I love this guy!
In John 9, Jesus heals a blind man. The formerly Born-Blind One is instantly put into a religious controversy and he handles it with aplomb and diplomacy. Just imagine, because of his blindness, he’s most likely been on the fringes. Verse 8 says, “…and those who previously saw him as a beggar.”It’s almost his identity. No one seems to expect too much from him. He’s blind and he’s a beggar. But then he meets Jesus and wow! He’s like one with a fire lit under him. I love this guy.
“So a second time they [the Pharisees] called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man [Jesus] is a sinner.” He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses” (vs. 24-28).
A man who has been on the fringes, who has a poor identity, is bold, sassy, and holds to his story under persecution. He’s not afraid of what they can do to him. Everyone in the community knows that if someone aligns himself with Jesus, the Pharisees will put them out of the synagogue. He doesn’t change his story in fear. He stands up to them and even risks riling them. And in time, he does get put out of the synagogue.
His parents, on the other hand, wimp out. When the Pharisees ask them what has happened, they reply, “Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” (vs 21). Their attitude is, “we’re not going to risk. Let him take the rap.”
What drama. What can we learn?
1. Regardless of the cost and risk, we can be bold like this previously Blind and Begging One. Scripture promises us that the Spirit will give us the words we need at the time they are needed.
2. Jesus will come along to comfort us when we lose something for His sake. Later in the story, it says that Jesus found the Newly Seeing One and revealed Himself as the Messiah. The man’s seeing eyes beheld Jesus in the flesh and the eyes of his heart were opened to believe and worship. It no longer mattered that he wasn’t allowed in the synagogue. He knew Jesus personally.
3. Although the Previously Begging One was a fringe person, I wonder if his begging actually made him bold. He has few options available to him. Could it be that the only way people tossed him a few coins was because he was bold and bothered people, nagged them? Maybe He wasn’t meek and mild. Otherwise he might have starved. And he was known. He had a particular place where he begged. His circumstances built him up to be bold. God used his handicap to develop him into the evangelist who would testify of Jesus’ power.
In the same way, God is using your and my circumstances to build us up in boldness. And how about that Prodigal in your life? When God answers our prayers for that person to be saved, what a testimony they’ll have! They’ll have all sorts of things to say about how God brought them from blindness to sight.
Like I said, I love this guy–this Blind One Turned Evangelist. May we be so bold about the sight that our own spiritual eyes have seen.