Amazing Grace is one of the all-time classic hymns of modern Christianity. It is known within the church community, and also widely known in popular culture. One of the lines in this song says, “Was blind, but now I see.” These words remind me of a story in Luke 18:35-43.
In this story, a blind man heard a crowd passing by and become curious as to what was happening. When he is told the crowd noise is for Jesus, his response is to cry out for Jesus to have mercy on him. He must have been loud and a little obnoxious because the other people told him to keep quiet. This just gave him even more incentive to cry out even more.
Jesus stopped and asked this man a pivotal question, “What do you want me to do for you?” His answer was simple, “I want to see.” Instantly, Jesus heals this man declaring his faith had saved him.
This man responded by following Jesus and glorifying God. When everyone else saw it, they went from telling this man to be quiet to also praising God.
As I reflected on this story, I tried to imagine what it must have been like for this man to see for the first time. How long did it take his eyes to adjust to the light? Who was the first person he saw? What must have been going through his mind when he experienced colour for the first time? How overwhelmed would he be the first time he saw a sunset?
His response to being able to see? This man began to follow Jesus and glorified him. Jesus was infinitely greater than any other view he was experiencing for the first time. He was not distracted by other concerns but became focused on seeing Jesus.
Responding to the Mercy of Jesus
When Jesus asks us, “What do you want me to do for you?” our answers can vary widely. I do not know many of us who answer with, “I want to see.” We ask for our problems to be solved, for safety and security, and for any other number of things. These requests are standard, but when was the last time we asked Jesus to help us see?
In many ways, I am that blind man. When I met Jesus, he rescued me from spiritual blindness and gave me sight. The longer my life goes on, the more I can lose sight of the wonder and awe of when I could see for the first time. I know I am not alone in this. Along the way, we can forget his mercy in our lives.
If I were to finish the line from “Amazing Grace” today, I could say “was blind but now I … worry, seek the approval of others, have fears control me, pursue my hobbies, get distracted by money, etc.”
As Jesus pours out his mercy on us, may we be a people who recover the awe of once being blind but now being able to see. May the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus flood our lives and wash our blind spots. His mercies are new today, and may we be overwhelmed by the sight we now have and respond by following and glorifying Him.