We all know the words to the first verse of John Newton’s timeless hymn, Amazing Grace:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Twas blind, but now I see
In four lines, Newton sums up the heart of one who has been saved by the power and grace of Christ. Few have expressed this sentiment better. But there is at least one person who has. He was a man born blind whom Jesus met in John chapter 9.
As the story goes, Jesus meets a man born blind and, having compassion on him, heals his blindness. This man, who’s name we never hear, goes to the temple to show that he is now clean and able to see, and while he is there, he is questioned by the priests. They ask him what he believed about the man Jesus who had healed Him. They ask if I thinks that Jesus is a sinner. They want to know if he thinks Jesus is sent from God. His answer is the inspiration for the last line of the stanza above. He says:
“Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
I love this verse. All this man knows is that Jesus had done something miraculous in his life. He doesn’t know what it means. He doesn’t really know who Jesus is. He just knows that he used to be blind, but he’s not anymore.
His blindness is a picture of our spiritual blindness, and his sight is evidence that Jesus has the power to cure physical and spiritual blindness. Jesus reminds us in verse 40 of chapter 9 that everyone is blind, but many insist that they can see. Those who know they are blind will be healed, but those who insist that they can see will remain blind.
Jesus calls us to recognize our blindness and turn to Him for healing, and when He heals us, we can truly say:
Twas blind, but now I see.