This chapter shows some interesting attitudes that people bring to Jesus. At the beginning of the chapter, we see his disciples asking an honest question based on what they have been taught. Because they came to him with an honest question that they wanted answered Jesus healed the man and showed them they had been taught wrong. When we come to Jesus with an honest, open attitude, miracles can be accomplished. We are letting him do his best work because don’t consider ourselves equal with him and his abilities. With that attitude we recognize that he has the answers and we need to go to him to get those answers.
By contrast the Pharisees think they have the answers and therefore question the man about his healing. They end up arguing amongst themselves and throwing the man out. They even go back to the old standby, “You were sinful at birth, so you were blind.” How often do we get caught up in the rules and forget to listen to what God is really telling us? “Drinking is bad, so how dare you go to bar to witness to someone.” “People sin and break the law. So they deserve to go to jail and rot there. No one would in their right mind would think of witnessing to a criminal. They are too far gone.” Etc., Etc. I’m sure there are tons of examples of things Christians just aren’t supposed to do. Sometimes these are good general rules, but we can’t get so caught up in rules that we forget to listen to God telling us to reach out to people. Jesus even tells them that they are responsible for their sins. If we are in church listening to people talk about God and Jesus, at Judgement we have no excuse to say we didn’t know.
The blind man himself comes to Jesus with yet another attitude. He doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah immediately upon his healing. He recognizes that he is a good man and that he has been blessed with gifts from God. Jesus comes to him again and speaks with him. Jesus shows him who he is and talks with him and the man believes. Some people need to be presented with Jesus more than once before they believe. They aren’t anti-Jesus, but they just have more questions that need to be answered. They are open to the possibility of Jesus, but they just need to know more before they believe.
And finally we have the man’s parents. They confirm the man is their son who was born blind, but they will not say that he was healed by a miracle. They are too afraid of being kicked out of the synagogue to affirm what they know. Are we like this? “I know I need to get saved, but what will my friends think?” “I know God is calling me to seminary, but what will my family think?” “I know God is calling me to be a missionary, but I can’t leave my life here.” “I know God is calling to me to talk to that guy/lady I work with, but what will they think of me if I talk about God?” Are we more concerned with how people will perceive us or how God perceives us? Are we more worried about the temporal things of this world or the eternal things of the next?
What category to you fall into? What attitude are you coming to Jesus with and how can you affect people you know that fit into other categories?