The Word: Is this not the man?


The Pool of Siloam in the City of David as it appears today. The pool was discovered in 2004. For more background go to or click on the image.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”
(John 9:8-11 ESV)

Change can be hard to accept, especially when that change is sudden and in someone you know personally. For so long, the man in this passage was The Blind Guy and The Beggar. He’d been born that way and no one knew him in any different context. That’s how things would always be for him, or so the assumption went.

So then one day he has sight. His story of a man making mud from spit and dust then rubbing it on his face is difficult to believe. They question whether it’s really him and wonder if he’s an imposter and this is some kind of joke. After all, this is The Blind Guy. He’s The Beggar.

Jesus changes who we once were and makes us into someone else. You may have heard the phrase “a new identiy in Christ.” Your name is the same (then again, maybe not), but the core of who you are is different. Each story has its own fingerprint, too. Maybe you had an instantaneous change; maybe it took some time until suddently you realized your desires were different and you’re following Jesus. Either way the sanctification process is ongoing in each of us.

For each of us, though, He calls.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 ESV)

Should we choose to answer, a result comes with it. “So I went,” said the man formerly known as The Blind Guy when asked how he received his sight. Just as others couldn’t piece together in a rational way the change in him, when our friends see a radical change in us through Christ they end up asking questions.


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