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Seeing and believing

1AS HE went on his way Jesus saw a man who had been blind from birth.

2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, why was this man born blind? Who sinned, this man or his parents?”

3“It is not that he or his parents sinned,” Jesus answered; “he was born blind so that God's power might be displayed in curing him.

4While daylight lasts we must carry on the work of him who sent me; night is coming, when no one can work.

5While I am in the world I am the light of the world.”

6With these words he spat on the ground and made a paste with the spittle; he spread it on the man's eyes,

7and said to him, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” (The name means “Sent”.) The man went off and washed, and came back able to see.

8His neighbours and those who were accustomed to see him begging said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?”

9Some said, “Yes, it is.” Others said, “No, but it is someone like him.” He himself said, “I am the man.”

10They asked him, “How were your eyes opened?”

11He replied, “The man called Jesus made a paste and smeared my eyes with it, and told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and found I could see.”

12“Where is he?” they asked. “I do not know,” he said.

13The man who had been blind was brought before the Pharisees.

14As it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened his eyes,

15the Pharisees too asked him how he had gained his sight. The man told them, “He spread a paste on my eyes; then I washed, and now I can see.”

16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man cannot be from God; he does not keep the sabbath.” Others said, “How could such signs come from a sinful man?” So they took different sides.

17Then they continued to question him: “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He answered, “He is a prophet.”

18The Jews would not believe that the man had been blind and had gained his sight, until they had summoned his parents

19and questioned them: “Is this your son? Do you say that he was born blind? How is it that he can see now?”

20The parents replied, “We know that he is our son, and that he was born blind.

21But how it is that he can now see, or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age; let him speak for himself.”

22His parents gave this answer because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jewish authorities had already agreed that anyone who acknowledged Jesus as Messiah should be banned from the synagogue.

23That is why the parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24So for the second time they summoned the man who had been blind, and said, “Speak the truth before God. We know that this man is a sinner.”

25“Whether or not he is a sinner, I do not know,” the man replied. “All I know is this: I was blind and now I can see.”

26“What did he do to you?” they asked. “How did he open your eyes?”

27“I have told you already,” he retorted, “but you took no notice. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”

28Then they became abusive. “You are that man's disciple,” they said, “but we are disciples of Moses.

29We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”

30The man replied, “How extraordinary! Here is a man who has opened my eyes, yet you do not know where he comes from!

31We know that God does not listen to sinners; he listens to anyone who is devout and obeys his will.

32To open the eyes of a man born blind -- that is unheard of since time began.

33If this man was not from God he could do nothing.”

34“Who are you to lecture us?” they retorted. “You were born and bred in sin.” Then they turned him out.

35Hearing that they had turned him out, Jesus found him and asked, “Have you faith in the Son of Man?”

36The man answered, “Tell me who he is, sir, that I may put my faith in him.”

37“You have seen him,” said Jesus; “indeed, it is he who is speaking to you.”

38“Lord, I believe,” he said, and fell on his knees before him.

39Jesus said, “It is for judgement that I have come into this world -- to give sight to the sightless and to make blind those who see.”

40Some Pharisees who were present asked, “Do you mean that we are blind?”

41“If you were blind,” said Jesus, “you would not be guilty, but because you claim to see, your guilt remains.


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