Let’s be honest. Many of us have listened to some one’s story about a miracle: how they were healed, how they were saved from addiction, how they found the love of their lives, etc. In listening (let’s be honest), we have silently said to ourselves… no, it wasn’t a miracle it was a good doctor, a good counselor, a coincidence, or a rationally explainable situation of cause and effect.
There are lots of ways to trash a miracle.
We’ve been reflecting all week on the miracle of the man “who was once blind and now sees”. (John 9:1-41). In this story, there is a lot of trashing going on:
- The blind man’s neighbors and fellow townsfolk are divided: some say he was blind and now he sees, others say that he is just a lookalike of the blind man… it’s not the same guy.
- The religious leaders trash Jesus by saying Jesus couldn’t have done this miracle because it would have been against the religious laws… how could God give such a ‘lawbreaker’ the power to do miracles.
- The blind man’s own parents, afraid of being kicked out of their religion, claim ignorance, “we don’t know what happened, ask him”.
Eventually, the man is actually kicked out of the religion himself.
It is easy for us to reflect on this Scripture from the perspective of ‘modern knowledge’. We think people were more simple back then… willing to believe in miracles because they didn’t know any better. The truth of the matter is that people of all generations are skeptical of miracles. This story is a way for the author, John, to talk about how people didn’t believe in Jesus when he lived and taught and ‘did miracles’.
John makes it a point to connect the story of the blind man who receives sight with the bigger story of Jesus coming into the world as God. Just like the blind man (and all the other characters in the story: the neighbors, parents, and religious leaders) has the opportunity to be given sight by Jesus, and to recognize Jesus as God… so too does he have to deal with ‘the trash’ that gets in the way of seeing this truth.
Seeing is a choice. Trashing is a choice. Which will we choose?