Lent in Series A takes us through the great milestones of the Gospel according to St. John. We have come at night with Nicodemus to hear Jesus’ words of his mysterious kingdom. Salvation comes when the Son of Man is lifted up like the serpent which Moses raised in the desert so long ago. Nicodemus remains in the dark throughout that conversation. On the other hand, the woman at the well comes in the blazing light of the noonday sun. Her sinful life is exposed and revealed but she fares much better than Nicodemus. She sees the Christ for who He is, the Savior of the World. Rushing back into the village, whose inhabitants she was fleeing with her strange water fetching schedule, she becomes the first evangelist unless you count Andrew seeking out his brother in John. 1.
John leads us to desire to be more like this woman, despite her sin, than like the far more respectable Nicodemus. But how shall we be like that? We will need our eyes opened and that is exactly what Jesus does this week. He opens the eyes of a blind man, exposing the blindness of everyone else in the story. Notice in this narrative how the blind man’s eyes are opened. Mud seems like hardly the mechanism to grant sight, but in Christ the cross and death are the way to give life. We have to let Him be the arbiter of what makes sense in this world. First he calls him a man, then a prophet, then “from God” and finally, in a witness which would have scandalized every Jew, the once blind man declares Jesus to be God by worshiping Him.
Everyone else in that story is blind. The disciples do not see. The neighbors and parents who are dumbfounded by what has happened do not see what is going on. The Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin in particular are blind, so blind that they cannot even see their own blindness. How shall their eyes be opened? How shall our eyes be opened? It shall be that same Jesus who smeared mud on the eyes of the blind man at the beginning of this story. Through you, this week, Jesus will be opening eyes, perhaps even your own.