Saturday, March 21, 2020

John 9:1-41

As Jesus was walking along he came across a man who had been blind from birth. 2 Jesus’ apprentices asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this guy to be born blind -- his or his parents?”

3 Jesus responded, “This has nothing to do with anything he or his parents did. Think outside the blame box. Look at this as an opportunity to demonstrate how God does miracles! 4 We’ve got to stay on task while we can and carry out the assignment of the one who sent me. Pretty soon it will be so dark that no one can do this work. 5 While I’m here in the world you can count on me to be the illuminating light for the world. That’s who I am.”

6 Jesus then spit on the ground and made mud from the saliva -- which he then smeared over the man’s non-functioning eyes. 7 After that Jesus told him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam, a word with messianic overtones, literally means the person who is sent). So the man left, and as instructed washed in the pool. He then returned to his spot as a sighted-man.

8 The formerly-blind man’s neighbors and those who were used to seeing him as a street beggar, were scratching their heads, “Isn’t this the blind beggar who used to sit right here?”

9 “It’s him!” some insisted. But others speculated, “No, it’s his doppelgänger.”

The newly-healed man jumped into the fray, “Hey, it’s me! I’m the very same guy.”

10 “Well, what happened to you that you can now see?” they asked.

11 He answered, “A man named Jesus made some mud and smeared it over my eyes. He then told me to go to the Pool of Siloam to wash. And when I did that -- I could see!”

12 “Well, where is he now?” they asked.

“I don’t know,” said the healed man.

13 The people then dragged the once-blind man to the Pharisees. 14 Now the backstory here is that Jesus did all of this healing -- making the mud and smearing it over the man’s eyes -- on a Sabbath day. That is, a day of rest when people are prohibited from working. 15 So, the Pharisees, who saw themselves as enforcers of religious regulations, started to grill the man to find out exactly how he was able to see.

He told them, “It’s simple. Jesus put mud over my eyes, I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some Pharisees declared, “This Jesus isn’t from God! He’s a law-breaker, working on a Sabbath in violation of the Sabbath law.”

Others responded, “Hold on! If Jesus were such a sinner how could he do this kind of a miracle?”

Since they were divided 17 some of the Pharisees asked the man who had been born blind to render an opinion. “It’s your eyes that were healed, so what do you have to say about Jesus?”

He gave a simple answer, “He’s a prophet.”

18 Not believing that the man had been blind and received his sight, some of the Jewish leaders summoned his parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked them. “Are you saying he was born blind? How is it that he can now see?”

20 His parents answered, “Well, we know that he is our son. And we know that he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know how it is that he now sees -- and we certainly don’t know who healed his eyes. Ask him. He’s old enough to speak for himself.”

22 The parents said this because they were intimidated by these Jewish authorities. They understood that the authorities had already decided that whoever acknowledges Jesus to be God’s anointed -- the Messiah -- would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 And that’s why the parents weaseled out of the situation by saying, “He’s a grown-up. Ask him.”

24 So, they summoned the formerly-blind man a second time and said to him, “Swear to God on a stack of Bibles and tell the truth. We know that this Jesus guy is a sinner.”

25 The man answered, “I don’t know whether he’s a sinner. However, there is one thing I DO know: I was blind -- but now I see.”

26 Then they started in on the questions again: “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?”

27 He replied, “I’ve answered those questions but apparently you weren’t listening -- unless you’re trying to figure out if you want to become one of his apprentices, too.”

28 They lambasted him: “So, you are an apprentice of Jesus. Well, we are apprentices of Moses. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this Jesus guy is from.”

30 The man answered, “Incredible! You don’t know where he is from -- yet he healed my eyes! 31 We know that God doesn’t lend his ear to sinners but to those who love him and are living according to his agenda. 32 This is the first time in history that the eyes of someone born blind have been restored. 33 So if Jesus wasn’t sent from God, he couldn’t have done this, right.”

34 They responded with disdain, “You’ve been a sinner from day one and you dare to lecture us?”

They then expelled him from the synagogue.

35 Jesus heard what had happened to the man and went to find him. When he did he asked the newly-sighted man, “Do you believe in the Uber Man?”

36 He answered, “Master, who is he? I want to believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You’re looking at him. ‘Tis moi -- talking with you right now.”

38 The man exclaimed, “Master, I believe.” And he worshipped Jesus.

39 Jesus said, “I came into this world to render judgment -- that is, to give sight to the blind and in doing so showing those pretentious jerks who think that they see better than everyone else, that they’re really the blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who overheard the conversation connected the dots. “Are you calling us blind?”

41 Jesus said to them, “You nailed it! As long as you continue to claim to see you’re stuck being blind -- indeed, stuck in sin.”