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Topic Features About Blindness

The Rev. Duane Steele

The Blind Man Who Knew Too Much

John 9:1-13, 28-41

4th Sunday in Lent - Year A

March 30, 2014

The Rev. Duane Steele (ELCA)

I believe the man in John 9 is one of the most misunderstood people in the Bible. Apparently his witness was so powerful, the crowds continued to talk about his story in John 10:21 and 11:37, but we don't even get to know his name. To most of his neighbors and to us today, he is simply "the blind man" or "the formerly blind man." Many preachers use this man's story to talk about "darkness and light" or "ignorance and wisdom," and many Bible publishers add the heading "Spiritual Blindness" to this text, as though the man in this story were a symbolic object instead of a real person.

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The Rev. Dr. Wiley Stephens

Blindness of the Heart

John 9:1-41

4th Sunday in Lent - Year A

April 03, 2011

The Rev. Dr. Wiley Stephens (UMC)

Imagine with me for a moment that you are watching a movie and the scene is at a beach on a beautiful sunny day.  There is a large crowd on the beach, some picnicking, others sunbathing, others tossing a ball or a Frisbee, but no one is in the water.  You notice a large sign, just at the edge of the water that says, "No Swimming." You notice that there is a lifeguard on duty.  Just as the opening credits fade away, there is a scream from the water.  Someone is trying to swim despite the sign, and they are in trouble.  The lifeguard doesn't move.  He looks towards the drowning man and yells, "You should have read the sign!  Who told you to go in?"  Then someone jumps up from the beach, jumps in, and saves the person about to drown.  Do you think he is treated as a hero?  No, not at all.  In the next scene, the lifeguard and a group of his buddies are yelling at the swimmer, "You didn't read the sign either! How dare you go to the water?"  One turns to another and says, "How are we ever going to have any order around this place?"

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