Scripture Reading: John 9:1-41, Matthew 9:27-31, Mark 10:46-52
My preschool teacher was the first to notice my vision problems. Her suspicions were confirmed after an appointment with my eye doctor. I had a lazy eye, but the treatment was simple: wear a patch over the dominant eye to force the weak eye to strengthen. As a budding young artist, I relished the opportunity to draw a gorgeous new eyeball on my disposable eye patch each morning. I can only imagine how ridiculous I looked, but at the age of four I had little concern for appearances.
My eyesight was corrected over time. Not surprisingly, the optometrist never pronounced, “Your faith has healed you!” Rather we assumed modern medicine deserved the credit. My physical sight was nearly perfect, but spiritually I remained blind for many years.
Jesus did not heal blindness the same way an ophthalmologist would.
First of all, your eye doctor has most likely never rubbed mud on your eyes. Secondly, I doubt your eye doctor has ever discussed your spiritual sight. In my experience, she has you look through a metal contraption and asks, “Which looks better, number 1 or number 2, number 2 or number 3?” Surely this is one of the most confusing tests known to man, but it has nothing to do with your faith.
While the multiple accounts of Jesus healing blindness did involve a physical transformation, He always acknowledged a spiritual component. Christ was not satisfied with saving the body; He was even more concerned with saving the soul.
Blindness and sight, darkness and light—these are metaphors Christ often used to describe the spiritual realm. When He healed someone of physical blindness, it was also a statement regarding His power to heal spiritual blindness.
Physical healing is a wonderful gift. But if we only ask for relief from our temporary afflictions, we are not asking for enough. Jesus came so that “those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind” (John 9:39). His miracle of sight is alive in all who believe because salvation is a miracle of resurrection. Our eyes have been opened; we were dead, but now we’re alive in Christ Jesus. Faith in Him is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:1-5,8).
When God gives us spiritual sight, scales fall from our eyes as they did for the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:18). Our circumstances might remain exactly the same, but our perspective shifts. Where there is hopelessness, Christ offers hope. Where there is fear, Christ offers peace. Where there is hatred, Christ offers love.
We are all works in progress. None of us has 20/20 vision just yet. But we know from Jesus’ work on earth that He delights in healing our sight. We ought to pray for physical healing because the Lord cares deeply about our entire well-being. But we should pray also for spiritual sight—the miraculous gift of faith that truly saves us.
Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.