March 13, 2011

Week of the First Sunday in Lent

Monday, Day Five

            The Lectionary

Morning - Psalm 36, Genesis 24:1-27, 1 Corinthians 3:1-17
Evening - Psalm 42, Psalm 43, Jeremiah 3:19, John 9:1-23

John 9:1-23

1And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
 2And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
 3Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
 4I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
 6When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
 7And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
 8The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
 9Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
 10Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
 11He 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.
 12Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
 13They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
 14And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
 15Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
 16Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
 17They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
 18But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
 19And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
 20His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
 21But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
 22These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
 23Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.


            Commentary

John 9 records the healing of a blind man. Still in Jerusalem, our Lord has left the Temple where His rebuke of the empty religion of the Pharisees ended in their attempt to kill Him.  Outside of the Temple He sees a blind man to whom He restores sight.  Sight and light in this passage are spiritual words, referring to a condition of the soul more than of the body.  Christ came to give sight to the spiritually blind and light to those who dwell in spiritual darkness.

            Devotional Thoughts

It is important to know that we cannot heal our own blindness or give light to our darkness.  Only Christ can do this, and Lent does not replace or add to His redemptive work. Lent is a concentrated attempt to gratefully practice the principles of holy living.  In Christ we who were blind have been given sight, and in Lent we devote ourselves to "seeing" Christ. We divert our gaze from other things to look upon the beauty of God.  In Lent we intentionally practice holiness.  We set aside the time to do the things we should always be doing, but sometimes allow to be crowded out of our lives.  Emphasizing these things during Lent does not excuse their neglect at other times, of course.  But in Lent we make a special point of doing them.

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