Sunday, March 26, 2017

How Spiritual Sight Changes Us

John 9:25 (CEB): Spiritual Sight
25 The man answered, “I don’t know whether he’s a sinner. Here’s what I do know: I was blind and now I see.”
I lived many years of my life under the veil of spiritual blindness. Some people who know me may say I exaggerate. When I revealed this same truth to my wife, for instance, she said, “Lighten up. You were a good guy, too, before your active faith in Christ.” This may be so, but there was a time when God opened my eyes and heart in a way they were never opened before. Something took root in me then that I cannot fully articulate, but I can say this: Leading up to that time, I experienced a heightened sense of spiritual emptiness and fear. Looking to fill this spiritual void, I found myself drawn to the Gospels and, for the first time, began reading Matthew’s account of Jesus Christ. It changed my life. Something in me opened; I heard Christ’s intimate, personal call. Scripture came to life for me in an unimaginable way. Every aspect of my life --  being a husband, father, teacher, and neighbor -- became brightly lit by the radiance of Christ’s love. God used my emptiness to call me to him in faith.
Our weaknesses, struggles, and faults are areas where God’s grace and healing dwell. When we approach God with the faith of an open heart and mind, he works through our hurt to heal and provide us with new spiritual sight. And the man born blind exemplifies this (see John 9). As a lifelong blind beggar, he is humble and an open vessel waiting to be filled by God’s grace. Jesus gives him physical sight. And at the end of John 9, Jesus finds the healed man again and gives him spiritual sight:
35 Finding him, Jesus said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 He answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 The man said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Jesus.

God’s grace transforms us, but we must be open and “want” God to heal us. The man born blind says, “I want to believe in him” (John 9:36). And when, like this former blind man, we are given sight and transformed in Christ, our imitation of God’s love transforms and gives sight to others.
Let us pray for God’s gift of continued conversion so that the light of Jesus Christ permeates our hearts and minds, giving us true spiritual sight. And in that renewal of love and vision, pray, too, that God uses each of us to touch the hearts and minds of those we serve each day.

Have a blessed week!

Stan