"Jesus heals a man born blind"
Tonight God gets his hands dirty. Jesus get down and spits on the ground. He makes clay in the mud with his own saliva. Then anoints the man’s eyes. Telling him to go wash in the pool of Salom. Do rememeber it was God in the beginning who made man from the dust of the ground. And tonight God gets his hands in the mud again to recreate man. To restore his sight. To give sight to the blind.
The blind man is healed, made new. What was once a gray and darkened world now explodes with color and light. He now sees the sun bursting through the palm trees – and the birds fly overhead. He sees Jesus and the disciples walk on.
When he is pressured by the Pharisees to give an answer about how he was healed, he doesn’t really know what to say. This blind man who now sees does not even praise God, but simply says, I don’t know. But “Once I was blind but now I see.” The blind man is much like us. Often we don’t have the words to say. We are very clumsy in how we speak about God. We are inarticulate.
Although we are continually healed by the Risen Christ, through holy baptism and the ongoing forgiveness of sins, we don’t exactly know what that all means. When God deals with us, we often forget and don’t really believe he is who he says he is. Like the blind man, we are often timid to give God honor with our mouths at our work place.
But God is patient with this man. And he is patient with us. Later Jesus sits with the man, without him even knowing it and asks him if he believes. The blind man who now sees responds with a great deal of desperation and doubt “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus says “It is I.” The man simply cries out “Lord, I believe.”
Don’t be amazed that Jesus can heal a blind man. Don’t marvel that Jesus can feed 5000 with five loaves and two fish. It’s not that big of a deal. What’s amazing is that greater miracle. That he loves you, despite your rebellion and your sin – despite your manipulation and control over your own family.
Being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. He died for sins he didn’t commit. The greater miracle is that God in His very flesh and blood assumed the sins of the world and by his innocence destroyed the darkness of death.
He does something much greater than multiplying bread and fish tonight. He does something more amazing than healing the blind. These things are nothing really.
He does one better. God gets his hands dirty with you too. He gets kicked into the dust. And whipped until he bleeds. He carries His cross, heavy laden with the sins of the world. He is pierced for ourtransgressions. He suffers the hell of the underworld – for all sinners. He drinks sour wine.
He is abandoned by the Father, crying out “Father, father, why have you forsaken me.” He bows his head and gives up His Spirit. It is finished for death cannot hold him.
This sinless son of God is the light of the world. He breaks free from the tomb – destroys the bonds of death. He ascends to heaven so that he might lower Himself to us – giving you His Resurrected body. He pours out blood from heaven. He anoints your gloomy darkened eyes so that you might see clearly that he has loved you dearly. Your sins are forgiven – your guilt is taken away.
In our text this evening the greatest miracle is not so much the healing miracle but rather that the man comes to faith in Christ, and leaves the world for the sake of the Gospel. This is the point of the lesson. This is the miracle. Faith in God’s Son.
For all of our trips to the hospital and consultation with doctors. For all of our care for the correct medications, we rarely neglect the needs of our bodies. This lent let us give equal attention to our souls which live eternally with Christ or the devil.
For your soul too needs consultation with God, the medicine of the Lord’s Supper, and the healing balm of the Gospel. For you were lost but now am found. Once blind but now you see.
And let our prayer be “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou has prepared before the face of all people,” and “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” Amen.