A Fair Witness

John 9:1-17

In the classic Sci-Fi book, Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein imagines a world where people train to become “fair witnesses.”  A fair witness is prohibited from speculating or repeating what they haven't seen for themselves. They only speak about what they know from direct experience. For example, when asked to describe the color of a house seen in the distance, the fair witness responds, “It’s white on this side.” 


The blind man who is healed and made to see by Jesus is a “fair witness.” When asked by the Pharisees to explain how he came to see, he says, “Jesus put mud on my eyes. I washed. Now I see.” The Pharisees don’t like this. Mud hasn’t been approved as a treatment for blindness by the FDA. Nor was Jesus a healer they could believed in. 


Often what we believe interferes with what we need to see. Life is showing us that we need healing in some area, but we would rather see ourselves as victims. I like Dr. Phil’s question whenever someone is stuck in a rut, “How’s that working for you?”


An alcoholic will refuse to see the treatment options that are available for her. A workaholic can’t see that his family really is needs to see him. An anorexic teen may be unable to see the beauty already present in her body. You might have an opportunity to learn a new skill or enter into a better relationship, but the rut of prejudice and self-victimization keeps you from seeing.


What would a fair witness say of you? Let’s break it down; body, mind, and soul:

+ Are you caring for your body? Do you eat right, get enough rest, and have a habit of regular exercise?

+ What about mind and heart? Are you a life-long learner? Are you curious and open minded, or do you like being blind? Are you attempting in your relationships to love others as Jesus would? Are you putting mental boundaries around those who want to suck you into a toxic swamp?

+ What about Soul? Jesus asks about your soul. Many of the religious people of his day were spiritually blind.

Close your eyes. Imagine that Jesus has put mud on your eyes and you are not going to wash them off. When you open them you will see yourself as a fair witness would see you. What will cause you return to Jesus and ask to be healed?

Also see: http://billkemp.info/content/seeing

What do we see when we see ourselves?
Lent 4