(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
Jesus heals a man who was born blind
- And while passing by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.1“Blind from birth” The 1st century Jews believed that there were four miracles that only the Messiah would be able to perform. (1) Cleansing leprosy. The Jews believed that leprosy was the result of sin, based on Numbers 12:9-10 and 2 Chronicles 26:19-20. Since only God could forgive sin (what they believed was the cause of leprosy) then only God or Messiah could cleanse a leper. (2) Casting out a mute demon. The Jewish exorcists had success in casting out demons, but first needed to know the demon’s name. Thus if the demon-possessed man couldn’t speak, the demon couldn’t be cast out except by God Himself. (3) Raising the dead after three days. The Jews believed that a dead person’s spirit remained near the body for three days, and afterward decay set in and the spirit departed. Thus, only God would be able to heal a person dead for longer than 3 days. (4) Healing a man born with birth defects. They believed birth defects were caused by sin based on a faulty interpretation of Exodus 34:7 (while ignoring the whole of Ezekiel 18, which repudiates this idea thoroughly.) Since only God can forgive sin, they believed that only God or Messiah could heal a man born with birth defects.
- And His disciples asked Him a question, saying: “Rabbi, who sinned; this man or his parents that he was born blind?”
- Jesus answered: “Neither this man sinned, nor his parents; but this happened so the works of God might be revealed in him.
- “It’s necessary for us to work the works of the One who sent Me as long as it’s day; night is coming when no one is able to work.
- “While I’m in the world, I’m the light of the world.”
- Having said these things, He spat on the ground, and made mud from the spit, and spread the mud on the man’s eyes.
- And He told him: “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated ‘sent’). So he went away, and washed, and came back seeing.
- So the neighbors and the men who observed him before – that he was a beggar – they were saying: “Isn’t this the man who sat and begged?”
- Others were saying: “It’s him.” Others were saying: “No, but he’s similar to him.” That man was saying: “I am him.”
- So they were saying to him: “So how were your eyes opened?”
- That man answered: “The man who is called Jesus made mud and spread it on my eyes, and He told me ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash’. So having gone and washed, I recovered my sight.”
- And they said to him: “Where is this man?” He says: “I don’t know.”
The Pharisees interrogate the man
- They bring him – the formerly blind man – to the Pharisees.
- (Now, the day on which Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes was a Sabbath.)
- So the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received sight. And he told them: “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.”
- So some of the Pharisees were saying: “This man isn’t from God because He doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying: “How is a sinful man able to do such signs?” And there was a schism among them.
- So they again say to the blind man: “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said: “He is a prophet.”
- So the Jews didn’t believe it about him – that he was blind and received sight – until they summoned the parents of the man who received sight.
- And they asked them saying: “Is this your son, of whom you say that he was born blind? So how does he see now?”
- So his parents answered and said: “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind.
- “But how he sees now, we don’t know. Or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him; he has reached maturity. He will speak about himself.”
- His parents said these things because they were fearing the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if someone confessed Him as the Anointed, he would become expelled from the synagogue.
- His parents said: “he has reached maturity; ask him” because of this.
- So they summoned the man who was previously blind a second time and told him: “Give glory to God by testifying honestly:2“Give glory to God” is an idiom that means to place someone under and oath to tell the truth. The Pharisees were commanding the man not to lie because doing so would dishonor God, while telling the truth would give glory to God. The phrase “by testifying honestly” was added to make the idiom clear. we *know that this man is a sinner.”
- Then that man answered: “If he is a sinner, I don’t *know. I do *know one thing: that while formerly being blind, now I see.”
- So they said to him: “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”
- He answered them: “I already told you and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become His disciples too, do you?”
- And they insulted him and said: “You are a disciple of that man, but we are disciples of Moses.
- “We *know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this man is from.”
- The man answered and told them: “That is indeed a marvelous thing; that He opened my eyes and you don’t *know where He is from.”
- “We *know that God doesn’t hear sinners. But if someone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
- “From the world’s beginning, it was never heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.
- “Unless this man was from God, He would be able to do nothing.”
- They answered and told him: “You were born entirely in sins, and you teach us?” And they cast him out.
Jesus talks to the man
- Jesus heard that they cast him out, and having found him, He said: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
- He answered and said: “And who is He Lord, so I might believe in Him?”
- Jesus told Him: “You have seen Him, and He is the One who speaks with you.”
- And he was declaring: “I believe Lord.” And he bowed down before3“bowed down before” is one word in Greek, often translated “worship”. It comes from the Greek words: “pros” (meaning “towards”) and “kyneo” (meaning “to kiss”). It literally refers to bowing down on your hands and knees and kissing the ground in front of a superior or authority figure. Some Egyptian pictographs have the hand outstretched, as if to send the “kiss” toward the one being revered. Him.
- And Jesus said: “I came into the world for judgement, so that the men who don’t see might see; and the men who see might become blind.”
- The Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and they said: “We aren’t also blind, are we?”
- Jesus told them: “If you were blind, you wouldn’t have sin. But since you now say ‘We see’, your sin remains.”
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