Near the end of my work with the text in John 9, I took time to gather the essentials this narrative offered me. You may want to do the same with the passage you have been working with (cf. Prayer and Creative Writing I, II, III and IV). The writing has been a different form of bible study – it deepens our understanding of the text and reveals connections with our own lives.
For me, the story in John 9 says a lot about Jesus in general, the Son of Man, and Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus knows who he is and what his work needs to be, and is not distracted from this by those opposing him. He also knows that God works on the Sabbath for the good of his people – and so does his son. The story confirms again that Jesus is the Christ – even though the leaders cannot recognise or admit that he is the Messiah, it is visible to the poor.
And this is what has struck me most about this text: It is the actual playing out of “blessed are the poor”:
It is the poor who believe. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain in Christ.
It is the man who was defeated from the start who believed,
the man who struggled all his life for bare survival,
the man who always knew he depended on others for everything, that he had no choices,
the man whose parents let him be thrown out of the synagogue, of his community, the only safety net he had, rather than run the same risk for themselves;
Nothing to lose. Everything lost already.
You have to lose your life to find it… There are layers of us that seem essential, layers that we need to shed one after the other, to be free for the life God offers to us.
When we feel as if we fail at everything, do we know the possibilities that are still open to God?
When we have none of the things we want, do we believe that God has things even better than our best hopes for ourselves to give to us?
When we lose everything that matters to us, do we think it possible that God will meet us with a completely new idea for our life?
Sometimes it seems necessary that we come to this point of loss, so God can create. A space wide open, full of unseen possibilities.
Once you have nothing to lose, you can be brave again. Suddenly, you are honest; you stand as your raw and vulnerable self and say what you think, no matter to whom. Your fear falls away.
Finally, to be who you are is enough.
If you worked with the same text, it is very likely that your focus arrived on a different aspect of the narrative – and you may have found other things revealed which were timely and needed for your life and your relationship with God. Whatever it may be you discovered, I hope you have enjoyed exploring a new and wonderful way into scripture, and into prayer.