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March 10, 2024

We Are Not Blind, Are We?

Pastor KJ Kim

1 Samuel 16: 1-13; John 9: 1-7

What do we learn from the story of anointing the young boy as the King of Israel? Do not be impressed by appearance? Do not assume that talent or merit or power or pedigree counts for much? Do not think that real significance flows from top to bottom, from the greatest to the smallest? All throughout the holy stories in the Scripture, we are reminded God works beyond our understanding and reason—works through the nobodies, the poor, the uncredentialed, and those without pedigree or leverage.

God more often works in a bottom-up way—when we are weak; God is strong; The one who is greatest among you will be your servant; all who lift themselves up will be brought low. But, all who make themselves low will be lifted up.” Perhaps, we have become accustomed to refuse to see and notice, being unable to see and notice, or being nurtured not to see and notice God’s ways.

That is why we come to today’s gospel reading—the story of the blind man. The confrontation between the authorities and the man who can now see tells us about a contrast between the old established world and the new inexplicable-possible world given by Jesus Christ and eventually by his people.

Although the authorities try to keep everything in place that has all the answers, that keeps everything under their control, a holy intervention happens that sometimes cannot explain nor manage that is beyond our reasonable understanding and beyond our recognition.

In this story, Jesus has not spoken for 29 verses since Jesus put mud on the man’s eyes. Then Jesus reminds the authorities of what it really means to see. In verse 40, they begin to doubt themselves and their old certitudes, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” So, Jesus ends the story by saying, “If you were blind, you wouldn’t have any sin, but now that you say, “we see,” your sin remains.”

The question I invite everyone to carry and meditate on for this week is, “What does it mean to see? Surely, we are not blind, are we?” Perhaps, like Samuel, we are more often concerned about outward appearance while God looks at our hearts and minds. Perhaps, like the Pharisees, we tend to be under the illusion that we are never blind and that we can clearly see.

For this lent, It is all about seeing or not seeing, or refusing to see, or being unable to see, or being nurtured not to see. We are the ones who believe and trust that God still works beyond our recognition and understanding in an unexpected way. We are the ones who wait for God’s holy intervention. We are the ones who stand before Jesus to say, “We were blind, but now we see.”

So, we are the ones who see more clearly, and love more dearly the one who gives us new sight, and follow more nearly, giving sight to others.

Thanks be to God.

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