"'I don’t know whether (Jesus) is a sinner,’ the man replied. ‘But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!’”
Next week my husband will have cataract surgery. He will have surgery on one eye and then a week later on the other. He is rather young to be having this surgery in my opinion, but because of some medications he has had to take for other health issues, the cataracts appeared quickly and his vision has suffered because of it. Ironically, he is an eye doctor, so he needs to be able to see clearly when examining the vision of others.
Recently he told me the story of a patient who had cataract surgery at the age of 95. That is rather an old age to be having surgery, but she was healthy in allother regards and the cataracts which had been there for a long time threatened to rob her of vision completely. She had needed the surgery for 20 years but had been afraid to have it done.
So, at age 95 she had the cataracts removed, and she could see again. What had once been blurs of her loved ones became clear and distinguishable faces. Her vision acuity was great again. She was amazed at the difference and very grateful for having had the surgery. And, my husband told me, she was also quite sad. She was sad that she had waited 20 years because of fear. She was sad at all of the sights she had missed in those years; at all of the family events that had just been blurs on the screen of her eyes. She deeply regretted having let fear have dominion over her life.
The disciple John tells us in his gospel that when Jesus walked on the earth, He declared that He was the Light of the world and then He healed a man who had been blind since birth (John 9). The man’s life changed instantly. The man who had been a beggar for years because of his blindness, could now see. The change was so incredible that his neighbors questioned whether he was really the blind man they had known his entire life.
The religious leaders decided to get involved in the conversation because this life-transforming miracle happened on the Sabbath, a no-no in their eyes. Their vision was fixed on their own legalism rather than on the miracle that had just occurred.
The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a sinner. They brought the formerly blind man’s parents in for questioning. They continued to deny the work of God that was right before their eyes. The now-seeing man told them as they questioned him a second time about his healing, “‘I don’t know whether (Jesus) is a sinner,’ the man replied. ‘But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!’” (John 9:25)
The healed man was thrown out of the synagogue by the religious leaders, cut off from community. Jesus found the seeing man and revealed Himself to him, telling him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” (John 9:40)
It is quite the paradox, Jesus enabled a physically blind man to see, both physically and spiritually, while the physically seeing religious leaders denied the spiritual and physical miracle right before their eyes. They were the blind ones. All of the blind man’s sightless years were swept away in a moment by the hand of God and he was also blessed by the gift of beholding God himself, and he believed.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.