“Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” (John 9:35-41 NRSV)

How odd to hear Jesus say he came into this world for judgment.   We are so used to hearing the words, I did not come to judge, (John 12:47 NIV) but to save.   Are these two verses contradictory?  No, they aren’t.

In the above passage, Jesus was speaking to a man who had been judged by the Pharisees as a person who had been ‘entirely in sin’ and was therefore ineligible to teach them anything.  He was explaining to them who Jesus was and why the man had been healed of his blindness.  They rejected his teaching and drove him out (of their presence).

Jesus heard this had happened and sought out the man, not the Pharisees, and spoke to him from his heart.  He asked the man if he believed in the Son of Man.  He asked Jesus who the Son of Man was, Jesus identifies himself and the man says ‘I believe.’  Some Pharisees overheard Jesus talking to the man and ask Jesus, ‘We aren’t blind, are we?”  I imagine that to be rather sarcastic.  Jesus says to them, if you were, you wouldn’t have sin, but since you can see, you do have sin.  Jesus’ answer reminds me of His teaching that we will be judged according to how we judge others.

We have much to learn from this in regards to judging what we see in others and instead, look inside and see what we see in ourselves.  We should think more about what other people can teach us about their experience with Jesus.  We should listen more carefully to what they are saying when they speak about their faith in Him and their encounters with him.  We shouldn’t be driving them out because we think they are sinners in our sight – when in His sight – they are faithful people.  Should we be more concerned with our sight, or His sight?  His is always right.

Lord, please help us to see other people through your eyes and give us ears to hear their praiseworthy stories about their encounters with you.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out . . . and found him . . . (John 9:35 NRSV)