He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
My daily devotions took me to this verse and it compelled me to read the full story of how Jesus healed the man born blind using… great balls of mud put on his eyes, that the blind man also had to wash away in the Pool of Siloam.
This story strikes me as one of the most absurd scenes in the Bible concerning one of Jesus’ miracles. It is something that I could see coming straight out of Sherlock Holmes, if you will, with the Pharisees acting like great detectives, deducing possibilities with the way they have been interrogating the once blind man, his parents, and his neighbors. This brings to mind a quote from the creator of Sherlock Holmes himself:
It is an old maxim of mine, that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Arthur Conan Doyle
The man couldn’t have been lying. He has his parents and his neighbors to attest to his being formerly blind– he couldn’t have been faking it just to glorify Jesus and vex the Pharisees. What remains is his testimony: “[Jesus] put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see” (John 9:15).
We find so many things absurd with this claim, yet some of us openly accept the fact that that same pack of mud can eradicate our wrinkles and make our faces look twenty years younger. This story explores how people often react to or receive everyday miracles– with doubt (“No, he only looks like [the blind man]”), with adherence to its legality or authority (“This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath”), and with extreme questioning and rationalization.
Also, people seem to be resistant to other people’s progress. His neighbors seem to can’t accept the truth that a former blind beggar can now see and has been healed by Jesus himself. They might have ratted him out to the Pharisees, but that did not change the truth that he has been healed by Christ himself and that he has believed.
Why are they even grilling the once blind beggar? Why are the neighbors and the Pharisees so alarmed with the miracle that happened to the once blind beggar? Imagine, this was just a blind beggar who can now see. People just used to pass him by, ignore him, and huff at him. And yet, when he can finally see, when he has been healed by Jesus himself, he is now deemed worthy of their attention. But, apparently, not in a good way. It’s as if good things shouldn’t have happened to him because he is just a blind beggar. Why would Christ even bother to touch his life, he’s just a blind beggar. But that’s the way Christ works, I guess: he uses the oddest group of people to manifest His glory. And that includes you, my friend. You could be instrumental in manifesting Jesus’ glory today.
How does this particular story strike you, my friend? Have there been great balls of mud in your life that enabled you to see? Or do you feel that you have yet to recognize your own blindness? 🙂