Daily Readings in John - Day Thirty-Two - Reservoir Church
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Daily Readings in John – Day Thirty-Two

November 10, 2017

John 9:35-41 (NRSV)

35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

Jesus makes explicit the theme we explored yesterday. Jesus helps a man to flourish by restoring his sight. He does it because he wants to, it gives him pleasure. And he does it to demonstrate that God is for flourishing.

Jesus also, though, has another goal from this healing and the encounters that follow. It’s a kind of embodied truth telling, a project of exposing things as they are. There are blind people who see. There are sighted people who are fundamentally blind, when it comes to the important things of life.

To say that we have vision, and be blinded by our own fear or legalism – even the fear or legalism that we don’t invent but inherit from our culture – is to miss the mark, or to use the Bible word for being off-center, to sin.

It is also to be under judgment. Judgment in John isn’t so much punishment or threat of punishment. It’s more like a spotlight that shines brightly and reveals the truth of how things are. It’s exposure, clarity. Like The Boston Globe investigative project of that name, the spotlight highlights our lack of full humanity, encouraging renewal and change, if we’ll have it.

Today, I invite you to do something courageous. However much you do or don’t pray, however clear or muddy your conception of God is, ask God to expose where you see clearly, where you are dedicated to your own and others’ human flourishing, and where you’re missing the mark on that.

If anything comes to mind, invite Jesus to renew you and to help you see clearly and live mercifully.