Healing of the Man Born Blind

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By: Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy
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Healing of the Man Born Blind

It happened on one feast day in Jerusalem: after the Saviour finished His sermon and was leaving the Temple, He saw on the street a man blind from birth.

The Jews thought that every misfortune befalling a man was punishment for his sins. If the misfortune befell a child, then they considered that to be punishment for sins of his parents. Therefore, His disciples asked Him, “Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus Christ answered, “Neither this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be manifest in him.”

When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground and made mud of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. Then, the Saviour said to the blind man, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (as one water spring in the city was called. The word siloam means sent).

In order to heal the man blind from birth, the Saviour could have simply given the word and the blind man would have begun to see. Therefore, if He now anointed the eyes of the blind man, He did it not because a healing power was contained in the clay; but so that by touching his eyes, He would awaken in him faith and show the onlookers that the blind man received the words of the Saviour with faith.

The man blind from birth therefore went to the pool of Siloam, washed, and began to see, and he returned seeing. The neighbours and those who before had seen that he was blind were amazed and said, “Is this not the blind man who sat and begged?”

Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “He only resembles him.”

He himself said, “I am he who was blind.”

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

The healed man answered, “A man named Jesus made clay, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ I went and washed and I received sight.”

Then, they said to him, “Where is He?” The healed man answered, “I know not.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now, it was a Sabbath day when Christ healed him. The Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. And the healed man said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, for He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such wonders?”

There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He has opened your eyes?”

The healed man said, “He is a Prophet.”

The Pharisees did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight. 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 we do know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he will speak for himself.”

His parents said this because they feared the Pharisees, for the Jews had already agreed that if any one should confess Jesus of Nazareth to be Christ the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, he was to be put out of the synagogue, that is, to be considered an apostate from their faith and law. Therefore his parents, out of fear of the Pharisees, said, “He is of age, ask him.”

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;” — that is: for your healing, thank God, not that Man Who is a sinner.

The healed man said to them, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I know not; one thing I know that whereas I was blind, now I see.” The Pharisees began to ask him again, “What did He do to you. How did He open your eyes?” The healed one 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?”

The Pharisees became angry, reviled him, and said, “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 healed 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 worshipper of God and does His will, God listens to him. Never since the world began, was it not heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

These simple and wise words with which no one could take issue angered the Pharisees. They said to him, “You were altogether born in sins, and you would teach us?” And they cast him out.

Jesus Christ heard that they had cast him out; and having found him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of man?”

The healed man 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.”

Then, the healed one with great joy said, “Lord, I believe;” and he worshipped Him.

Note: See the Gospel of John 9:1-38.

(from: The Law of God
by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)