Sunday Celebration of the Blind Man

Mark 10:46
Nicolas Poussin,   Les aveugles des Jericho,                        Louvre c. 1630

The 5th Sunday of Lent – Healing of Blind in Jericho

At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind since  birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is the Greek variation of Shiloh and means “to send out”). So the man went and washed the clay away, and he came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before  said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he”; but others were either more dubious or just insulting of a miracle on a beggar, said, “No, but he looks like him, ”

Finally the Blind Man himself spoke up, and declared that  “I am the man you are all talking about, I was the Blind Beggar.”

Then they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.”

They said to him, “Where is this man?”

The man who had been blind, said, “I do not know.”  John 9.  Which makes sense as he would not be familiar with the place marks.

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Then they brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind as it  was a  sabbath day when Jesus made the clay  which opened his eyes and that according to the Law of Moses (8 of the  10 Commandments) was sacred..

Our word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew  “Shabbat” and it’s  root  is Shin-Beit-Tav, meaning to cease, to end, or to rest.  Moses which he dutifully records in  Exodus 20:8 that one should Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify (keep it clean and bless it).  In Hebrew this reads  Zakhor et yom ha-Shabbat l’kad’sho). The KJV reads similarly Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

The Pharisees again asked the blind man how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes and I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the Pharisees were outraged,  “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner make such signs?” There was a division among them.

So the Pharisees again said to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?”  The blind man said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.”

His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him,” so they would be spared.

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.”

He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see, ”  obviously not answering their question.

They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?”

And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”

The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out of the synagogue.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of man?”   He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.”  And the man who was blind but now could see,  said, “Lord, I believe”: and he worshiped him.

Mark 10:46

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