John 9: 24 – 38
“A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.”
Today we return to the story of Jesus healing the man born blind. In the aftermath, we see the religious leaders confounded by the obvious. It is clear that their vision is clouded by their myopic focus on the legalism of Sabbath keeping. They can’t see the forest for the trees. They can’t see the Son of Man, the one their faith is waiting for, because of their religious devotion.
Yikes. That hits close to home if we allow it.
How often are our enshrined interpretations of scripture blinding us to what God is doing right in front of our noses?
In the story, the man has the most simple of testimonies: “I was blind, but now I see!”
And when Jesus tells him that he is the Son of Man, his response is simple but transformational: “Lord, I believe.”
LGBTQ+ people testify to God’s presence in their lives, in their relationships, marriages, and families. LGBTQ+ people embody spiritual gifts and when unhindered serve God, the church, and the world in passionate, compassionate, and influential service. But like the religious leaders in this story, there are many religious leaders who are trying to figure out just how to frame that as counterfeit because it doesn’t fit their interpretive box.
Let the ones with eyes to see, see.
And if you see, step up, speak out. Don’t be silent.
- In what ways have you experienced God working in new ways?
- Why do we so often mistrust the testimony of the other?
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us. Give us the confident trust that you will bear witness to our spirits of your real presence in the other. Where there is blindness – bring sight. Amen.
This Lenten reflection accompanies the Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming initiative. To learn more click here.