Seeing by Choice

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing”.

John 9:1-7, (NKJV)

A Reflection

On Seeing: Why Some Do, and Some Don’t

“For the first time the blind man looked upon the face of his Restorer. Before the council he had seen his parents troubled and perplexed; he had looked upon the frowning faces of the rabbis; now his eyes rested upon the loving, peaceful countenance of Jesus. Already, at great cost to himself, he had acknowledged Him as a delegate of divine power; now a higher revelation was granted him.

To the Saviour’s question, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” the blind man replied by asking, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?” And Jesus said, “Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.” The man cast himself at the Saviour’s feet in worship. Not only had his natural sight been restored, but the eyes of his understanding had been opened. Christ had been revealed to his soul, and he received Him as the Sent of God.

A group of Pharisees had gathered near, and the sight of them brought to the mind of Jesus the contrast ever manifest in the effect of His words and works. He said, “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” Christ had come to open the blind eyes, to give light to them that sit in darkness. He had declared Himself to be the light of the world, and the miracle just performed was in attestation of His mission. The people who beheld the Saviour at His advent were favored with a fuller manifestation of the divine presence than the world had ever enjoyed before. The knowledge of God was revealed more perfectly. But in this very revelation, judgment was passing upon men. Their character was tested, their destiny determined.

The manifestation of divine power that had given to the blind man both natural and spiritual sight had left the Pharisees in yet deeper darkness. Some of His hearers, feeling that Christ’s words applied to them, inquired, “Are we blind also?” Jesus answered, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin.” If God had made it impossible for you to see the truth, your ignorance would involve no guilt. “But now ye say, “‘We see,’” you believe yourselves able to see, and reject the means through which alone you could receive sight. To all who realized their need, Christ came with infinite help. But the Pharisees would confess no need; they refused to come to Christ, and hence they were left in blindness,—a blindness for which they were themselves guilty. Jesus said, “Your sin remaineth.”

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ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlinebooks.


This article is part of our 2021 July / August Issue
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Why I am, what I am.

You’ve heard that everything happens for a reason. What if I told you that everything happens to reveal your resilience and royalty? It doesn’t always feel like we are a chosen people set aside for greatness, but I want you to consider that your destiny is in high places. Join us as we examine a young man who is found sitting in the dirt but was predestined to be there for a divine purpose.

Read John 9:1; Jeremiah 1:5

Jesus and his disciples come across a young man who was born blind. This young man has never perceived the blues in the sky, the greens in the leaves of the trees, or even the mud-brown of dirt. It seems so unfair, yet we know from scripture that God sees our very beginning. Have you ever thought God, or life wasn’t fair to you? You are not alone. What has happened or is happening that you feel isn’t fair? Share it with us here at Message on social media using #MessageMag.

Read John 9:1-2; Proverbs 15:3

As the disciples take notice of the blind man, they voice their opinion about his predicament, and it isn’t positive. Has anyone every talked to you or about you, and they have no idea what’s going on in your life? They have never taken a step in your shoes, but they have so much to say. How did you handle it? Share it with us here at Message, #MessageMag.

Read John 9:2; 1 John 1:9; Isaiah 1:18

The disciples believed that this man was possibly being punished for sin committed even before he was born. I have no evidence but I’m convinced that being judgmental will cause us to look foolish in front of those about whom we’ve jumped to conclusions. Have you seen in God’s word where He asked us to make determinations about the reasons for people’s situation?

Read John 9:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9

Jesus minced no words in response to the disciples’ speculation. This man’s predicament was not connected to any negative behavior. Let me say that again: Jesus told them this unfortunate situation was not a result of some wrong decision on anybody’s part. Someone who is reading this needs to know that while, yes, there are consequences for our actions, not every challenging situation came as a result of an unidentifiable or unexposed sin or backsliding. Meditate on this thought.

Read John 9:3: Romans 8:28; Isaiah 46:10

After Jesus challenged their misperception, He provoked His disciples with the real reason things were the way they were. Are you ready? Did you read it? Jesus said that the reason this man had never seen the face of his mother and father, or the multi-toned sky when the sun set was because the works of God are meant to be displayed in him. What does that mean? Help us and share your thoughts on social media using #MessageMag

Read Revelation 3:18

In the time that we live it is easy to lose yourself. We are bombarded with news, good and bad, constantly. We are conditioned to be self-centered and that can cause our low moments to seem like an eternity. Life can feel like you are literally living in the dirt. The ray of hope is that Jesus is constantly inviting us to better. He never wants the muck we are in to mis-define our amazing destiny. 

Read John 9:3; 2 Corinthians 4:17

This individual has lived without what many of us take for granted his whole life. What seemed to define him in a negative way, God planned as his destiny, to shine light in the midst of darkness. I want you to know that you are who you are and deal with what you deal with because God knew you would be more refined that defined. The answer to the question: Why I am what I am is simply because God knows the times, places, and people He has uniquely created you to expose them to His power.

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Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2021 July / August Issue
Subscribe –>

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