The Healing of the Man Born Blind

In the ninth chapter of John's Gospel is recorded the healing of a man who was born blind. It is evident that John attached great importance to this incident, for he goes into much detail, particularly in recounting the consequent controversy with the Pharisees. It is helpful to consider some of the lessons to be gained from a study of this narrative.

Why was the man born blind? was a natural question which the disciples asked of Jesus. Had his parents committed some grievous sin for which their son must suffer? Why must he be blind? "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him," was the declaration of Jesus. What were these "works of God" which were to "be made manifest in him"? Generally speaking, a so-called law of heredity had to be broken. Are there not many such false laws that should be broken today? False appetites, passions, anger, hatred, revenge, disease, and sin must be recognized as powerless to hold one in bondage.

Why did Jesus anoint the man's eyes with the moistened clay? He knew there was no healing efficacy in the clay, but the man himself must be aroused to his real need. By placing the moistened clay on his eyes Jesus brought home to the man his lack of vision, and then bade him "go, wash in the pool of Siloam." His readiness to be healed was tested; there must be conscious effort on his part; he must do something for himself. It is interesting to note that Christ Jesus frequently required some effort on the part of those who came to him seeking healing. To one he said, "Stretch forth thine hand;" to another, "Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way."

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April 6, 1935

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