18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”
“. . . because they were afraid . . . .” Fear controls so many aspects of our lives; why let it control the proclamation of God’s goodness? I wonder how many miraculous events take place in our world on a daily basis without anyone’s ever hearing about them. Fear of what others will think or do in response to our describing our miracle, or attributing that miracle to God, hinders the power that story could have in someone’s life! But why should we be afraid? All good things come from God and should be attributed to God! The outcome of the proclamation is in God’s hands; our God-given responsibility is simply to share it—to share the story of our miracle. So let us take the example of the blind man, who speaks without fear of harsh punishments. Let us find our strength in God to speak forth the miraculous to everyone we encounter.
(The Rev. Jon Chillinsky, M.Div. / Community Life Pastor, Calvary Church, Irwin, Pa.)
Father, we come to you through your Son and our Lord, Jesus, and by the power of the Spirit with thanksgiving. Continue to intervene in our lives in miraculous ways so that we may proclaim Your miracles to those near and far from You. Help us to not be gripped with fear, but instead give us the courage to be your spokespersons. May you be glorified in all we say and do. Amen.