Our sight is such a precious blessing! Thank God if you have the gift of good sight. Let us be careful never to take this wonderful ability for granted. So much of life depends on sight.
People who are born blind or who become blind later in life due to accidents or diseases are severely disabled. Fortunately, society has developed ways to help blind people cope with their limitations. White-tipped canes help alert others to their malady. Kindly persons may help them cross streets or avoid objects in their path. Seeing-eye dogs, especially trained to serve as guides for the blind, often become cherished companions to blind people. Another help is braille. A blind person learns to identify letters and numbers by a system of dots raised above the surface of a page that the person learns to distinguish by touching them with his fingers. But even with all the help, blind people function in a limited way because of their condition and are often dependent on others.
Just close your eyes now and try to function for several minutes with your eyes closed. Blind people have those limitations all the time. Living with blindness can be very difficult.
In the Qur'an it is stated that Jesus gave sight to blind people. What a marvelous blessing when Jesus healed a blind person so that he could see! (Sura 3:49; 5:113)
The Bible, in which I put my trust, gives several accounts of instances when Jesus healed blind people. He had various ways of doing it. Once he merely touched a blind man's eyes. Another time he spit on the blind eyes. To heal another man, he spit on the ground and mixed some sand with his saliva and anointed the eyes with it. He told the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed; when he washed his face, his eyes were opened and he could see. (Matthew 9:27; Mark 8:23; John 9:1)
Of course such miraculous healings had social repercussions. The account in John 9 is very instructive:
"As [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'
Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no man can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.' Having said this, 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' (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing." (John 9:1-7)
When the man returned to his home, his neighbors could hardly believe he could see. They even questioned him to be sure he was the same man. When he insisted that Jesus had cured his blindness, his neighbors took him to the religious leaders, called Pharisees, so he could share the story with them.
The Pharisees had strict religious laws of conduct that they observed, and they insisted that other people should observe them also. One of their laws was that no work should be done on the Sabbath day. Jesus had healed the man on the Sabbath. Therefore, in their opinion, if Jesus had really done this miracle, he had broken God's laws.
The Pharisees asked the man what he thought about Jesus.
"The man replied: He is a prophet.' The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents. Is this your son?' they asked. Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?' We know he is our son,' the parents answered, and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.' His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, He is of age; ask him.'A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. Give glory to God,' they said. We know this man is a sinner.' He replied, Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!' Then they asked him, What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?' He answered, I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?'Then they hurled insults at him and said, You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from.' The man answered, 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 man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.' To this they replied, You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!' And they threw him out." (John 9:17b-34)
There is a condition that is much worse than physical blindness. It is spiritual blindness. This is the malady the Pharisees suffered. Even when the truth is presented to such people, they can't comprehend or accept it. Jesus opened physical eyes and spiritual eyes. He also revealed who was spiritually blind. Do you understand these words of Jesus? :
"For judgement I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind. . . .If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you see, your guilt remains." (John 9:39b, 41b)
Jesus considered that the person who feels he is righteous and acceptable to God is spiritually blind. He begins to see only when he begins to understand that he is a sinner who needs God's merciful forgiveness. To those who begin to understand their need, Jesus says:
"I am the light of the world." (John 9:5b)
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