Tag Archives: Spiritual Blindness

Spiritual Vision


Lent

March 25, 2017

Scripture Reading: John 9:1-41

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, ‘Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some were saying, ‘It is he.’ Others were saying, ‘No, but it is someone like him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the man.’ But they kept asking him, ‘Then how were your eyes opened?’ He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.” Then I went and washed and received my sight.’ They said to him, ‘Where is he?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’ –John 9:1-12

The book of John reports the story of Jesus’ addressing physical blindness, perhaps to help us see more clearly the ramifications of spiritual blindness. Spiritual blindness occurs when the seductions of the world become cataracts prohibiting us from perceiving the world as God’s kingdom which God gifted us and recruited us to nurture and protect.

I must confess, I am utterly astounded by the values, perhaps theology, that drives our civic governance. Maternity care is not viewed as an essential health provision. There are others but this one floored me most. Preventive services are far more cost effective, not only in health care but also in criminal justice. Yet we do not fund them and pay the price, in the case of prenatal care for the lifetime services needed for a child born with major medical problems, that are often avoidable with quality prenatal care. Businesses are clamoring for a better educated workforce while we cut spending for public schools. Greed seems to be the primary driving force in our world today. Profit making is our purpose. My mother would call it cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Jesus came to remove the spiritual cataracts blocking our vision. His is a distributive form of justice. One that does not toss us into the pool and if we by nature came swim and save ourselves, that is great. If we sink and drown, well that just life. In Jesus’ world peace and prosperity coexist when everyone has enough, and each matter to the other.

Prayer: Lord laser off the film covering our spiritual eyes. Forgive us from our greed. Help us to seek your vision in spirit and in truth. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

Seeing through New Eyes

Spiritual blindnessLiving in the Spirit
October 19, 2015

Scripture Reading: Job 42:1-6, 10-17

Then Job answered the Lord:
‘I know that you can do all things,
   and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
“Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?”
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
   things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
“Hear, and I will speak;
   I will question you, and you declare to me.”
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
   but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
   and repent in dust and ashes.’ –Job 42:1-6

The story of Jesus’ healing the man born blind in John came to mind when I read this scripture. In the first century many believe that misfortune was the result of sin. The man’s physical blindness was considered the result of sin. So sin plays a dual role in the scripture because the Pharisees deem Jesus a sinner thus he surely could not heal, yet he did. ‘I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see’ (John 9:25) There is also a dual role in the blindness as the scripture is pointing out the spiritual blindness of the Pharisees.

It is spiritual blindness which our scripture addresses today and when Job’s spiritual eyes are opened and he more fully comprehends the living God he is drawn to repent, turn around from his former ways of understanding.

I remember the day my sister first got glasses. She was discovered to be very nearsighted through a routine school eye check. She had apparently adapted to it so well it had not become apparent. When we walked out of the eye doctor’s office and she had on her new glasses, her first comment was “those trees have leaves.”

Most of the prevalent –isms in our world today, racism, sexism, etc. are the result of nearsighted spiritual vision. We are unable to see the image of God in each persons. The only correction for this condition is letting God open our eyes, repent of our shortsightedness, and begin to love everyone like Jesus loved.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.* 

Prayer: Lord help me see others as you see them and love like you love. Amen.

*First verse of Amazing Grace by John Newton see at https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/313

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.