Lately I’ve focused my deeper Bible study on the texts taught at church on Sundays. We’re currently going through the Gospel of John and a few weeks ago, we were in John 9.
It’s the story of Jesus healing the man born blind.
As he (Jesus) passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7
There’s so much in this text but what stands out from the start is what Jesus noticed. As Jesus passed by, he saw the man.
We find out later in the text the man was a poor beggar, but we don’t know how long he’d been out of his parents’ home and forced to beg. Long enough for the neighbors to get used to him there and pay no attention? How many times had others passed by the man without a second look? The blind man was unnoticed. Dismissed. Ignored.
But Jesus saw him. This caused the disciples to see him and ask Jesus why the man was born blind. They assumed the reason the man suffered and gave Jesus a choice between the sins of the blind man’s parents or the man himself. Jesus told them it was neither, then turned their attention from the cause of the suffering to the purpose of it – God’s glory.
Then the Light of the World opened the eyes of the man. But first, Jesus saw him.
To see another, to look into their eyes and connect, is a beautiful act of love.
I wonder if I see those around me? Am I living in a way that allows me to really see them? To get to know them? To notice their pain?
Or am I too busy? Rushing around….getting from here to there. Checking off my to do list while missing opportunities to love another.
Have we crammed our calendars so full of activities we don’t have time to look and notice those around us? Do we ignore them because we have to get to the next place to do the next thing?
May it not be so with us.
Father, give us eyes to see. Let us live in such a way we have time to see and know and love.