Prayers of SVD

May the darkness of sin
and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word
and the Spirit of grace
and may the Heart of Jesus live
in the hearts of all people.

(Saint Arnold Janssen)





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20 April 2024


"His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue" – John 9:22 (NIV).


A man was born blind. One day he met Jesus and Jesus cured him. He no longer had to sit and beg for people's mercy as usual for years. A brighter future awaited him, something he could not even imagine before.

But the Pharisees ignored his story of how Jesus healed him. It was impossible in their minds to cure a blind man especially when he was born with it. Moreover, they hated Jesus, and wanted to set him up, blame him for healing someone on the Sabbath. They did not believe the man, so they brought his parents to make sure of the case. Instead of confirming their son's story, they chose to act ignorant about it. Like it was nothing special that did not even bother them.

Dear brothers and sisters, through Jesus' life on this earth, beside hatred from the spiritual leaders and others who did not know him, he was also facing betrayals, denials, unsteadiness and doubts from his very close people. It is said, "It does not matter when other people hurt us, but when someone close does, it cuts deeply." When Jesus healed the person, he also created a connection with him (John 9:35-39). The man acknowledged Jesus wholeheartedly, but his parents were different.

For Jesus, consistency is very important. He asked Peter, "Do you love me?" three times after his resurrection (John 21:15-17). He wants Christians to love him privately and publicly. Speaking of consistency, I may understand it from a humble example of the way my father loves my mother. He loves her when they are alone as well as in front of so many people. Apart from the kids, her needs come first (although Mom always puts Dad's first). They are famous in my little home town in Ambon - Indonesia. An old couple who likes to walk around the town using one umbrella, smiling and busy talking to each other. He frequently praises her in front of us, their children, and in public with a grateful face and enthusiasm of how this beautiful lady has been his lovely companion through ups and downs. Clear. Bold. Without any confusion or shyness let alone fear of people's thoughts.

The man's parents understood that Jesus was disliked by the Jewish leaders. The miracle He did to their son was impossible to be done by humans, unless the Messiah did it. Here is a type of humans who are afraid of men more than God. To be specific, they had fear of being excluded from the religious community (be put out of the synagogue), if they acknowledged Jesus' power and thus confirmed his status as the Messiah (v.22).  These parents said, "Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself." They did not even praise God, and show gratitude towards Jesus for such an amazing gift - the gift of sight which they might long for ages.

What would Jesus think about the act of the once-blind man's parents? How about us? Are we afraid to show our identity as Christians? Have we talked often about Jesus' work in our lives with people around us? Does the world know that we love Him? Let's be consistent in private and in public to glorify our One and Only Savior, Jesus Christ, boldly, courageously and sincerely. Amen.


Reflection on John 9:18-23 by Desire Litaay

(Listen to podcast here)