From the Good News Monthly Magazine (July, 2019)
"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (John 9:1-3)
As he walked down the road and met a man who was blind, his disciples asked him, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus said, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” According to the Word of Jesus, whether a man becomes blind or has some kind of sickness, it is not because they have done something wrong, but because God desires to manifest His works.
THE BLIND MAN COULD NOT JUDGE, SO HE HAD TO ASK AND FOLLOW WHAT WAS TOLD
There was nothing this blind man could do on his own because he was born blind. He could not see so everything seemed so bleak, and if he needed to decide on something, since he could not see with his eyes, he had to borrow someone else’s eyes. In other words, he had to ask what others saw and felt, and accept it. Some people would speak to harass the blind man, and others would be honest with him. The blind man cannot determine whether it is good or bad, so at times he would accept the words of bad people and endure difficulty; but because he could not judge for himself, he had to ask and follow their words.
This man lived this way for a long time, and because he was poor, he had to beg. When Jesus anointed his eyes with clay and told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, he could not ask, “Why did you put dirt on my eyes? If I go to the pool of Siloam, will I be able to see? How far away is Siloam?” He just had to go find the pool of Siloam. On his way, if he sensed someone’s presence, then he had to ask. “Hello? I am on my way to the pool of Siloam. Am I going the right way? Is this not the right way? How much longer until I reach Siloam? Does the pool of Siloam have a steep angle? Can you slip and fall by mistake?”
He had to ask no matter what and follow what was told to him. Even if one was joking, he had to believe it and go. This is because he did not have the ability to distinguish whether the words he heard was right or not. In this way, the blind man is different from us. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the second son did not have the experience of going abroad to run a business, but he believed in himself and he left his father’s home to go to a far country.
There, as he did whatever he wanted, he wasted all his possessions, and when he was in a position to die in hunger in the pig pen, the prodigal son for the first time thought, “I was so foolish to believe in my judgment.” But this blind man, because he could not judge for himself, when Jesus said, “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam,” he had no choice but to go. If the pool of Siloam was one kilometer away, he had to go, and even if it was five kilometers away, he still had to go. He could not help but to follow the Word of Jesus.
MANY OPPOSE JESUS WITH WHAT THEY SEE AND HEAD TOWARD DESTRUCTION! Most people pity the blind man. Since they are not blind, although they listen to other people, they judge “this is good, this is bad,” as they try to live their lives well. Likewise, they decide based on their judgements, but because Satan works in their judgments, instead of going down the right path, most people flow to a place contrary to God and end up rebelling against Him. Considering themselves to be more right than God, they do not obey the Word of God, but follow the path of their desires. This is the reason why they cannot receive the great and amazing grace of God.
Since the blind man cannot see, there were times when he went through loss, but when he meets a good man like Jesus, he can receive amazing grace. Others can listen to Jesus and with their own judgment disobey His words, but this man did not have his own judgment, and could only follow Jesus and be blessed. He experienced hardship and loss because he could not see, but when he met Jesus, it was a blessing for him to believe and follow Jesus’s Word. In living a spiritual life, even though people know the Word of Jesus, they often take their own path. Some people do not even want to know the will of God or hear about it, and just live following their thoughts and methods. It is because they can open their eyes to decide for themselves. It is because today, they can see brightly, live healthy, and think well, with these things how so many people go against Jesus following their judgments to destruction! Fortunately, the prodigal son knew with certainty that he had failed and was wrong, and he forsook his way to return to his father’s home to receive grace, but I wonder how many people could not! There are so many people who follow their thoughts heading to destruction.
IF YOU COME TO JESUS TO BE BLESSED BECAUSE YOU ARE POOR, LACKING, AND SICK It is not only good when God gives us a healthy body, and a life with an abundance of food and riches. Personally, after the Korean War ended, I was extremely poor during my childhood and lived in adversity. I would often go hungry because there was no food to eat. I would follow others around in order to find a potato or a handful of beans. While studying at school, when I did not have a pencil and had to borrow a pencil or an eraser, I could not ask with a haughty heart, so I had to lower and humble my heart. There were many instances like this.
The blind man could not act according to his judgment, therefore it was easy for him to follow the Word of Jesus. People who are sick, poor, or endure hardships, just like the prodigal son returning to his father’s home due to his difficulty, have it easier to put down their thoughts to accept the Word of Jesus. They are unable to trust themselves, and rather than following their thoughts, they listen to other people, and when they hear Jesus’s Word, they can be blessed. It would be a blessing to meet Jesus even if you are poor and in hardship rather than being led to destruction while being rich and smart. Those who live according to their will and thoughts cannot accept the Word of God, and they end in destruction.
BECAUSE IT IS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO BE CLOSE TO GOD We want to be healthy. We want to be wealthy. But at times, God gives us adversity that is hard for us to accept. Whether being born blind, or disabled, or becoming poor through ruin, we go through these difficulties. Through these things, if we can break down our hearts to meet Jesus, then with a “That’s right!” we can accept Jesus’s Word, “It is not a difficulty, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”