the Pharisees and they threw the man born blind out of the temple. When Jesus received word that this had happened, He took the miracle to the next level. He asked the man:
Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jn 9:35 (NIV)
The man responded, stepping out in faith:
Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jn 9:36 (NIV)
When Jesus told him that He was in fact the Son of Man, the man said to Jesus:
Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him.” Jn 9:38 (NIV)
Jesus healed the man’s blindness out of love and compassion and then brought about spiritual healing and salvation after he saw the man’s faith and obedience.
Scripture tells us that:
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Jn 9:39 (NIV)
As Jesus removed the blindness from this man, He then chose to heal him spiritually. He chose to reveal His Presence and His Divinity and offer the man a chance at salvation. The man responded in great faith and we heard that He accepted Jesus and then worshiped Him. What a beautiful testament to faith and God’s glory being shown.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for seeing us in our troubles and suffering. For meeting us where we are at and having compassion on us. Help us to see that God always has a bigger purpose to our circumstances, and give us bold faith to proclaim Jesus as King in our lives. We thank you for all opportunities of physical healing, but we thank you most of all for removing the blindness from our hearts and bringing about our spiritual healing and salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Do you need to catch up on previous parts of this Bible Study?
You can find all of the posts below.