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The light the whole world needs (2)

As he passed by, he [Jesus c. AD30] saw a man blind from birth. And 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 displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the spittle. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.  The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” John 9: 1-11
 
The above claims of Jesus have all the appearance of extreme arrogance. 

First, he says of this man who was born blind, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” He makes a judicial decision about the origin of blindness-from-birth in a particular man. And then he adds that “the works of God” are going to “be displayed in him”. The works of “God”??

Second, he states, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day”. He uses the first-person plural of the verb “must”“we must” – to describe what he is about to do. Why the plural? Who else is involved? He follows this with the startling observation, “night is coming”. When will it be “night”?” It will be, “when no one can work”. When will it be too late for any work of goodness to be done by this Jesus – or anyone?

 
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‘The world belongs to God and he wants it back.’ (David Pawson) 
Third, he closes with words which add a dimension which completes the appearance of extreme arrogance, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” It’s the words “of the world” which startle. He claims to be, “the light of the world”.

What if President Donald Trump tweeted claims like, “I am the light of the world”? What if Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, tweeted them? 

Jesus then did - for the blind-from-birth man - the very thing which he had just said he would do. He “displayed in him” “the works of God”. He gave him his sight. He did not restore his sight. The man had never seen before. Is this what he said he would become for “the world”: "The light of the world”?

Having seen the incident in bold above, do you have the ability to see for yourself your own answer to the question, “What in fact is God’s work, through Jesus, in everybody on earth?” Here are some clues from the extract.

First, he spat on the ground and made mud with the spittle. John, Jesus’ first-century eyewitness biographer, used the unusual Greek word “chamai” here translated “on the ground”. It’s a very ancient word used in horticulture for naming ground covering, dwarf plants. It seems likely that Jesus lay flat on the ground – totally prostrate - to make the mud.

Second, he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud. He smeared the mud into the man’s eyes.

Third, he said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). “Go, wash in the bathing-pool of the Sent [one]". (In the Greek, “Siloam” (”Sent”) is an adjective without any accompanying noun.)

Fourth, the blind-from-birth man went and washed and came back seeing.  

 
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‘The world is all appearances, like our clothes: the truth lies underneath.’ (Thomas Carlyle, Scottish philosopher, 1795-1881) 
Fifth, the blind-from-birth man no longer begs and is no longer a beggar. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” The man has changed. He used to “sit” and “beg” others to serve him. His self-orientation arising from his blindness had led him to require others to serve him and meet his needs and desires. He has immediately started to leave that behind.

What a contrast with the orientation of President Trump and Iran’s Supreme Leader. What then is the work of God and Jesus? And how does Jesus, personally and with the Father, achieve it?

 
Sinner Syvret

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