Have you ever thought that other people can see Jesus so much more clearly then you can? I remember reading the early Max Lucado books and thinking to myself how stunning his reflections were. Phillip Yancey and Brennan Manning and so many others as they write just illuminate my thinking about Jesus. Betty Burton Choate wrote her book ‘Jesus Christ: The Eternal Sacrifice’ and opened my eyes even more. There’s no end to what we can know and learn about Jesus. I’m grateful for those who have served to open my eyes to him … and the way He opens my eyes to Himself.
In John 9 it is the people who can’t see Jesus that are surprising. They’ve been exposed to Scripture their entire life. One would think that as Jesus stood before them they would have made all the connections and proclaimed, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ But that is not what happened. They miss the signs. The experts trained extensively in the Hebrew Scriptures could not see Messiah standing before them.
I really want to point my finger at them and accuse them harshly, but how many times have I missed the presence of Jesus in my own life. The Pharisees knew all the facts and figures of the coming Christ. They knew the prophecies. They knew the laws of God. They had all the answers about how far you could walk on the Sabbath and how many loopholes there were in the tithing laws. They skillfully reduced God’s word to just over 600 laws and then taught them.
Be careful about criticizing them too loudly. We have more Christian literature, blogposts, rock star preachers, mega churches, podcasts, radio programs, televised Christian events, Christian movies, and Christian marketing material than any time in human history. Jesus is all over the place but how often has He remained unseen in our own lives?
The only one in John 9 who can really see Jesus is a blind man who was healed. Perhaps because he was blinded to all of the distractions of the world around him he was able to clearly know Jesus as healer, prophet, and king. Paradoxically the blind man saw and the seeing men were blinded.
What are the blinders that keep us from really seeing Jesus in our life? I don’t mean knowing about him (facts and figures) or just being aware of the basic elements of the story. I mean I want to see Jesus and how He is moving in my own life, in your life, in the church, in the community, and in the world. I’m afraid the blinders are in place too often that have kept me from having a vision for who Jesus is in the real world around us.
*Tradition that is treated as truth
*A sense of right and wrong that is too dependent upon culture
*My own feelings about myself
*A past hurt that is keeping me from loving others deeply
*The events of my life that have clouded my vision
If I continue to wear these blinders, then my vision of Jesus is blurry and incomplete.
I wonder if we are to look for the ways that Jesus is working in life rather than staring at him, maybe we are to be staring at what he’s doing rather than rehearsing the factual story. I’m not saying we should seek to dumb down our attention to detail. I am suggesting that this attention to detail can become the very blinder that we want to see around and we need to take a broader picture of what God is doing in our lives. We want to join Him in that work. We want to thank Him genuinely for more than just the fact that we heard about how to be baptized. There’s so much more to the Christian experience.
If Jesus could open up our eyes today what would we see? What would we really like to see and know about Jesus, but have never asked God to help us see?
The blind man of John 9 saw something that most of us do not see. It was not complicated. I was blind, and now I can see. That’s all that really matters to me today. What would happen if you asked Jesus to open your eyes to Him today?
Jesus, please give us a vision for who you are right now in the world around us, our community, our church, our friends, our family, and in us. Amen.
Thanks for reading,