John 9:1-41 Seeing God’s Reality

Fourth Sunday of Lent
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Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”  Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”  Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.”

Believing is Seeing.   We have all heard the saying, “Seeing is believing.”  We have all been conditioned to believe this. 

Well today, the Lord turns our reality of things upside down by saying “believing is seeing.”

This is absolutely true.  We have come to see things in our lives only because we first believed in them.  We have come to the realization of landing a man on the moon only because we envisioned it.  We have come to the realization of wireless communication only because we first dreamed of them.  We have come to the realization of light sabers only because we imagined them.

I am convinced we will do even more than this.  Why?  Because we can believe.

Believing is seeing.     

Unicorns.  A while back I got into a debate with someone who claimed that believing in God was like believing in unicorns.  At first I was taken aback by their comment.  I actually think they were trying to insult my religious beliefs, but then I said to the person, “Wait.  Unicorns exist.  What’s wrong with unicorns??? If you have never seen a unicorn, then you need to go to a toy store.  You can find plenty of them there.” 

“No!”, he said.  I mean ‘real’ unicorns, the kind that move and are made of flesh and blood.” 

“Oh,” I said, “You mean narwhals? They exist.  You should go check them out.  They live in the ocean.”

As you can imagine, by the end of our conversation, this person was completely frustrated with me, just like the Pharisees and scribes were completely frustrated with Jesus Christ.

Why were they frustrated?  Because they could not escape reality; that is, they could not believe what they were seeing.  A man who was once blind was now seeing.  It wasn’t their eyes that were betraying them, but their hearts that were revealing them!  And we know the Lord is the master at knowing hearts. 

Since the Lord’s critics could not believe their eyes, they began to question themselves, saying, Is this the one who used to sit and beg?  Some said, “It is,” but others said, “No, he just looks like him.  Yeah, right!  It’s just a coincidence. 

Preconditioned by sight.  Those of us who can see are at a disadvantage.  Without realizing it, we have been preconditioned to believe certain things by sight.  In other words, we tend to see things for what they appear to be, rather than as they really are.  We tend to believe that rich people are happy people, or that poor people are miserable people.  We have bought into the notion that actors are knowledgeable people, and professors are boring people.  We think that great speakers make great leaders and soft spoken people make lousy leaders.

The Lord operates on a different playing field:  “Do not judge from his appearance of from his loft stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart” (Samuel 16:6-7).

Turning things right-side up.  All of us have had positive and negative experiences throughout our lives. But over time, our understanding of these experiences may have actually changed.  What we once thought of as negative, may today be seen as positive, and what we once thought of as positive, may actually have been the start of something horribly negative. 

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Eph. 5:14).

Awake! is another way of saying “Open your eyes.”

Whereas the man who was once blind came to believe in Jesus, the Pharisees who could see Jesus shut their eyes to him. 

Believing and see. (0)

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Fr. Alfonse (1044 Posts)

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