December 19, Saturday                The Man Born Blind

John 9:1-7 (NRSV)

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed 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.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.

 This fall, as the days grew shorter and nights cooler, my six year old son decided that he wanted to help “people who don’t have a home.” In order to see our son fulfill his dream, my wife and I decided to sell his out of season clothes and then give him the profits. With these monies my son elected to purchase sleeping bags. So on a recent Friday afternoon, my son joyously bought nine sleeping bags and loaded them into my car. He couldn’t wait to pass them out!

After driving around our city for only a few minutes, we saw a man sitting outside of an old church. With a smile on his face, my son walked up to the man. He asked the man if he wanted a sleeping bag. Without hesitation the man accepted, but then the unexpected occurred. The man asked my son if he was thirsty. Without hesitation my son nodded in agreement, so the man, with a smile on his face, gave my son a bottle of water. As it turns out, we all have a need. Every one of us is weak. 

In John 9, the disciples and Jesus encounter a man born blind. The weakness of this man is on display for the world to see, so the disciples begin to speculate about the cause of his blindness. But Jesus will have none of it, because Jesus, in this instance, is unconcerned with the cause and more concerned with the result. The result of the man’s blindness, of his weakness, is that his life can be an avenue for the light of God’s salvation to be revealed in the world. The result of the man’s blindness is that the disciples are confronted with their own “blindness” because as it turns out, we all have a need. Every one of us is weak.

Advent is the season when the church, in our own weakness, leans forward as we await the return of our Savior. Advent is the season when the church, in our neediness, longs for the fullness of God’s salvation to be revealed in the world. But, even as the church waits, we like the man born blind are also sent. We are sent to proclaim the good news of Jesus to carry the light of his salvation into the world; we all have a need. Every one of us is weak.

How can my weakness be an avenue for God’s salvation to be revealed?

Lord, use my weakness to declare the good news of the gospel.  May I carry the light of Christ to the weak and needy, so that they might experience the healing that only Jesus can bring. Amen.


By Jonathan Kelley, Associate Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church, Little Rock


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