Over the past few weeks we’ve had several stories of parents who were willing to do whatever it took to find healing for their child. Today we find a different kind of parent. In this week’s episode of All God’s Women we look at the Blind Man’s Mother, a woman who chose fear for herself over faith for her son. 

Backstory

The blind man’s story is found in John 9, but let’s go back a few verses to see what was going on in before that. In chapter 8, we find Jesus teaching at the temple, and it’s not going well. He’s saying things the religious leaders don’t want to hear. He goes so far as to say that He is the I AM. 

They’ve heard enough. At that point, they’ve got Him for blasphemy. In chapter 8 verse 59 we’re told “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

Immediately following is chapter 9 verse 1. 

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.”

This led to a discussion among the disciples, asking Jesus who it was who sinned and caused him to be blind, the blind man or his parents. Jesus responded that it was not due to sin but that “the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

With that, He walked over to the man, spat on the ground, mixed a mixture of the clay and saliva, and anointed it on his eyes. Then He told the man to go to the Pool of Saloam and wash it off. He did, and came back seeing.

No one knew what to think.

All those who knew him were confused wondering how a blind man could now see. They asked if perhaps it was just someone who looked like him, but he assured them, he was the same guy. They drilled him on what happened and asked where the miracle worker was. He said he didn’t know. So those who knew him took him to the Pharisees. 

Since it was a Sunday that the healing took place, some of the Pharisees concluded Jesus was obviously not from God since He worked on the Sabbath. Others asked how an ordinary man could do such an extraordinary healing? They asked the blind man what he thought. He said Jesus was a prophet. They decided maybe he’d never been blind, so they called in the blind man’s parents.

Her Story

The religious leaders asked them if that was their son and if he’d been born blind.

Their answer, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”

His parents were afraid to make a statement for fear of being excommunicated, so they refused to say anything that might incriminate themselves. 

The Pharisees brought the blind man back in and tried to get him to admit that Jesus was a sinner. He responded that he didn’t know anything about that. All he knew was that he used to be blind, and now he could see.

The Rest of the Story 

We don’t know what happened to the blind man’s parents. We can assume they went on their merry way, ignoring the miracle of their son’s healing in order to maintain their standing in the community. 

As for the blind son, when he maintained that Jesus had to be from God, the leaders cast him out of the temple. But Jesus sought him out to talk further with him. Jesus revealed to him who He was, and the man believed and worshipped Him. Jesus not only saved his sight, but saved his soul as well.

Out of all the Bible women we’ve looked at, this mother might be the saddest story. Here was a woman who gave birth to a blind son. I can’t begin to imagine what that must have been like, the struggles and difficulties she encountered. 

Did she seek medical help for him? Highly unlikely since blindness from birth would have been something that no doctor could ever hope to cure. Instead, she did the best she could, then at some point decided she’d had enough and sent him off to fend for himself. If you’ll recall, he was a begger outside the temple. Had she continued to care for him, he would have had no need to beg. 

Imagine, if you will, what must have gone through her head when she heard word that her son who had always been blind could now see. You’d think she’d be ecstatic and eager to praise the one who had performed the miracle. Instead, she shook in fear. 

When the Pharisees called for her testimony, she had the opportunity to do the right thing by him and stand by him with her support. She could have confirmed that he’d been blind and then sought for herself to determine how this amazing thing could have transpired. 

Instead, she denied having a clue what happened and left her son to defend himself. And why did she do this? Because the Jews had agreed that if anyone confessed that Jesus was the Christ, they would be kicked out of the synagogue, and she didn’t want to take that risk.

Think about that. She denied Christ in order to retain her standing in the church. 

Your Story

It’s easy for us to be appalled by this woman, thinking what kind of person would do something that silly. And yet, right now our society is filled with women just like that. Perhaps you, too, have been guilty of doing the same thing and just not realizing it. 

Have you ever remained silent when you should have said something? Have you watered down your talk in order to not offend? Have you been ashamed or embarrassed when someone you knew spoke boldly about their faith? 

Do you go to church on Sunday but keep it a secret from those you meet on Monday? Are you afraid to go to a church that boldly proclaims the gospel, preferring instead a politically correct church that caters to the world rather than the Word?

There will come a time when you will have to take a stand. You’ll have to claim Jesus as Lord or risk Him saying He never knew you. The choice is yours. What will it be?

Prayer

Lord God, thank You for this reminder of how important it is that we keep our eyes on You and not on this world. Give us wisdom and discernment so that we might know what is of You and what is of the world. Grant us the strength to stand strong when inside we may be quaking in fear as our faith is called to the front. Forgive us those times we cave in to our fears. Please lift us up and give us the courage to stand strong the next time. We love You so very much. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Tune in next week when we look at Mary of Bethany. 

Bible Study

Scripture Background

Backstory: John 8
Her Story: John 9:1-23
The Rest of the Story: John 9:24-41

Bible Study Review

  1. What was going on before Jesus stopped to heal the blind man?
  2. Why brought the blind man to the Pharisees?
  3. Why did the bring in the blind man’s parents?

Thoughts to Ponder

  1. Why was the mother afraid to testify?
  2. What would have happened had she confirmed that Jesus healed her son?
  3. What did the mother miss out on by not taking a stand?

Personal Reflection

  1. Have you ever given up on someone?
  2. Are you afraid to take a stand for Jesus?
  3. Have you ever missed out on blessings because of your fear?

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Blind man's mother: a podcast Bible study about fear and faith
Blind man's mother: a podcast Bible study about fear and faith
Blind man's mother: a podcast Bible study about fear and faith

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