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Daily Devotional • March 28

Hannah Howland
Trusting the Miracles
A Reading from the Gospel of John 9:18-41

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

What is our impulse when we behold a miracle? For the crowd who saw the man born blind mentioned in John 9 healed, the impulse is questioning and incredulity. A man who has not seen the blue of the sky or the features of a parent’s face is, upon being healed, barraged with questions. And he answers them in a revealing way: if this man who healed me was not from God, he could not have done this. 

We are people of questions called to be people of faith. We are called to believe the one sent and the signs he performs. It is easy to question and hard to believe — even when we have seen the miracle with our own eyes. It is easy to outsmart a miracle. This crowd in John 9 did just that. Upon hearing the simple truth that the goodness of sight could not have come from any source but God they take issue with the one who taught them this — the man born blind. He is according to the crowd a man “born entirely in sins” and therefore an unfit teacher. 

They will not trust miracles and they will not trust truth — they only question sources. What if the life of faith means laying aside our sense of who is fit to teach us and what is a sign of God and, as our Savior said, believing the works themselves (John 10:38)? 

Hannah Howland lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, Curtis. She is in her final semester at Duke Divinity School and worships at All Saints Anglican Church.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

Episcopal Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Marietta, Georgia
The Diocese of Rutana – The Anglican Church of Burundi
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