There was a man. A man with parents. A man born blind.
It wasn’t like he had been able to see and then a disease took his sight. It wasn’t like an accident or an incident.
He had never seen.
One day, a bunch of people who knew him didn’t know him. He was “the blind guy.” He was “the beggar.” He was the one who people looked down at, looked down on. And on this particular day, he was looking them in the eyes.
Have you ever had someone who has always looked away look you in the eyes? It is such a change of perspective, of power. On this day, the man who had fit into clear cultural categories – blind, beggar, sinner – didn’t fit anywhere.
“This couldn’t be that man. This has to be someone else. That man was only waist-high. That man had a bag. That man we knew.”
“I am the man,” he said. And he was, but he wasn’t.
On this particular day, he hadn’t been begging for change. More accurately, he hadn’t been begging to be changed. In fact, Jesus found him. Unlike many other stories where people are hollering for help. this man didn’t say anything. He was in his life of unchanging change.
Jesus came looking for him. Jesus defended his reputation. Jesus sent him to wash his face. And changed his identity.
Lots of people go looking for Jesus. And find him. But lots of people are doing fine. They have figured out how to adapt, how to survive, how to live. And then, one day, when they least expect it, Jesus finds them. And disrupts everything. I suppose it is possible to ignore this disruption, to stay begging.
He was the same man. But he wasn’t. And everyone could tell.