36"Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him."
37Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you."
I don't know about you, but I very much dislike being asked the same question twice by the same person. It really can get under my skin, so much that I almost always respond to the question, "You know, I told you this _____, fill in the blank of time past, but I'll give you the brief answer." It becomes surprisingly important to me to make sure the one who asks, knows that they should know the answer to this question already. I think this gets under my skin because I don't feel heard. And, feeling heard is very important to me.
In the story of John 9, Jesus again sees. He sees a blind man and heals him in a very unique way. And in typical Jesus style he does all of this on the Sabbath to make a point. He heals in a particular way to make a point. He speaks of the fact that He is the light of the world as He is here on earth. Of course the Pharisees all have their panties in a bunch because Jesus didn't abide by the rules of the Sabbath and they threw the blind man out, discounting his story and the story of his family.
Jesus hears all this, goes to find the blind man a second time and asks him a question. As a result of Jesus hearing and searching, the blind man comes to believe truth about Jesus, realizing it was not only his physical blindness which was healed, but also his spiritual.
I love that Jesus heard and seeks. He still does that today. He hears our thoughts, prayers, worries, hopes and he seeks us still.
Jesus also gives us the ability to hear. When we hear the stories of others how do we respond? When we hear some juicy gossip? Who knows, maybe gossip is how Jesus heard about the blind man being kicked out? Someone was intending to hurt and Jesus heard and brought healing. I can see it now, Jesus is standing with the disciples deciding where to eat that night and he hears behind him, "yeah, did you hear about the guy who was blind. Apparently that Jesus guy healed him, but it sure fired up the Pharisees and they kicked him out. I bet he sinned big time...." Jesus pauses the critical dinner conversation and goes to look for the man he had healed. There are a million ways the story of the blind man's rejection by the Pharisees could have been heard by Jesus. But the beautiful thing is that Jesus heard. He heard and he responded.
We saw that yesterday as Jesus saw and responded. Today we read that he hears and responds.
When you hear the gossip at the water cooler does it drive you to have compassion on the one who is being thrown under the bus? When you listen to a person's story do you hear what they are truly trying to communicate? Then do you do something about it?
I love that Jesus both hears and responds. It is a beautiful picture. Let's go out today and listen. And hear what is being said around us, and respond with compassion leading people to the one who truly hears.