Blindness is very challenging. I have played games blindfolded and it was difficult to get anything done without the normal visual cues. I staggered around, missed my way, hit objects and stumbled as one groping in darkness in need for guidance. How much more a physically blind person who constantly needs an aid to perceive the details of the immediate environment in order to efficiently move around. Reading and writing aids are also required in order to facilitate studying and written communication.
The challenges of physical blindness were experienced by the man in chapter 9 of the book of John. He was blind from birth and obviously lived in a state of abject dejection and self-pity. Therefore he became a professional beggar. However, Jesus stepped in and healed the man of his blindness – he fully restored the sight he never had. The frenzy of events that followed were both enlightening and befuddling. The family and friends of the healed man were both bewildered and excited, whilst the religious leaders were miffed and derogatory. (See John 9:1-34). Jesus’ final response to the disgruntled religious leaders sticks out— “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (John 9: 41 NIV). In hindsight, the implication of this scathing remark was not exclusively for the religious leaders as Jesus earlier said “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” (John 9: 39 NIV). Jesus’ responses addressed “spiritual blindness” rather than physical blindness. Jesus was invariably saying that a sinner is blind and he needs to be healed of it. In other words every person born of a woman, is born blind. As the psalmist puts it “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5 NIV). Therefore, without salvation in Christ we are as one groping in darkness in need for guidance (John 15:5).
John Newton’s 1779 classic ‘Amazing Grace’ succinctly puts Jesus’ message into perspective in stanza 1 where it says; “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.”
I am eternally grateful for the consequences of this spiritual healing, as it affects the lens through which I view life. My perspective to life is constantly honed by my fixation on Jesus and the consequences of his finished work on the cross (Colossians 3:1-3, Hebrews 12: 1-3).
Jesus did not only heal us of our spiritual blindness, but he also made us light. Jesus remarked in John 9:5 (NIV) “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This is the harbinger of Paul’s remark in Ephesians 5:8 (NIV) “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light”. We are an encapsulation of hope, decency, love, joy, patience, wisdom and power. It is such that even a physically blind Christian can walk in the illumination of divine understanding to see the unseen and transform the world. Now that we can see, we are the light of the world. Let us live as children of light so our Father in heaven may be glorified.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV).