Monday, December 12, 2016
John the Baptist was imprisoned and when he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?” (MSG) This week we are given an opportunity to give our own testimony.
In each of the four Gospels we find stories of Jesus healing blindness. To be without vision in ancient times was a death sentence. There was no Braille system to help those without eyesight to communicate. There were no talking pedestrian crosswalks. No tactile pavers to warn of impending danger. The gift of healing was a gift of life. Reading just one of these stories speaks loudly to us.
Soon the town was buzzing. [The blind man’s] relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, “Why, isn’t this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?” (John 9:1-41 MSG)
Jesus also brings sight to those who have eyes but do not see. Each of us might count ourselves in that number. How often do we hear a loved one express deep feelings and yet continue on as we were before?
You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears – can’t you hear? Don’t you remember when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand people? How many baskets full of leftover pieces did you take up?” (Mark 8:18-25 GNT)
Jesus also speaks to those of us who decide to put aside what we have clearly heard. How often do we turn a deaf ear to an opponent, negating their views without really listening?
Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God. (Luke 18:35-43 NRSV)
Jesus tells us that we become what we believe. How might we best take in these stories and make them our own?
Jesus said to [the two blind men], “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, yes, Master!” He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw. (Matthew 9:27-31 MSG)
If we refuse to believe that with God all things are possible, what do we become? If we reject the reality that we ourselves are blind from time to time, how do we expect to change? If we want to see the world as it is with open eyes, and move into God’s kingdom with a full heart, how do we allow ourselves to accept God’s gift of healing for our blindness?
When we explore varying translations of these verses, we discover the message of hope that God will bring us a true vision of the world.