“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”
The man born blind elicited various reactions from those who encountered him. To some, no doubt the blind beggar was seen as a burden (John 9:8). To Christ’s disciples, he was a topic for religious discussion and debate. The religious leaders, on the other hand, saw him as a possible witness against Christ (John 9:9-16). Only the Lord saw Him as a valuable human being whose miraculous healing would bring glory to God (John 9:3). I suspect that the Lord’s care and concern for this man caused some conviction in the disciples’ hearts. Whatever the case, the Lord’s actions can certainly remind us that the social issues that people endlessly discuss and debate involve actual people and their actual needs. I have often observed that those who preach the loudest on their social media platforms about things like human rights and equality are often curiously absent from places where the poor and needy receive food, clothing, shelter and help to get free of addiction. The modern “social justice warrior,” it seems, cares more about humanity than about actual individual humans. Our Lord’s example is a great corrector not only to this kind of wrong thinking, but to the thinking of many who claim to be “reason-based” or “scientific” in our day. Like these people, the Pharisees of Christ’s day were locked into a kind of uniformitarian thinking. That is, they assumed that what they had observed in their common everyday experience must be the rule for how things must unfold. Since no one had ever heard of a man born blind receiving his sight (John 9:32) the Pharisees assumed it was impossible (John 9:18). Here we see the importance of trusting the Lord with all our hearts and not relying on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Our basic assumptions must rest upon God’s infallible word, not the opinions of fallen man. Taking God at His word, we understand that the present is not always a reliable guide to the past or the future. As a matter of fact, God can, and has, intruded into His created order in positively stupendous ways, most importantly, when He became a man in the person of His Beloved Son Jesus. His incarnation, ministry, death and resurrection show us that beyond a shadow of a doubt, individual human lives matter to our God, and He will do whatever it takes to provide for their deepest individual need (Philippians 4:19). May these meditations be a guide and an encouragement to us today.
God bless you dear saints,