Here’s Mud in Your Eye

Lou Lotz

Read: John 9:1-41

One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. (v. 25)

A minister friend of mine handed out blindfolds—strips of cloth—that members of his Bible study class wore as they listened to this story in John 9. Afterward, the class—still blindfolded—discussed what they had heard and what details they had noticed. Clever.

What I notice is how quickly attention is diverted from the need at hand—the man’s blindness—to a theological argument: “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (v. 2). How often we use the victim to shore up our belief system or our political agenda. Meanwhile, the needy person is standing right in front of us.

“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents,” says Jesus, “but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (v. 3). What a gracious, helpful way to frame human suffering. Jesus does not use the man’s plight to buttress a certain theological agenda. Rather, he views the man’s blindness as the occasion for God to act.

And God does act. The man’s blindfold is stripped away, and for the first time in his life he sees, staring into the face of the man who healed him, beholding not just the light of day, but the Light of the World. When you see others suffering, follow the example of Jesus. Avoid the urge to speculate, and look for a way to help. When you find yourself suffering, continue to look for Jesus’ face. —Lou Lotz 

As you pray, ask God to open your eyes to the needs of suffering people.