Easter - 2018

Monday, September 20, 2010

Whose Fault is it?

A Man Born Blind Receives Sight - John 9:1-12
9 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” (The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Jn 9:1–12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

The above passage is the text I am using for my exegetical paper for this semester. Thus, it is on my mind a great deal of the time. It strikes a chord with me because of the special needs of a man and how the question is asked of Jesus who sinned, "He or His Parents?" As a parent to special needs children, I have also had the thought, "What did I do?"

First, the question was a negative. What did I do to have this terrible thing in my life. It is so hard and how can I ever get through it. I remember praying in those first few days, "God, where did you go? We are supposed to be on the same team?"

After some time, I learned the reality of having a special needs child brings great joy into your life. I have learned to enjoy everyday of life and how precious life truly is. When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death and then live the results, you taste the fruit that grows in that dark valley. It is the fruit of new insights on abundance of God's goodness and strength.

Scott Bradford wrote: Jesus’ encounter with a man who was born blind. The disciples ask “Whose sin caused this?” This man’s? Or his parents? Jesus’ dispels the notion: vs. 3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

Jesus heal’s the blind man by making a poltis of saliva and mud, and then instructing the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Rev. Ron Gilmer states: “With saliva and mud dripping from his fingers, he caresses a beggar’s face and then watches and waits for him to go Siloam, from whence he returns with clearer vision.” Silva “may seem repulsive” but it has long represented curative powers. “A child burns his fingers and into his mouth it goes…or a child scrapes her arm and wants mommy to kiss it and make it well” What is significant to this text can possibly be lost in translation. For example one translation (NIV) reads “Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes.” The actual word used was “epichrio” (ep-ee-khree-o) “to smear over” or “anoint”. Within this word is the same root that is used in the “Christos” (khris-tos) for Christ which means “Anointed”.

This is then a story about the Anointed One, anointing the eyes of a blind beggar so that he can see. Literally then, He “Christs’ the man’s eyes”. Theologian and author James W. Moore asks the question “Would you like to have your eyes Christed?” The blind man was asked (repeatedly) about who healed you, and even how or why? And of course he gives that response that has become classic: I once was blind but now I see!

Jesus offers the anointing of His love and grace freely. Once you have had the anointing of Jesus, you treasure every aspect of it. Thus, again I ask the question; "What did I ever do to deserve this blessing?" God is glorified! You know I love ya and there will be more to come from John 9! - Don

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