December 16th, 2006
The idea of blaming someone else for the misfortunes which happen to us is as old as humanity. In the garden of Eden, Adam was quick to blame Eve for tempting him to eat the forbidden fruit, and Eve was quick to blame the serpent. Soon the sport of passing the buck reached epic proportions. On the other hand, human nature does not seem to be gracious enough to look for someone to blame when something good happens. People who encounter good fortune are usually quick to step up to accept the accolades for bringing about the good fortune by their own skill or personality or cleverness.
John’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 9
9:1 As he was passing he saw a man who had been blind since birth. 9:2 His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, to cause him to be born blind?” 9:3 Jesus answered, “This man did not sin, and neither did his parents. He is blind so that the power of God can be revealed in him. 9:4 We must do the work of the one who sent me while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work. 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 9:6 After saying this he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and put it on the blind man’s eyes. 9:7 He said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing. 9:8 The neighbours and those who had previously seen that he was blind said, “Isn’t this the man who sat and begged?” 9:9 Some were saying, “It is him.” Others were saying, “He looks like him.” He said, “It is me.” 9:10 So they asked him, “How were your eyes opened?”
9:11 He answered, “A man called Jesus made mud, put it on my eyes, and said, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and I could see.” 9:12 They asked, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.” 9:13 They took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 9:14 It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 9:15 The Pharisees asked him again how he received his sight. He said, “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see.” 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles?” They were divided. 9:17 They asked the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
9:18 The Jews did not believe him when he said that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 9:19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How can he now see?” 9:20 His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 9:21 but we don’t know how he now sees, or who opened his eyes. He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him.” 9:22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews. The Jews had already agreed that anyone who said he was the Christ would be expelled from the synagogue. 9:23 So his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”
9:24 So for a second time they called the man who had been blind and said, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 9:25 He answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.” 9:26 They asked again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 9:27 He answered, “I told you already, but you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples?”
9:28 They insulted him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 9:29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.” 9:30 The man answered, “How amazing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 9:31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he listens to him. 9:32 Never since the world began has anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind. 9:33 If this man was not from God, he could do nothing.”
9:34 They answered him, “You were born in complete sin! Are you trying to teach us?” They threw him out. 9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” 9:36 He answered, “Who is he, Lord, so I can believe in him?” 9:37 Jesus said, “You have seen him. He is the person speaking with you.” 9:38 He said, “Lord, I believe!” and he worshipped him.
9:39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that people who don’t see can see, and people who see can become blind.” 9:40 Some Pharisees who were present heard these things and asked, “Are we also blind?” 9:41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But you claim, ‘We can see.’ So you are guilty of sin.”