The book of John is a curated collection (events, interactions, and dialogue) written so that the you may believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that by believing you may have Life in His name.
In John 9, the author is again curating the story so that we would more clearly see the person of Jesus. We see four refractions of Jesus as the Light of the World. Each of these refractions shed light on who Jesus is and who we are as well.
- The Parable of the Light: The story begins with a man born blind, and the disciples ask if his condition is a result of personal sin. Jesus responds by saying “I am the light of the world…” So, we have a man who can’t see any light in this world, and Jesus about to enact a kind of miraculous parable to illustrate what it means that He is the “Light of the World,” and how some eyes will be opened while other eyes are closed.
- The Polarization of the Light: The people cannot believe their eyes that the man is healed, and the healing creates polarized views of who Jesus is. While the Light is shining, some eyes are opened and some are intentionally shut, because the light of Jesus is polarizing.
- The Piercing of the Light: Jesus opened the blind man’s eyes to the light, and now his eyes are also being opened spiritually to who Jesus is. Despite opposition from the Pharisees, the man who was healed stands up for Jesus, saying “I was blind, but now I see.” The man claims that Jesus has to be from God, because only God alone can open the eyes of a blind man. Here’s the irony: this man sees things with perfect clarity, but it is the Pharisees’ eyes that are clouded. The clearer the light shines, the more piercing it is, revealing what’s really going on in the Pharisees’ hearts.
- The Paradox of the Light: On the one hand, no one has ever seen Jesus with more clarity than this man does. He goes from total blindness to crystal clarity in just a few hours. And at the very same time, processing the very same information, in the very same place, the religious leaders have never been so blind as to who Jesus is. They actively resist the light. And here’s what’s amazing: the blind man everyone assumed was furthest from God, ends up closest; and the religious leaders everyone assumed were closest to God, end up furthest away. The Light does that; it draws some close and others it drives away. There is no greater blindness than that which insists it can see.
Takeaway: Jesus’ light is blinding to some and beautiful to others. It all comes down to whether we’re willing to admit our blindness or not. That’s why sinners draw near, and the self-righteous stand far off.
So how about you? What will you do with the Light?