Do you know you are blind?

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When Jesus heals a blind man in John 9, it calls into question our spiritual blindness and how we respond to novel teaching.

If you have read the bible, even a little bit then you will know that one of God’s most frequent promises through his prophets, major and minor is that he will open the eyes of the blind. When Jesus arrives on the scene in the New Testament he does indeed perform many miracles. However, when he heals the blind man in John 9, and the Pharisees gather around him, it prompts a question, who was really blind and who needed sight?

Studying the bible in my early 20s, anytime I saw Jesus perform a miracle, I would put myself with the group of those that celebrated or even the person elated that they had been healed. I wouldn’t put myself in the group of perplexed onlookers on even worse, the Pharisees that didn’t believe and actively fought against his miracle. It’s worth asking who you would have been in John 9:24-30.

“who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭146‬:‭7‬-‭9‬ ‭ESV — God has always made himself known as he who opens the eyes of the blind.

Jesus Heals The Man

Earlier in chapter 9, Jesus heals a man who has been blind from birth. This gets them both in trouble with the local teachers and in verses 24-30, the healed man is being interrogated. As you read this passage, try to picture this exchange in your mind’s eye and pay close attention to the tone of their words.

“So for the second time, they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know is that though I was blind, now I see.” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.”

‭‭John‬ ‭9‬:‭24‬-‭25‬, ‭27‬-‭30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Why are the teachers so entrenched in their thinking? Why are they blind to what God has done? Perhaps it was because, as teachers, they held a lot of power. Is it possible that a new rabbi, who not only speaks with authority but also can back up His teaching with extraordinary miracles, threatens their power base? It is said that those who control the narrative control the people, and in this passage, we see the teachers desperately trying to control the narrative. They are afraid and find it hard to afford this new rabbi.

It’s important to ask ourselves who we are in this story. Are we too sometimes threatened by those who teach something different from what we currently believe or even teach? Do we feel out of joint when the narratives, the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, who God is, and what the world is like, get challenged?

Often we are closed off to new perspectives because of fear of losing power, place and prestige. This is where the Pharisees found themselves. It’s a strange turnaround really. The blind man was given his sight, and the seeing people were blind to what God was doing.

“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭42‬:‭16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s easy to scoff at the blind Pharisees who were unwilling to see Jesus and accept him. However, sometimes we are the Pharisees. We don’t lean on God and aren’t always ready to accept new teachings and challenges.

God, we admit that we are not good at seeing or learning. We don’t want to be blind to where You are at work in our lives. Help us to ask the right questions. Lead us out of outdated paradigms. Loosen our grip on our need to be right.

Help us to learn from You.


  • M.T. Omoniyi

    Micheal Timilehin Omoniyi is an innovative, bold, dedicated leader and thinker. He is a serial entrepreneur and builder. In 2018, he was recognised by the Financial Times as one of the 100 most influential leaders in Tech in the UK as the Founder and CEO of The Common Sense Network, a UK Based News Network for and by millennials. He is the Founder and Director of Our God Given Mission, a missions based charity. He is also the founder of The Apex Group, a closed group for CEO’s and Founders where they share best practice. As well as founding several initiatives and organisations, Micheal consults for various charities and organisations.

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