I’m going to try something new with this one, so maybe, SOMEONE could give me some feedback if it works? I’m going to add italicised comments through the reading rather than blither then put the reading. This is at the moment my favourite passage, which will become clear, there is so much in it.
1 As he went 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?”
As I’ve said, the Jews of this time thought illness was a direct punishment from God, and certainly in the Old Testament, God would zap people with Leprosy and other illnesses in a matter of seconds. This is another case of Jesus seeking someone to heal rather than the other was around.
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Exactly, the Old Testament Covenant was in operation until Jesus’s death, so God was using this bloke as a major witness, he knew when he created him, this guy would one day see again through Jesus. Jesus talks about his coming death, the Night, but not what was to come, eg more healings through the Spirit, I wonder why?
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Earlier in Mark’s Gospel, (8, 22)Jesus had spat on a bloke’s eye to heal him, this taking place in Bethsaida, one of the towns that Jesus rebuked for their Un belief. He was now in Jerusalem, surrounded by bickering, hostile Pharisees and Sadducees, belief would be a struggle. Hence Jesus uses a physical contact form of healing ie a step up from taking the hand of Peter’s mother and it must be stronger.
What I want to know, is how the blind guy got to the pool to wash, it says he went. Did he have a stick? No Guide dogs then, or as he was born so, he knew the way? This I think most likely. It’s always these little details that allow doubt to creep in.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.
Again, Jesus was gone, maybe not wanting the furore he had created, or maybe the people need to work through this themselves. This Guy had a fair idea who Jesus was, but even though now seeing couldn’t find him!!!!
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
Oh, they’re off again, so tied up in their own rules and regulations, they can’t see the good, and Jesus has done his level best to provoke them enough to see the truth.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
In contrast to pool man, this guy gives Jesus the Honour and Glory.
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
So dodging responsibility for our kids is nothing new!
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
See how this man is growing, as he finds the new world around him, he moves on from the lame cripple he was to a fully functioning, courageous man.
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
Despite being kicked out of the synagogue which was the height of shame, this guy is so full of belief in Jesus, he will do whatever Jesus tells him, complete faith.
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
I think this is one of the few times, if at all, Jesus allowed anyone to worship him while he was alive. What happened to this man, did he become a disciple? Did he go on and find a job living his life worshipping the risen Lord? I can see how it is tempting to create a fictional story, but it would only be my imagination.
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.