Some time ago I was reading in the New Testament about the blind man whom Christ heals in John 9. I really felt like God showed me something extraordinary in that chapter that I’d like to share here. This is for anyone who feels like they have no purpose, anyone who feels forgotten or useless.
In this chapter of John, Jesus is walking and sees a man who was blind since birth. His disciples saw who He was looking at and asked Him, “Master, who sinned, that he was born blind? Was it him or his parents?” (My paraphrasing.)
Jesus answers: “It wasn’t that this man sinned or his parents; he was born blind that God’s works should be manifested in him.”
This is the verse that stood out to me.
Jesus’ words, “…but that the works of God should be made manifest in him,” struck me in a way they never had before. Because in these words is the crux of every soul’s heart-cry: “What is my purpose? Do I even have one?”
Take a moment and think about this blind man.
His story is hardly explored but we can learn a lot from the disciples’ question. They took one look at him and assumed that he was being punished for something he did wrong. How many people, do you think, looked at him over the course of his life and thought the same thing? How many people even told him to his face that he was accursed, that he or his parents deserved this affliction? Can you imagine how broken this man could have been? To think he was rejected of God and man, simply for being born?
He would have been a burden to his parents his whole life. It’s unlikely that he could work and it doesn’t seem like he had any family, outside of his parents, whom we meet a few verses down. We can imagine that this man’s life was probably a lonely one. We can assume that he must have felt terribly purposeless and useless at times.
He spent his whole life in a prison of darkness. Not knowing why. Not knowing what he had done that he should be afflicted so. I wonder if he ever cried out to God, begging Him, “why, God, why? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why was I even born?”
And then here comes Jesus.
Jesus, sent by God, walks past him, of all men, that day. I’m sure that he could have never forgotten that fact afterwards. Jesus walks by him and He stops and says this incredible thing: that God’s works were going to be manifested in him. Jesus anoints him and sends him to the pool of Siloam to wash, which he does.
When his eyes are opened, he sees.
And so this man who was once a burden, once the object of people’s censure and criticism becomes a living, walking miracle. The man who once had no purpose learns that God had one for him all along.
He is questioned and followed by the naysayers and the incredulous. He tells them all the same thing: “I was blind, but now I see.” He tells the Pharisees in verse 25 that, “Whether he (Jesus) be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”
The words of the beautiful hymn Amazing Grace came to my heart when I read those words. I was blind, but now I see. Not only do we find such an incredibly encouraging truth regarding God’s purpose for us who feel the most useless, but we see a beautiful analogy for how Jesus opens our eyes that we might see the light and be in darkness no more.
That’s why Jesus, after speaking of God’s works being manifested in the blind man, says, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” He is the light that reveals the darkness of our sin; after we are washed clean, our eyes are opened and we see what we have never seen before: the truth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
This man recognized what had been done to him. He realized, in verse 33, that “if this man (Jesus) were not of God, he could do nothing.” And the Pharisees cast him out from their presence when he said those words, saying, “You were born in sin – and you think you can teach us?” What abominable pride – more than that, what blindness. It was they who were blind, and not that man.
But you know what? I don’t think he cared very much at that point.
Because when he was cast out, Jesus heard about it and He came and found him (how I love those words). And He asked him, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”
The once blind man answered, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?”
And Jesus said to him, “Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.”
And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him.
So much can be gleaned from every verse written in the Bible. There are a thousand more sermons that can be written on this chapter, but what the Lord showed me through it was exactly what my heart needed to hear. Not only can we see an incredible example of how God opens the eyes of sinners and washes them clean, causing them to “see the light,” but He has a purpose for each and every one of us, even those of us who feel the most useless, the most purposeless, and the most unworthy. And like this man, I do believe God has a time prepared for each of us when He reveals that purpose to us.
So hold on to that hope. You may not understand why right now (not very many of us do) but I truly believe you will someday. God had a purpose for you from the very beginning. You weren’t a mistake and you haven’t been forgotten. God’s works will be manifested in you, in the proper time. Wait for Jesus. He’s coming your way. ♥