Physical hardships like blindness are not punishments for sins.

Sunday, 3/26/17

St. John’s Gospel includes this story to show how Jesus rejected the idea that blindness and other physical handicaps come to us as punishments for our sins.

In this story the man born blind was excluded from the synagogue gatherings because they saw his blindness as evidence that he was not right with God.

This story is like a three act play. In the first act the man born blind was forced to remain outside while the people of the market begin their Sabbath rest by entering the synagogue at sunset on Friday.

In Act Two Jesus and his disciples enter the deserted market place, and the disciples ask if the man’s blindness was punishment for his own sins or for the sins of others. Jesus answers that it was neither; then he makes mud, smears it in the blind man’s eyes, sending him to was in the pool at Siloam.
In Act Three, as the people come out from the synagogue, the man born blind returns seeing. The people who were convinced that his blindness was a life-long punishment for sins, push him aside. And the Jewish officials banish him for defending Jesus.

By fitting in songs for the various roles, we have made this into fine dramas for school kids.

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