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… but only he who sees, takes off his shoes

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… but only he who sees, takes off his shoes

Last Sunday, the Samaritan woman at the well (John ch 4) spoke unwittingly of the coming of the Messiah before Jesus declared to her,I who am speaking to you, I am he.’  Her reaction was to run (leaving her water jar) and spread the Good News.  This Sunday, Jesus gives sight to the man born blind (John ch 9) and asks him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’  ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’  Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you’.  The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.    

Their reactions to their discovery are not at all surprising.  More surprising, sadly, is the blindness of those who fail to see the truth before their eyes. Again and again in those intervening chapters of John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks openly of who he is, but more often than not, people fail to understand.  In chapter 8, they do realise that he is claiming to be God incarnate when he says, ‘Before Abraham ever was, I Am’  [I Am is the name of God. Cf Ex3:14], but rather than believing his words, they assume that he is blaspheming, and therefore pick up stones to throw at him.

With the 20-20 vision of hindsight, it is tempting to scoff at their blindness but perhaps we ought to ask ourselves if we are ever blind to the glory of God, manifest upon the earth?

As Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote,

‘Earth’s crammed with heaven
And every living thing afire with God
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.’

Do we see?  Do we take off our shoes?

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