Blind Spots In Our Windshields…
(This devotional includes a summary of John 9:1-41. I encourage you to read the whole chapter this week.)
Picture yourself driving along the left lane of the interstate without a single car in sight. You have the road all to yourself… or so you thought. With your exit coming up quick, and no turn signal needed (or so you thought) You whip across the middle and right lanes to get onto the off-ramp. CRASH… I guess you weren’t the only one on the road after all. Someone forgot to check their blind spots. So, our question for this week is this… Has anyone ever made a wrong move based on a false assumption?
The 9th chapter of John gives us the messy miracle of Jesus healing the blind man with mud and spit (yeah… I know…). The mess isn’t just in the mixture Jesus made. This miracle story reveals the messy windshields that the religious leaders and disciples saw the truth of God.
The first false assumption is right at the beginning in verse 2. The disciples assumed that this man was blind because either his own sins or the sins of his parents. They equated hardships and physical ailments strictly because of one’s individual sin (not true). Jesus turns this around and reveals to the disciples that they are to see the difficult circumstances of others, not just as evidence of a fallen world, but as an opportunity for the works of God to be displayed through Christ. (It is later revealed in scripture that WE are to continue this work as “salt and light”.)
Then, after Jesus heals the man, we get the religious leaders who choose to investigate the healing instead of celebrating it. They viewed the miracle as working on the Sabbath, which to them would be a sin. But, if Jesus sinned, then He couldn’t possibly perform this miracle. Instead of celebrating the glory of God revealed through His Son, they chose to completely reject Jesus, and the reality of the miracle itself. Now to the blind spots…
“Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind… “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (9:39,41)
It is easy for us to vilify the religious leaders and snicker at the disciples’ ignorance. What we need to remember is that before Jesus, they thought they had cornered the truth. Once THE TRUTH came in the flesh (Jesus) only then did their religious blind spots become exposed.
Jesus continues to expose our blind spots if we are willing to allow the vastness of His presence around the world broaden our perspectives of holiness. For example, we can learn so much about Christlikeness from our sister church in El Palmarcito. The way that they give of themselves, the humble ways they worship, and the way that they erase the divide between church and community are all ministry methods that come natural to them that we could and should emrace. If we isolate our Christianity to just ourselves, we are bound to have a laundry list of spiritual blind spots that put us in the position of the religious leaders in John, where we see both people and opportunities through our assumptions instead of the eyes of Christ.
But… we can’t all just visit El Palmarcito all the time same time, let alone move there, so how does clearing away these blind spots help us in our daily lives? Well, even if the context changes, the Christlike principles that we can learn from each other are universal. When we open ourselves up to the full truth of Jesus and listen to His Spirit through the words and actions of those who are not all the same as us, we clear away the blind spots in our own windshields. We don’t always have opportunities to love and serve every corner of the world, but we can take what we learn from each other and find the opportunities that we see in our own windshields.
As we see problems and tragedies, whether in Palmarcito, Haiti, Portage, Chesterton, Valpo, Gary, or anywhere we find ourselves, having a clear, Christlike vision allows us to change our perspective from “See how bad things are!” or “what did they do to deserve that?” or “I wouldn’t have done things THAT way” to “How can I love?” “How can I serve” “How can I be like Jesus in this situation?”
Let’s make that our homework for this week. Let the truth of Jesus, from His Word and from Christlike actions of people all around the world, wash away our blind spots and broaden our perspective. And then, pay closer attention to what we see in the windshields of our lives. Maybe we would experience fewer wrecks and experience more redemption.