(full reading: John 9.1-41)
We know things about Jesus.
We know that he is the Light of the World.
I am the Light of the World (John 8:12, 9:5)
We know that he is the Good Shepherd.
I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
We know these things because Jesus says so.
But we also know these things because of what Jesus does.
Jesus does so.
In the Gospel reading for this Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, Jesus shows us he is the Light of the World and he shows us he is the Good Shepherd.
First, we can think about Jesus the Light. What do we know about Light...?
Light is bright.
Light is beautiful.
Light helps us to know where we are and where we are going.
Light helps us to see.
In the Gospel we hear,
As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.
A man who is blind from birth has never been able to see.
When Jesus meets the man who has never been able to see,
what does he do?
Jesus spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then the man went and washed and came back able to see.
Imagine! This man has spent his whole life not being able to see!
The man would have known when it is dark and known when it is light,
but never ever would he have been able to see the light sparkle on the pool of Siloam,
the birds chirping in the branches of trees,
the faces of his parents smiling at him with delight.
All things bright and beautiful—now he can see.
The man would have been able to feel his way home from the place where he begs,
but never ever would he have been able to see other places to go.
He could not see those choices before.
But now? Now he can choose. Now he can see.
This is what Jesus the Light of the World does.
Now we can think about Jesus the Good Shepherd.
What do we know about the Good Shepherd...?
He knows his sheep.
He calls them by name.
He gives everything for the sheep.
He finds the one who is lost.
When the man comes back from the pool of Siloam able to see all the streets of Jerusalem and all the faces of the people around him, he does not see Jesus. Instead, a whole bunch of people keep asking him how this has happened, how he can see. They do not seem to be rejoicing with him, do they?
Perhaps this confuses him.
The whole world must seem so strange all of a sudden. Bright, yes. And oh so beautiful! But different from what he knew before. Everything seems so very new. His eyes see so much. And his ears hear so many questions from all these people. We wonder if he just wants to hide from all this newness and noise. He cannot answer the people's questions, and,
they drove him out
That means they make him go away from them all. We have to wonder if, now that he is all alone, he feels lost.
When the man who can see feels confused, alone, and lost, what does Jesus do?
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and...he found him
Jesus finds the man! The Good Shepherd searches until he finds the one who is lost.
This is what Jesus the Good Shepherd does.
What Jesus says, Jesus does.
We know that Jesus is the Light of the World and
we know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd
because he says it and he does it.
That is who Jesus is.