4th Sun Lent A
Sunday 22nd March 2020
Image supplied by Lois Munro
The Gospel Paraphrased
There are many fine translations of the Gospels readily available. This paraphrase is not meant to replace them. Rather the intention here is to offer a more contemporary rendering so that you can imaginatively translate the Gospel into your own situation.
This Sunday's Gospel Paraphrased
Jn 9: 1-41
As Jesus was walking along with the disciples, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
His disciples wondered: ‘Teacher, who sinned for this man to be blind, did he, or was it his parents fault?’
‘It was nobody’s fault, neither his nor his parents. It happened so that God’s glory would be seen in his life. While we have time, we should be working to reveal the works of God. No-one can work in the dark. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’
Then Jesus spat on the ground and made clay with his spit. Then he smeared this paste on the man’s eyes and told the man: ‘Go, and wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man went, washed and came back seeing! The people who had known him as a beggar couldn’t believe their eyes and asked each other if this really was the beggar they had known. Some thought it was him; others said it only looked like him but the man himself declared:
‘I am he!’
They then demanded to know how he got his sight.
‘The man named Jesus made a paste, smeared it on my eyes and told me to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. I went, washed and saw!’
‘Where is he?’
‘I don’t know.’
They took the man to the Pharisees. Now it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and gave the man sight. So the Pharisees wanted to know how he had received his sight.
‘The man put a paste on my eyes, I washed and now I see.’
Some of the Pharisees then said: ‘This man isn’t from God, he doesn’t follow the Sabbath rules,’ but others said: ‘Well, how could a sinner do a miracle like this?’ and they argued amongst themselves. In the end, they turned to the man and said:
‘Well, what have you got to say? You’re the one who can now see.’
‘He is a prophet.’
But the Jews still couldn’t believe that a miracle had occurred so they sent for the man’s parents to verify the facts. ‘Is this your son? Is it true he was blind from birth? Now tell us, how he comes to see now?’
‘Yes, he is our son. Yes, he was blind from birth. But we know nothing about how he got his sight or who opened his eyes. He’s an adult, he can speak for himself.’ They said this because they were frightened of what might happen to them if they acknowledged Jesus as the Christ.
So they called the man back and said;
‘We are putting you on oath – don’t dare perjure yourself before God. We know this man Jesus is a sinner.’
‘Really! Well, I don’t know whether he is a sinner or not, but there is one thing I do know. I was blind and now I can see.’
‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’
‘I’ve told you already and you did not hear. Why do you want me to repeat myself? Do you want to become his disciples?’
So they insulted him: ‘You’re his disciple. We follow Moses. God spoke through Moses. But, this man, we don’t even know where he comes from.’
‘Well, that’s amazing. He gave me sight and you don’t know where he comes from. A little basic theology… God doesn’t listen to sinners, only to those who do his will. This man gave me sight. It is simply unknown for a person, blind from birth, to receive sight. If this man isn’t from God, he couldn’t have done anything!’
‘You, you, you’re sinful through and through, how dare you teach us.’
And they threw him out.
When Jesus heard this, he went and found the man him and asked him:
‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’
‘Who is he, lord, so I can believe in him?’
‘You have seen him; in fact he is speaking with you right now.’
‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshipped him.
Jesus said: ‘I have come into the world to be judgement for the world. I will give sight to those who know their blindness and will show up those who are so sure of their sight as being blind.’
Some of the Pharisees heard this and said:
‘So you think we are blind?’
‘If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty but because you so arrogantly claim sight, you are guilty.’