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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Aug
07

Am I The Blind One Here?

Jon Burgess

Scripture

8His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”9Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!” But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!” 10They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?” John 9:8-10

Observation

This whole passage would be comical if it wasn't so dreadful. This blind beggar had been passed by for years and no knew who he was, what his namewas, or even what he really looked like. Our biasblinds us to the people around us. Those we subtly deem as "less important" don't warrant the time and attention necessary to even be seen let alone known as an actual person. This comes out in an even more horrendous reality when the religious leaders condemn the blind beggar basically for being born: “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue." (John 9:34) There was a false theology in those days that a man's sickness was proof of his sin: “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”(John 9:2) The Pharisees saw themselves as better than this blind beggar and therefore didn't see the man how God saw Him. When we see what Jesus sees, we will do what Jesus did. This man was not a problem to be ignored but a person to be healed: 3“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. (John 9:3)

Application

I was reading a book recently that confirm what Jesus is modeling here about the importance of knowing our neighbors, being peacemakers and seeing people as those made in the image of God. The book, "Mending The Divides" uses the parable of The Good Samaritan to point out that, like the religious elite in the parable, we have been blinded to the beautiful and broken around us due to being busy, opinions, fears, and biases from our upbringing.

First, we need to pray for Jesus to heal our sight.

Second, we need to pause and lament and acknowledge the pain we’ve caused others.

Third, we need to repent for our idolatry of “me”.

Fourth, we can allow research to become a part of our discipleship.

Fifth, we can put our screens away, slow down, and pay attention.

Sixth, we can pursue relationships.

The authors write: “Isolating ourselves from difference and disagreement doesn’t reflect a strong faith but a fragile one. Often, the “other” isn’t the problem, but our inability to trust in a God who transcends our perceived borders and boundaries. When we move forward people who are “different” from us, it doesn’t compromise our faith; it reflects the very best of it. In fact, it was when I released my need to be understood or affirmed by fellow Christians that I was freed up to live more like Jesus” (p.89).

Prayer

Lord, as I read this passage today I realized who the true blind beggars were in the story. It wasn't the man on the street whom you healed but the men in the temple who saw no need for healing. They didn't see how truly sick they were and therefore didn't see the beggar as anyone worth loving, caring for or healing. Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” (John 9:39). I'm the blind one Lord. I need to see others the way You see them. I see through the lens of my busyness, bias, and prejudice. It starts with knowing the names and stories of those I pass by every week. Forgive me and heal me and show me how to love those around me the way you do!


Devotions for August 07

Zephaniah 1,2,3
John 9

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