Christ is Risen!!!
sight (n): the physical sense by which light stimuli received by the eye are interpreted by the brain and constructed into a representation of the position, shape, brightness, and usually color of objects in space.
Most of us could have probably arrived at a similar definition. While we’ve all either known or encountered people who are physically blind, their numbers in our current times are indeed very few. In short, most have “sight”.
But how many of us possess vision? What is vision?
vision (n): the special sense by which the qualities of an object are perceived.
Qualities. As with sight, we could certainly lump shape and brightness and the others into the general category of ‘qualities’. But it goes beyond just those, doesn’t it? Vision implies an understanding of that which is perceived. And while most often we associate that understanding with the sense of sight, the definition does not demand sight’s presence to explain ‘vision’. In short, vision can be associated with any sense that permits perception. While this includes sight, it can include any of the five senses. But it can also be extended to speak to perception that is spiritual. Let’s look at it this way, by posing this question.
Where does faith come from?
Have you seen God? Have you smelled Him, heard Him, been touched by Him, tasted Him? No? Then what constitutes your own vision of who God is? What gives your faith vision? How do you perceive Him?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus goes to the blind man, anoints his eyes with spittle-mud, and instructs him to wash. There has been nary a sign of physical sight in the man since birth. When he receives his sight, those who knew him as a beggar hardly recognize him. He hasn’t changed physically. What is wrong with their sight? They ask him how it is that he now sees, and he responds, “A Man called Jesus” healed me. His vision, while his eyes were yet blind, helped him to determine Who it was that made him well!
Meanwhile, those who questioned the man brought him to the Pharisees, who wanted to accuse Jesus because of the heinous crime of healing a man on the Sabbath who was born blind! That was their vision. They repeatedly queried the man. Who did it? How did He do it? What did He say?
Without having any additional information to clarify his vision, the man told the Pharisees, “He is a prophet!”
With full physical faculties these same Jews refuse to believe his word. They call his parents, who refuse to answer because they see (with THEIR vision) the treachery of such men.
Before casting the man out of the Temple for defending the truth and the Lord (do you see parallels in today’s ‘political correctness’???), the man says to the Jews, “I’ve told you what happened, and you did not listen (a refusal to expand their vision). Do you want to become His (Christ’s) disciples?”
It is for exactly these reasons that our Lord says in Mat 23:23-24, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ...Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” Perfect sight—no vision!
As for the blind man, see his vision on display when our Lord finds him and asks him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” The man shows his vision in a question that points to the newness of his sight. “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
We, too, must see with a singular vision, one oriented to seek the qualities of what our hearts wish to perceive, to know God’s ways, and to find His will in our lives.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” (Prov 3:5)
CHRIST IS RISEN!