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They Missed the Miracle

On Sunday, we will hear the story in John 9 of Jesus healing a man who was born blind. It might be a familiar story to you, but if not, that’s okay.

It goes like this, on the Sabbath day, Jesus and his disciples see man who born blind. And his disciples ask, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” It was a common question of the day, built on the belief that if something bad happened to you (in this case being blind), then someone must have sinned.

But Jesus surprises his disciples and replies, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”

And then, Jesus kneels down, spits on the ground, makes a muddy paste with his spit, rubs the paste on the man’s eyes, and instructs him to go and wash in a pool called Siloam. And when the man obeys, his sight is restored.

It should be a grand story that once again proves Jesus’ power and authority and leaves the crowds in awe.

Except, there’s something striking, no one celebrates. No one expresses awe that this man who was once blind, can now see. There’s no joy or wonder or gratitude to be found.

His own parents don’t even rejoice.

There is nothing.

Actually, once he is healed, the crowds don’t even recognize him. The people he has lived with and worshipped with don’t recognize him because he is no longer blind. And when he insists that he is indeed the man who was once blind, they question him and try to discredit him, asking him repeatedly, “Then how can you see?”

The crowds miss the miracle entirely. And because they miss the miracle, they miss seeing who Jesus is.

Author Debie Thomas writes, “Most of the people who encounter Jesus are too busy seeing what they want to see — a magician, a heretic, a political and military leader, a carpenter’s son, a wise man, a phony, a clerical threat — to notice what the blind man discerns by the end of the story. The blind man alone sees Jesus as the Son of Man and calls him, ‘Lord.’”

And I find myself wondering, how often do I get caught up in explanations and logic and reason, and end up missing what is right before my eyes? How often have I missed Jesus because I was too focused on something else entirely?

Grace and peace,


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