Monday, March 28, 2011

John 9:1-41

Lent 4 - Year A

John 9:1-41

Lent is one of those times when we are tempted to peer behind a larger screen and take a break from our own engagement with spirit, personal and institutional.

Like the disciples of old we are tempted by big questions and big answers. How does misfortune happen? Whose fault is it (other than G*D’s or no one’s, of course)?

Jesus doesn’t answer but responds, “Still trying to get out of your responsibility to do your work of honoring a revelation as is?”

Jesus goes on, “Your evasion of your own coming to grips with life’s persistent temptation to set blame rather than do what you know needs to be done, just isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got a bit of light left, use it.”

Then Jesus deepens the response (note: still not an answer). “You ask about sin,” says Jesus, “I’ll see your question and raise it with this ball of muddy spit right to the eye.”

I’ve always laughed at the sight of a blind many toodling off to a pool, at a location he may or may not have known, and coming back to find a bunch more questioners instead of Jesus. Here we go again with the temptation to know more than can be known at a given time. This formerly blind man’s only response is what he knows, without speculation or attribution.

The Pharisees pick up the disciples queries, “Who’s at fault?”

While its a nice coda to have Jesus talk about belief in some Son of Man and a nice moralism to condemn questioners, it’s probably better just to stick with the facts. They are amazing enough to let sufficient light shine through without turning this story into a sunday school lesson that nicely lets you know Jesus is the answer that ends all answers and stops all next questions.

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