As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” John 9:1-2
It is hard for us to even imagine the position of disabled people in Jesus’ day. Rather than compassion the general public often was indifferent. In place of encouragement, there was rejection. Religious people were no better, in fact even His disciples were asking Jesus if this blind man had sinned or if he was paying for his parents’ sin. But to this blind man for whom no one held any hope Jesus came with an entirely different message. Jesus’ words brought hope even before he brought healing.
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him John 9:3
Do our words bring hope? Some people have lost all hope for themselves. Like this man they have had problems since the day they were born. They have no idea what life might be like without suffering. This blind man began to hope when Jesus stopped and did something for him. The fact that Jesus chose to heal in the strange way of making mud with spit, tells us that God’s hope shows up in the most unlikely ways! In Pakistan God’s hope looks like a sewing machine given to a widow. In Nepal God’s hope smells like chicken curry cooking for a hungry child. In Guatemala God’s hope feels like a free wheel-chair for a disabled child. In our neighborhood maybe hope is like an invitation to our dinner table. He is a God of all kinds of hope and He may choose you or me to be the mud he uses to help someone to see!