A Picture Fit for a Blind Man

John 9:4 – I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

The gospel of John is filled with non-sequiturs, things that don’t seem to follow one another. When I first read these two verses I was a bit jarred by the abrupt shift in the topic of conversation from the previous three verses. At first, Jesus and the disciples are discussing the fate of a blind man. Then, out of nowhere, Jesus starts talking about himself while using an obscure illustration about light and dark. Strange.

What’s going on Jesus?

The parable is very simple. Jesus must work during the day because the night is coming when no one can work. That begs the question, why can’t one work during the night? What is it about the qualities of it being dark outside that precludes the accomplishment of productivity?

The answer is as clear as the day Jesus was speaking about. People don’t work at night because they can’t SEE. Work is done during the day because we can tell what we’re doing or if we’re doing it correctly. Isn’t that a fitting illustration for a story about a blind man? It paints a picture that every character in the story can understand, even the blind man. The story might have knocked the disciples a little off-balance: ‘Hmm, seeing, according to the story Jesus told, is a bit different than visual perception.’

Jesus is using the blind man to illustrate (illustrate is such a visual word, no?) a point. Jesus is the source of light that allows for us to do the works of the Father. Without the light of Christ, we are unable to work at all, or if we attempt to do good works, to even tell if we are doing them well. Jesus is the enabler of good things for all of mankind. He wants us to enjoy the full brightness of a relationship with God that puts everything else into perspective (another visual word). This can occur even for a blind man.

Jesus doesn’t just offer this light to his people in His fan club.

Matthew 5:45 – …For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

God offers us all a chance at living in the sunshine. Even if you might think that your circumstances shut you out from experiencing the light of God’s presence, God can break through the night of your experience. If he can make a blind man see, he can reach you in the life that you have been living in and give you freedom in spite of your surroundings. He wants to do that. Let God fill your life with the light of Christ living inside of you. Your life will then have light, though it may seem ever so dark now. If you believe that He has the ability to change you, invite Him in and He will.

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