The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, “Isn’t this he who sat and begged?”  Others were saying, “It is he.” Still others were saying, “He looks like him.” He said, “I am he.”  They therefore were asking him, “How were your eyes opened?”  He answered, “A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and I received sight.”
Have you ever seen or experienced a miracle? If you have, one of the things you may have noticed is miracles tend to be obscured. In the above passage, people were already casting doubt on the miracle of healed vision. There were people telling others the man was not blind. Even as we read the Bible today, we can see skepticism in these Bible characters. Miracles are easy to doubt, even when we see them.
Yet, God does perform miracles in our lives. Some are profound, and others are simply sweet. It is a miracle to be healed of blindness but it’s also a miracle to have access to eye care, including the skills and talents to earn money to go to an optometrist. We are so busy waiting for an undeniable God event that we miss the sweetness in the abundance of what God does for us.
The blind man needed sight. He needed to see, so Jesus healed him. But there is a small tension in the story because Jesus sends the man to wash in the pool of Siloam. Why did he do that? Why did he give a command that truly has nothing to do with being healed? Because the enormous miracle of sight was the smaller miracle of God’s care. God was healing more than the man’s physical vision; he was also healing his heart.
Lord, help me to be faithful in recognizing miracles in the world and in my life. Heal me inside and out. Help me see. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, as he taught in the temple. Yet no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
Jesus understood the Father’s timing. It’s what gave him confidence in his choices. And those choices reflect the knowledge of God’s will. In modern times we might call what Jesus is doing “faithing-it.” Faithing-it is the practice of taking active steps into what you perceive as God’s will. For example, I believed God wanted me to finish college. However, I ran out of money with one semester left. Nothing was working out. According to the world, I was done. But I didn’t quit because I believed it was God’s will for me to finish. I went to classes for several days without being admitted to the semester. After 4 days I received a call that a grant was going to cover my tuition. So, instead of quitting, I finished. I faithed my way through the impossible.
I knew how to faith-it from watching Jesus. When he was in Nazareth and the crowd wanted to kill him, he walked through the crowd and walked away unscathed (Luke 4:28-30). I thought about Jesus’ mindset in the situation. How did he know to keep stepping toward the desired outcome? Because he understood it was not his time, so he walked toward the goal of escaping the crowd. When I saw what Jesus did, I adopted a mentality to keep my eyes on the Lord and keep stepping into the vision.
That is what Jesus is doing in this verse. He knew people wanted to arrest him. Still, he believed God had a plan that did not include him being detained. So, he went to the temple and taught. He knew his hour was coming, but it was not there yet. Jesus understood God’s timing. Once, when his brothers accused him of wanting fame, he told them they always thought it was their time (John 7:1-8). That intrigued me. It challenged me. It challenged me to ask myself why I was always in such a hurry with God. One of the only insults Jesus levels at someone other than a religious leader is this one to his brothers about timing. Clearly, Jesus was disgusted with his brothers.
Lord, please bless me with an understanding of your will. Reveal yourself to me from your word and let your Holy Spirit speak. Give me the courage to take faith-filled steps into your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.