This devotional was originally published on April 20, 2020.
Things aren’t always what they seem.
Have you ever noticed that some of the most famous Bible stories are stories of miracles performed by Jesus? One of those most prominent miracle stories is the story of the man healed of blindness. It’s a story of man who was born blind, but then he encounters Jesus and receives his sight. Pretty awesome miracle story, if you ask me! But what if I told you we have grossly misunderstood this story?
In John 9 is where we find this story of the man whom Jesus heals of his blindness. As chance would have it, Jesus and the blind man crossed paths one day. One of the disciples, who was curious about suffering, asked why the blind man was born without sight.
Jesus explained that this man was born blind to show the glory of the Father. I secretly believe there is an unwritten rule that if Jesus is going to use you for an illustration, then you are guaranteed to be healed. So, Jesus calls the blind man over, spits on the ground, makes some mud, and heals the man from blindness. Not the way I would have done it, but I’m not Jesus. Most people assume the main miracle in this story is when the blind man receives physical sight, however that assumption is incorrect. Have you ever stopped to ask this question: Could the blind man really see, not just physically see but spiritually see?
As the story unfolds, the Pharisees are curious and furious to find out the identity of Jesus. They repeatedly ask the blind man who this man that healed him was. The blind man’s first guess is that Jesus is a prophet. Close, but not exactly. When asked again, he admits that he doesn’t know if Jesus is a sinner or not but what he does know is that physical blindness no longer ails him.
But here is why I love the story. It’s something that most people miss. We refer to the man who was born blind. We tell our kids about a man that was physically blind and how Jesus healed him, but that isn’t the miracle in the story. That is just the intro.
You see, Jesus comes back for the man because clearly, he is still spiritually blind. When Jesus asks him about the Son of Man (an Old Testament reference to the Messiah), the man admits he has never seen him. Then the miracle occurs. Jesus opens the man’s eyes and he sees Jesus for who he really is.
And that’s the miracle that we should focus on: The man is no longer spiritually blind! The greatest day wasn’t the day the man saw the physical world. It was the day he saw the spiritual world! In the midst of uncertainty let’s celebrate — not that God has healed us physically, but that God has healed us spiritually. I pray that you and I never become numb to the miracle he did for us!