Hearts, Numbed consciences And Blindness
By: Elias Bejjani*
John 09:39: “I came into this world for judgment,
that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”
On the sixth Lenten Sunday, our Maronite Catholic Church cites and recalls with great piety Jesus' healing miracle of the blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus. This amazing miracle that took place in
John 09:5: "While I am in the world, I am the
light of the world".
In every community, there are individuals from all walks of life who are spiritually blind, lacking faith, have no hope, and live in dim darkness because they have distanced themselves from Almighty God and His Gospel, although their eyes are physically perfectly functional and healthy.
Meanwhile the actual blindness is not in the eyes that can not see because of physical ailments, but in the hearts that are hardened, in the consciences that are numbed and in the spirits that are defiled with sin.
Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupting talk come
out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the
occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear"
The Miracle: Mark 10/46-52: " They came to Jericho. As he went out from
The son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, the blind beggar who was born to two blind parents truly believed in Jesus. His heart, mind and spirit were all enlightened with faith and hope. Because of his strong faith he knew deep inside who actually Jesus was, and stubbornly headed towards him asking for a Godly cure. He rebelled against all those opportunist and hypocrites who out of curiosity and not faith came to see who is Jesus. He refused to listen to them when they rebuked him and tried hardly to keep him away from Jesus. He loudly witnessed for the truth and forced his way among the crowd and threw himself on Jesus' feet asking Him to open his blind eyes. Jesus was fascinated by his faith, hailed his perseverance and gave him what he asked for. He opened his eyes.
John's Gospel gives us more details about what has happened with Bartimaeus after the healing miracle of his blindness. We can see in the below verses that after his healing he and his parents were exposed to intimidation, fear, threats, and terror, but he refused to succumb or to lie, He held verbatim to all the course details of the miracle, bravely witnessed for the truth and loudly proclaimed his strong belief that Jesus who cured him was The Son Of God. His faith made him strong, fearless and courageous. The Holy Spirit came to his rescue and spoke through him.
Romans 8:26: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans"
John 9/13-34: "They brought him who had been
blind to the Pharisees. It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his
eyes. Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight.
He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see.” Some therefore of
the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he doesn’t keep the
Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was
division among them. Therefore they asked the blind man again, “What do you say
about him, because he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews
therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had
received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his
sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? How then
does he now see?” His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son, and
that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we don’t know; or who opened his
eyes, we don’t know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.” His
parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had
already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out
of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.” So they
called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, “Give glory to
God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He therefore answered, “I don’t know
if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
They said to him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
He answered them, “I told you already, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t also want to become his disciples, do you?” They insulted him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.”
The man answered them, “How amazing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he listens to him. Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?” They threw him out.
Sadly our contemporary world hails atheism, brags about secularism and persecutes those who have faith in God and believe in Him. Where ever we live, there are opportunist and hypocrites like some of the conceited crowd that initially rebuked Bartimaeus, and tried with humiliation to keep him away from Jesus, but the moment Jesus called on him they changed their attitude and let him go through. Meanwhile believers all over the world suffer on the hands of ruthless oppressors, and rulers and men of authority like the Pharisees who refused to witness for the truth.
But despite of all the dim spiritual darkness,
thanks God, there are still too many meek believers like Bartimaeus
who hold to their faith no matters what the obstacles or hurdles are.
Colossians 3:12: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience"
Lord, enlighten our minds and hearts with your
light and open our eyes to realize that You are a
loving and merciful father.
Lord Help us to take Bartimaeus as a faith role model in our life.
Lord help us to defeat all kinds of sins that take us away from Your light, and deliver us all from evil temptations.
Psalm 29:2: "Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness"
To Read the Arabic Version of the editorial Click Here
To hear an explanation for the blind's healing miracle (Lebanese dialogue/Windows Media Player file) Click Here
*Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
*Web sites http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com
here to listen to a detailed and in depth explanation addressing (Lebanese
dialogue) the healing miracle of the blind beggar
N.B: First published on April 10/2011