Friday, March 20, 2020
The gospel writer, John, uses metaphoric images to tell the story of Jesus. As we begin a three-day journey with a man who was born blind, we begin with a question of “theodicy” (which asks the question of why bad things happen in a world created by a good and loving God). So the obvious question posed at the outset is the same question Job’s friends asked him: “Who sinned here?” Jesus answers that neither this man nor his parents have sinned, but that God intends to use this man’s blindness “so that God’s works might be revealed in him…. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Then we are told that Jesus made mud with dirt and his own spit and then put it in the man’s eyes … if your eyes water when you read this, then it is having the right effect. Jesus then tells the man, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which means Sent).” Then he went and washed and came back able to see.
The meaning here is unmistakeable. While it is possible that Jesus was using some ancient ophthalmic practice, it would at least seem that putting mud in the eyes of the blind would only make them more blind. Then he is told to go wash in the pool whose name means “Sent.” Jesus tends to work in ways that don’t make sense. The blindness so often referenced in the gospels is a spiritual blindness. Our blindness is one that is led by our own desire to be right … to be religious … and to think that there is no other way to see the world than our way.
Jesus finds us in our blindness. He comes offering us a way to see … new eyes to see the world as God sees the world … as a fully integrated whole. Perfect and complete. And when we wash ourselves in the Pool of Sent, we will soon find ourselves sent into the world … offering our eyes as the new eyes with which to see God and God’s creation. So wake up … see … and go!
Beyond our blindness, O God, may we see your hand at work in our lives and in the world. Amen.