One of the most iconic songs of all time has to be Amazing Grace. It seems like those that grew up in church or not have a love and appreciation for that song. I often call it an anthem for the church, and the words of that song seem to resonate in our lives as Christians. Bad for you that it wasn’t one of the many staff that could sing today because what a moment to sing that song, but let me for a second just read you the words:
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see
John Newton the author of that song was not the originator of that last line, but rather it was a blind man in John’s gospel.
In John 9, we find the incredible story of a man born blind who was healed by Jesus. The Pharisees questioned him about his healing and the man testified that Jesus had healed him. The Pharisees were not convinced and questioned the man again, trying to get him to deny Jesus as the healer. But the man refused to deny what he knew to be true and declared, "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" (John 9:25)
This statement by the formerly blind man is a powerful example of the grace of God. The man did nothing to deserve or earn his healing, yet Jesus chose to heal him out of his great love and compassion. This is a beautiful illustration of the amazing grace that God offers to us. We too, like the blind man, are unworthy and undeserving of God's love and mercy, but through Jesus, we can receive it freely.
The phrase "One thing I know" is not unique to John 9. In fact, there are several examples in the Bible where people declare their confidence in what they know to be true. One such example is found in Philippians 3:13-14 where the Apostle Paul says, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Paul understood the importance of focusing on the one thing that truly matters - our relationship with Jesus Christ.
In Luke 10:42, Jesus tells Martha that only one thing is necessary, and that is to sit at his feet and listen to his words.
As we reflect on John 9 and the amazing grace that is offered to us through Jesus, may we also be reminded to focus on the one thing that truly matters - our relationship with Him. May we, like Paul, press on towards the goal of knowing Christ more deeply and may we, like the blind man, testify to the amazing grace that we have received.
This chapter begins with a difficult question that we have to wrestle with, the question was who sinned and caused this man to have this condition. Too often we have this view that whatever issue we have in our life is a result of sin. Now we could take the 30,000 ft view and say, “Yes, it is sins fault” because when sin entered the world it brought with it death, sickness, destruction, and what we are experiencing is a result of that, but the things in our life do not always happen due to your sin or “Your Parents’" as we see recorded here. Jesus responds in verse 3 saying:
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3 NIV
Jesus used this man’s suffering to teach about faith and to glorify God. We live in a fallen world where good behavior is not always rewarded and bad behavior is not always punished. Therefore innocent people sometimes suffer. Regardless of the reason for our suffering, Jesus has the power to help us deal with it. When you suffer with a disease, tragedy, or disability, try not to ask, “Why did this happen to me,” or "what did I do wrong?” Instead ask God to give you strength for the trial and a clearer perspective on what is happening.
Often times in my life, the greatest struggles and battles have become the greatest moments to talk about God’s amazing grace to get me through those moments. It is out of deep pain that deep proclamations come from. If you look into the story of John Newton, the writer of the song Amazing Grace you will see a man who’s life was so full of wrongs that he needed a truly AMAZING Grace.