John 9: 18-41
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?’ His parents answered, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, ‘Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He answered them, ‘I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?’ Then they reviled him, saying, ‘You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.’ The man answered, ‘Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’ They answered him, ‘You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?’ And they drove him out.
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshipped him. Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.’ Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, ‘Surely we are not blind, are we?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, “We see”, your sin remains.
Yesterday the blind man was healed. Today he is called to task because no one believes that the healing really came from Jesus. They summon him twice with the same question. Instead of trying to explain everything in great detail, he adds his simple testimony to the conversation. He says, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
I love that simple proclamation of faith. It takes me back to the first time I read this passage of Scripture. I was a new believer who was working hard to understand all the implications of God’s Word. It was a big task that was getting a bit frustrating. Then I found the blind man who had been restored to sight. He could have offered a detailed theological explanation. But instead he chose to simply and honestly share what he alone knew to be true. I was blind but now I see!
Do you know the story the story of John Newton? He was raised without any specific training in faith. He became a sailor in the Royal Navy and eventually took part as the Captain of a ship engaged in slave trade. His testimony of a changed heart became one of the best known songs in the English language.
When he wrote Amazing Grace his mind was captured by John 9:25 and the testimony of the man who was born blind. Newton had been born spiritually blind but now his eyes were opened by the power of forgiveness. His personal proclamation and witness is a powerful reminder of the grace of God. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.
Newton gave his life to Christ and was eventually ordained in the Anglican Church. What would you give in response to the grace of God!