Friday, May 27, 2022

Insight may come through God’s own timing

| September 16, 2021 1:00 AM

In chapter 9 of John’s gospel there is the story of the man born blind.

When I speak this passage, as part of a worship service, I honor the intent of the author. How so? Well, I just don’t read this passage from John’s Gospel, but deliver it in a manner that makes it come to life.

When it is voiced, I bring with it intended emotions. To do otherwise would be a disservice.

The characters in the story need to be given breath instead of hopelessly entombed within a flat, lifeless, dusty-dry-bones delivery.

I interpret this passage as containing a wealth of human expressions – among them are judgment, discovery, inquisitiveness, self-righteousness, irritation, frustration, humor, anxiety, fear, anger, resignation, acceptance and new vision. It’s all in there, eager to be played out as sweet music for the interested ear both to hear and to follow.

There is great tension among the players. Jesus heals the man and then trouble starts. People debate if this fully-sighted man was truly the one who had been born blind. He is brought before the Pharisees and they interrogate him. They even bring in his parents to testify. His parents are of no help. They sheepishly tell the Pharisees to keep them out of it.

The scene reaches a crescendo when the man in question finally loses his cool after being confronted by the same questions repeatedly. He’s had enough. He ends up insulting his inquisitors, and as a result is immediately kicked out of the temple.

After all that, Jesus returns to the stage to mop things up. The man who had been born blind had earlier been given his sight by Jesus. However, it was only in this later exchange he could finally see Jesus as Savior. It is an understatement to say that he went through a lot to get to that point.

Spiritual insight may come to us with time – God’s timing and not our own.

We may experience a whole horde of emotions along the way.

We may eventually end up seeing things more clearly, but only after some trials and tribulations.

How might this apply to your life?

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.