And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. ( John 9:1-3)
The Gospel of John contrasts the two kinds of blindness which afflict humanity.
We see at the outset that the first kind of blindness comes as a result of original sin. One of the consequences of the fall of man, is that mankind is blind to God and to Spiritual reality, from birth. We don’t know how to find God, and have no capacity to see Him or percieve Him.
So many Bible Stories are about the blind seeing again. So much of our Gospel songs and Hymns are also about seeing for the first time. Salvation itself is seeing, God opens our eyes and reveals his reality.
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ( 2 Corinthians 4:3-5)
For centuries Christian congregations have sung heartily such confessions as this…
“At the Cross at the cross where I first saw the light, where the burden of my heart rolled away!”
” Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see!”
In the story in John 9 the restoration of physical sight was instantaneous, but it was a sign of a deeper revelation, that is spiritual sight. Spiritual sight came to the man in stages.
At first , when he was asked who healed him, the formerly blind from birth said,
Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.(John 9:10-11)
He only knew of a man called Jesus…
But then he is put before the Pharisees who asked him what He thought of his healer,
They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. (John 9:17)
Then there is a kind of trial, the man is put on the stand before the rulers of the Temple, and it was demanded of him to confess that whoever his healer was, admit that He is a sinner!
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.(John 9:30-33)
The vision expands, for the man healed of his blindness has called Jesus a man, a prophet, and now this, a worshipper of God and one who does his will. He is beginning to see who Jesus really is.
Finally, after being cast out of the synagogue, and of communion with his fellow Jews, Jesus came to complete the restoration of his Spiritual vision,
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. (John 9:35-38)
Where does the restoration of spiritual vision lead to? To the confession that Jesus is the Son of God, the LORD and to worship of Him in spirit and in truth.