John 9: 1- 41 – A model of faith 

The healing of the blind man in John 9 has always played an important role in the instructional work of the church. Along with the stories in John 4 (the Samaritan woman) and 5 (the paralytic), the blind man appears in early catacomb art as an example of conversion/baptism. In all three stories water is the agent of regeneration, and the patristic and medieval church quickly applied them to its baptismal rites. New converts were generally taught through the season of Lent, and these three stories were central to its liturgies. In eleventh-century Milan, for instance, the third Sunday of Lent was “the Sunday of the Blind Man.” Baptism was then celebrated during Easter week. John 9 served this too since it showed the healing power of water when it is employed for a spiritual work of God.

As early as the third century, we have evidence that examinations were also given to baptismal candidates during Lent. Three tests were given, and before the third, “the greatest test,” John 9 was read aloud. Since questions were asked of this man in chapter 9, it was a fitting model of what it meant to be a Christian who was ready to answer for his or her faith. If the candidate passed these tests, passages about cleansing water were read before baptism. Then the confession of the blind man was read aloud, “I do believe, Lord” (9:38).

Adapted from The NIV Application commentary; John, by Gary M Burge, Page 279)

Blessings, Reverend Lyndon