35. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36. “Who is he, sir?” The man asked, “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37. Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38. Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40. Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41. Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
Reflection by Darlene Wagner
Interestingly, Christ refers to himself as “Son of Man” rather than “Son of God”. Nonetheless, the healed man worships him — strange behavior for a devout Jew. Elsewhere in scripture, Jews heroically face death for their refusal to worship a mortal human being (Daniel 3:13-18). The man was certainly beside himself with gratitude for Christ giving him sight. When Jesus meets with the Pharisees who had a hand in throwing the healed man out of the synagogue, he calls them blind. Indeed, the intolerant behavior of the Pharisees revealed their spiritual and mental blindness. On the other hand, open-minded and open-hearted people such as the healed blind man possess true sight, even if physical blindness persists. Today, the pandemic reveals the blindness of those who ignore the well-being of the medically-fragile and the low wage, essential service workers. At the same time, those of us who protect the medically fragile and offer help to service workers find healing for our blindness.
To you we cry in pain and fear our Dearest Savior Christ! We plead for health and safety during times of woe — Yet we have closed our eyes to those who suffer worse misfortune! Grant heart-sight, Dear Lord Christ, to comfort others as you comfort us. Grant strength, Lord Christ, to work for all the vulnerable of humankind.