There was a man who was born blind, whose vocation was begging (Really, what else could you do to make a living if you were blind back in those days?), and "everybody" knew it.
One day another man and his friends were walking by. The friends asked who had sinned to cause this blind man his afliction. The leader of the group said the blindness wasn't caused by sin, but that it happened to create an opportunity for God to show His power.
He bent to the blind man and said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world," made a paste of mud and spit, applied it to the blind man's eyes, and told him to bathe in the river.
The blind man did so, and was made whole but having never seen the one who healed him.
And then the problems began.
See, everyone in the community had known this formerly-blind man for years... and now he wasn't blind. Things like that just don't happen!
Government officials got worried about the apparent power of this healer. They were wrapped up in their own positions within the community, their own power and authority, their own status. The healed man was brought in for questioning.
The healed man said "It was a man named Jesus..."
"He put clay on my eyes, and told me to wash. I followed his directions and I see."
"He is a prophet."
His parents were brought in for questioning. They verified that he had been born blind, that he was now able to see. But they refused to testify further, "He's an adult, ask him."
There were accusations of devil-worship and witchcraft, even criminal action!
The healed man said, "Whatever/whoever this man is, I don't know. The one thing I do know- I was blind, and now I see."
He is asked again to recount what happened, how the healing occurred. By this time, the healed man shows a little frustration, "I've told you already.. but you don't get it... or don't want to get it. Will another telling make you believe?"
More cries of heresy were thrown around.
"If this man were not of God, he could do nothing."
Ah, that was it! The leaders had absolutely heard ENOUGH, and the healed man was cast out.
I had so many thoughts through the Sunday School lesson today...
- When faced with truths and realities that we're afraid of, that we're uncomfortable with, how do we handle them? I know I don't always handle it in an ideal fashion. I've ignored the facts, or gotten mad at the messenger, or just gotten mad! Sometimes I've decided to take offense, or feel hurt by the unpleasant news.
Maybe some day I'll be better at accepting realities I don't like.
- In the aftermath of his healing, this man's testimony of Jesus as Divinity grew. After he was cast out, Jesus came to him and asked him about the healing. The man of course couldn't have pointed out his healer, but he knew the one who had healed him was of God, was good, was someone that deserved his respect, devotion, and worship. He didn't have to see this Man to come to know what He was.
- These leaders thought that acknowledging Him as Divinity was the end of the word!.. Well, it was the end of their world, the world as they knew it. It marked an end of their authority, their power, their status as top dogs. The idea that the Messiah was among them scared them, and they didn't like it one bit! But in reality, the fact that He came, He saw, and He conquered, is a very good thing. He came to earth, He taught through words and deeds, and He conquered death and sin for us. What's NOT good about this??