LENTEN MEDITATION AND REFLECTIONS ON JOHN 9:14-29 BY JON WALLINGFORD, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
“We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
The Pharisees were asking a lot of people who Jesus was, but not asking God. They were witnessing miracles; but searching the earthly realm for proof that they were not. While belief in God is a start, we have to remember that the Lord may not look or act as we expect. Let us not deny what the Lord has done and can do for fear of repercussion.
God, grant us the ability to discern what things in life are good from those that are evil. And the wisdom to pray when we cannot. Remind us as believers to bare witness to the blessings and miracles of the Lord. Amen.
Submitted by Jonathan Lynn Wallingford, who was born in Midwest City, OK. Jon has lived in Oklahoma for the majority of his life, growing up in the Assemblies of God Church. Jon and his wife, Elizabeth Ann, have two small children, Richard Dale (4 years) and John Virgil (6 months). Jon’s professional work is done primarily outside. He has worked as a residential framer, commercial construction and worked as a utility locator. Now Jon owns and operates a lawn care and landscaping company. Jonathan found the Episcopal Church while looking for a place to grow spiritually with his family after a long absence from attending church. He and his family have been attending St. Augustine of Canterbury since September 2019 and are very happy here. They plan to be members and continue attending services, in person or virtually.
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.