Don’t You Recognize My Voice?

Third Week of Lent
John 9:1-41

Whose voice do you find yourself listening to?

John records that Jesus encounters a man who was well known as being blind from birth. The encounter begins casually with Jesus and His followers walking, in public, having been at the temple, and for the moment, avoiding Monday: arrest. The encounter seems to begin with a simple conversation: “Hey Jesus, see the gent who is blind? Is it punishment because he sinned, or was it his parents’ sin that caused this malady” (9:2)?

Jesus gently answers: “No, blindness or malady is not about sin” and then redirects their thinking towards watching God at work, through Jesus (9:3). Quite unobtrusively Jesus makes a bit of earthen paste, anoints the blind eyes, and gives the man instructions for follow-through.

The drama begins when the man is given full eyesight! Questions are asked. Challenges are made. Sides are chosen. Religious condemnation supersedes celebration. What was a somewhat-quiet application of mud to the eyes, becomes the talk of the town, and causes uproar!

For a person who has never been able to see, sounds are significant. The man would recognize his family and friends by their voices. He may even have had a heightened awareness of what people around him were saying, voices coming at him through the darkness of his world: “Who sinned, he or his parents” (9:2)? The sounds of his neighbours continue after he can see. “Isn’t this the man who used to…?” “No, he just looks like him” (9:8-9). The sounds of those who would control the religious expression of the day also come at him: “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs” (9:16)?

So many voices! Whose voice does he listen to: disciples, religious leaders, or Jesus? When asked, the man happily replies, “Yes, Lord, I believe!

How can you ensure that you’re following Jesus’ voice?


Eugene Klassen is a Development Officer for MB Seminary and is a part of Highland Community Church in Abbotsford, BC.

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