Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Fourth Sunday of Lent- Jesus heals a blind man

Today we hear the story of Jesus healing the blind man.

Jesus left the temple, where the angry Jews were getting ready to stone him. There Jesus saw a blind man sitting by the roadside begging. This man had always been blind, he was born with out sight. And his parents lived in Jerusalem.

The twelve disciples were with Jesus when he passed where the poor man sat. They knew he had been blind from his birth, and they asked Jesus whether this blindness had come upon him as a punishment for his own sin or whether it had come because of the sins of his parents. Jesus told them, "Neither this man's sins nor of his parents has caused him to be without sight, but he was born blind that the works of God might be shown through him."

Jesus stopped. He made a paste using dirt and spittle and rubbed it on the blind man's eyes. Then he said to the poor man, "Go to the pool called Siloam and wash."

The blind man did not ask, "Why must I do this? but he got up at once and made his way to the pool. There he washed the paste from his eyes and immediately he began to see.

Instead of returning to the roadside to beg, the happy man went home to his people, telling the good news. His neighbors and friends and even his parents were very amazed because he had been born blind and they had never expected such a miracle to happen to him. Many who saw him could hardly believe he was the same man as the blind beggar whom they had known before.They said, "He is like the beggar" The man answered, "I am the same person."

The excitement in that neighborhood grew when the people heard that Jesus had opened the blind man's eyes. They gathered round to ask, "What did Jesus do to you? How did he open your eyes?"The man told them that Jesus first made a paste, then rubbed it on his eyes, and afterward sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam. "And I went and washed, and I received my sight," he said, joyfully, for he was a very happy man.

"Where is this Jesus now?" they asked; but the man did not know where Jesus and his disciples had gone.

Then the neighbors brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, and they also questioned him. Because it was the Sabbath day they thought Jesus had done wrong by anointing the man's eyes and sending him to wash in the pool.

They said, "Give God the glory, for we know this man Jesus is a sinner." Others standing by said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles?" And the people were divided, some thinking Jesus was a great man and others thinking he was only deceiving those who believed in him.

The Pharisees then asked the man what he thought of Jesus, and the man replied, "I believe he is a prophet." The enemies of Jesus were greatly stirred by this miracle. They thought perhaps the man was only pretending, after all, that he had been born blind. So they called his parents and questions them concerning their son.

The parents were afraid of these Jews. They knew of the hatred these men felt toward Jesus, and they knew the chief priests had threatened to cast them out of the synagogue if they believed in him. So they said, "This man is our son, and we know he was born blind. But we do not know how his eyes received sight, he is a grown man and he can tell you for himself."

Again the excited enemies of Jesus called the man who had been blind, and asked, "What did Jesus do to you?" how did he open your eyes?" The man answered, "I have told you once and you would not listen, if I tell you again will you also be his disciples?" At this they scorned him, and said, "We are Moses' disciples, for we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow we do not know where he came from."

Now the man whom Jesus had healed grew very bold, and he said, "It is strange that you do not know where Jesus came from since he opened my eyes, which were always blind! We all know that God does not hear sinners, but if any man worships him and does his will, God hears that man. Since the world began it was never heard that any man opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If Jesus was not of God he could do nothing.”

These words stirred up more anger in the hearts of Jesus' enemies, and they said to the man who had been blind, "You were born a sinner, and do you try to teach us?" Then they cast him out of the synagogue, and he could no longer worship there with his people.

Jesus soon heard what the angry priests had done, and he looked for the man whom they had cast out of the synagogue. When he found him he asked, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"
The man answered,, "Who is he, Lord, that I may believe?" And Jesus said, "You have seen him with your eyes, and even now he is speaking to you."

Then the man rejoiced and said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Jesus there.

What is it like to be blind?

Can you imagine what it would be like if you could not see? Imagine what it would be like if you could not see anything. You would not be able to see all the beautiful things you can see now! Thank Jesus for the gift of sight to be able to see all of his magnificent creations.

There is another kind of blindness. When you are angry with someone or perhaps someone teases you and gives you a hard time. It’s hard to see the good in them. Remember Jesus loves them just as much as he loves you. Ask Jesus to help you to see better, to see that person as He sees them.

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