Christ will shine on you

Scripture Readings:

Ephesians 5:8–14

John 9:1–12

Jesus’ healing of the man born with blindness is one of miraculous signs that reveals in the John’s gospel. The wedding at Cana sign reveals Jesus as the host of the heavenly banquet, and the sign of feeding of the 5,000 shows Jesus as the provider who gives not just manna but his own body and blood. The sign in John 9 demonstrates that Jesus is the giver of sight and the light of the world. It lets us meet the illuminating traits of Jesus. Jesus physically restores sight to a man and tells us to be the light in the Lord in a metaphorical sense. (v. 5-8) He also reveals the truth while challenging the Pharisee’s blindness to the truth.

In John 9:3, Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. Jesus 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.

God’s restorative love is expressed in Jesus’ life and ministry. Jesus announced that he was the light of the world and demonstrated how dark life is without him. Jesus makes seven “I am” statements in the Bible and states that he is the light of the world. The topic of light and darkness is a theme that undergirds the whole Gospel narrative. John 1 informs us that the Word is the true light of all who was not overcome by darkness.

Regarding the theological background, blindness and other illnesses were often viewed as punishment for sin in ancient times. The disciples of Jesus and the leaders who oppose him also assume this and ask him. According to a Biblical scholar Richard, there was an ancient custom of spitting in the presence of the blind to protect oneself from the “evil eye.” In John 9:3, Jesus answered about the assumption, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. Jesus transforms that act of disdain into one of healing.

In the Sabbath tradition, Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath created an issue and division within the community, and Jesus’ making of mud could be viewed as a forbidden activity. However, with some mud and some spit, Jesus changed the life of a blind beggar. These ordinary elements were used to change not only the life of one blind man but also a community as the news of the miracle spread.

After Jesus’ healing, people divide over whether this is the same man they had known. Pharisees divide over whether Jesus is from God or not. The man’s parents have distanced themselves from their son for fear of the religious leaders. When Jesus comes and heals the man born blind, everybody is trying to figure out what happened. While the whole world around the blind man is confused, the blind man is abandoned by everyone but Jesus.

Jesus comes again to the healed man when he is kicked out of the community. Jesus comes to us with healing and love again and again. He gives us spiritual sight as Jesus came to the man in his blindness and gives him vision. Jesus revealed the fact that the illness was not from the sins of parents or oneself and showed that his healing makes no conditions by saying “believe” to the healed man.

Jesus showed many miraculous work and healing and sign, but It was not so much perceived as it is revealed, and it was revealed only to those who are given the gift of faith. The blind man received his sight, but everyone else in the story lost theirs—not their physical vision, but their capacity to believe and understand what they have witnessed. Neighbours, Pharisees, and parents were unable to see in this event that “God does provide.”

Even the man who had been healed did not understand what had happened to him at first. Only after Jesus calls him to faith, does he truly see. Only after he first believes does he worship the one who is truly from God and who has healed far more than just his blindness. Genuine faith in Christ always leads to worship. The transformation of the healed one is not just from blindness to sight. The blind man is a passive recipient of Jesus’ actions, but he becomes more active as the story goes on. Sight and hearing are both critical in this story, as Jesus makes God known in the healing of the blind man. Faith grows as we exercise it. This healed one becomes a disciple of the one who healed. At last, he could hear that he is Jesus’ disciple from others.

In accordance with Jesus’ word, God’s works were revealed in him. Especially, providence is a confession by those who are given the eyes of faith that events God works in, around, through those things that oppose God, to accomplish God’s will and plan. 

Jesus, the light of the world, is among us. May we open our spiritual eyes wide and appreciate the gift of faith and worship God who is giving us salvation and healing. We are Jesus’ disciples. May we work the works of him who sent us while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As for Christians, shining light in the Lord would be a life-long job and full-time job.

Ephesians focuses on discipleship: how we should live in light of the grace that has been given to us in Christ Jesus. 5:8–14 tells us to live as children of the light. The Ephesian Christians were once just like those who are disobedient. However, Christians are no longer darkness, but children of light. Therefore, we should do deeds of light, not darkness. Today’s text is dealing with the disobedient. This would indicate that people’s major sins need to be exposed and transformed by the light of Christians and church.

Sins are exposed by shining light into sin’s darkness. An amazing thing happens. Darkness can no longer hide its nature, and all is exposed to light. Light makes everything visible and turns darkness into light. This is the church’s mission. The goal of shining light is to transform anyone completely from darkness to light.

We are called to do deeds of goodness, righteousness, and truth and not to do deeds of immorality, impurity, and greed because we are light in the Lord. We should not only avoid committing the same sins as the disobedient, but we should also try to expose them. May we walk in God’s light and please him.

We are called to follow Christ and to live life, trusting in God’s care. Life in Christ is not always bright and shining. Following Jesus means we must look at the world in Jesus’ perspective and spiritual eyes. We are also called to trust God to help discern what is right, even though we do not see it. We are living in God’s presence with the gift of faith.

Whenever Christ shines on us, we may turn from wrongdoing, and Christ will be pleased. Jesus is light and the source of our light. His shining light exposes all people’s darkness and transforms them into light. As in today’s text, we are light in the Lord, and Christ will shine on us. May we obey whatever Jesus asks us to do and become a walking candle lit by Jesus, the light of the world.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)