Read John 9:24-34
24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him,”God should get the glory for this because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”
25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind,and now I can see!”
26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”
27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples,too?”
28 Then they cursed him and said,”You are his disciple,but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses,but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”
30 “Why,that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes,and yet you don’t know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners,but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began,no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God,he couldn’t have done it.”
34 “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue. (NLT)
Admiral Nelson,at the Battle of Copenhagen,received an order to break off action and steer a different course. When told of the flag signal,he put the telescope to his blind eye (the result of a wound in an earlier battle). Of course he could not then see the signal and did not obey it. As it turned out,obedience to it would have been very costly.
Ever since then we have been turning a blind eye to things. That is,pretending not to take notice of certain things,refusing to see the obvious. Which is what the religious leaders were doing in the days of Jesus. The story in our text is dripping with irony. The blind ‘nobody’ gets who Jesus is and the religious ‘somebodies’ do not. They have turned a blind eye. They have been so consumed by love of their own power,their own preconceived ideas of who and what a Messiah would be that they couldn’t see Jesus when he was right in front of them.
But we dare not merely sadly shake our heads at such misguided people. We too can fail to discern just what Jesus is doing in our life. We can ignore the subtle and not-so-subtle messages he may be conveying to us. We can be locked in to our own ideas of how life ought to be and how God ought to act. We too can peer into the circumstances of life and to the words of Scripture and fail to connect with God.
We may have perfect sight in one sense,but each of us has a blind eye.