Messiah in Shemini Atzeret Chapter 5

  1. Healing the Man born blind on Shemini Atzeret (the Sixth Sign)
  2. Going to wash in the pool called “Sent”
  3. Controversy over the Man
  4. One thing I know, “I was blind, now I see!”

Healing the Man born blind on Shemini Atzeret (the Sixth Sign):

וַיְהִי בְּעָבְרוֹ וַיַּרְא אִישׁ וְהוּא עִוֵּר מִיּוֹם הִוָּלְדוֹ׃ וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ אֹתוֹ תַּלְמִידָיו לֵאמֹר רַבִּי מִי הַחֹטֶא הוּא אוֹ יֹלְדָיו כִּי נוֹלַד עִוֵּר׃ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ לֹא הוּא חָטָא וְלֹא יוֹלְדָיו אַךְ לְמַעַן יִגָּלוּ־בוֹ מַעַלְלֵי־אֵל׃ עָלַי לַעֲשׂוֹת מַעֲשֵׂי שֹׁלְחִי בְּעוֹד יוֹם יָבוֹא הַלַּיְלָה אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ לֹא־יָכֹל אִישׁ לַעֲשׂוֹת׃ בְּעוֹדֶנִּי בָּעוֹלָם אוֹר הָעוֹלָם אָנִי׃ וַיְהִי כְּדַבְּרוֹ זֹאת וַיָּרָק עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַיַּעַשׂ טִיט מִן־הָרוֹק וַיִּמְרַח אֶת־הַטִּיט עַל־עֵינֵי הָעִוֵּר׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֵךְ וּרְחַץ בִּבְרֵכַת הַשִּׁלֹחַ הוּא שָׁלוּחַ וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּרְחַץ וַיָּבֹא וְעֵינָיו רֹאוֹת׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ שְׁכֵנָיו וַאֲשֶׁר רָאוּ אֹתוֹ לְפָנִים כִּי־עִוֵּר הוּא הֲלֹא הוּא הַיּשֵׁב וְשֹׁאֵל צְדָקָה׃ אֵלֶּה אָמְרוּ כִּי־זֶה הוּא וְאֵלֶּה אָמְרוּ אַךְ־דּוֹמֶה לּוֹ וְהוּא אָמַר אֲנִי הוּא׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו וְאֵיךְ נִפְקְחוּ עֵינֶיךָ׃ וַיַּעַן וַיֹאמֶר אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יֵשׁוּעַ עָשָׂה טִיט וַיִּמְרַח עַל־עֵינַי וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי לֵךְ וּרְחַץ בִּבְרֵכַת הַשִּׁלֹחַ וָאֵלֵךְ וָאֶרְחַץ וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה עֵינָי׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו וְאַיּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדָעְתִּי׃

While passing through (the city of Jerusalem) he saw a man who was blind from the day of his birth. His disciples asked him, saying, “Rabbi, who is the sinner? Is it he or his parents, since he was born blind?” Yeshua answered, “Neither he sinned, nor did his parents, but it was so that the works of the Almighty may be revealed in him. I must do the deeds of the One who sent me while it is still day. The night will come when no one will be able to do so. While I am still in the world, I am the Light of the World.” When he had spoken this, he spat upon the ground, made mud from the saliva, and smeared the mud on the eyes of the blind man. He said to him, “Go and wash in the Pool of Shiloach,” which means, “sent.” He went and washed and came back with seeing eyes. His neighbors and those who saw that he was blind before said, “Is he not the one who sits and asks for tzedakah (charity)?” Some said, “This is the one.” Others said, “He just looks like him.” But he said, “It is I!” They said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He answered, “A man named the Salvation of HaShem (Yeshua) made mud and smeared it on my eyes and said to me, ‘Wash in the Shiloach Pool.’ I went and I washed, and my eyes were opened!” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

The prophet Isaiah predicted that in messianic times various signs would occur. The Messiah miraculously would “open the eyes of the blind” spiritually and physically (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:6-7): “On that day the deaf will hear words of a book (divrey-sefer), and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.”

אֲנִי ה’ קְרָאתִיךָֽ בְצֶדֶק וְאַחְזֵק בְּיָדֶךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם לְאֹור גֹּויִֽם׃

“I am HaShem (the NAME), I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”

After the Messiah left the temple precincts on the morning of Shemini Atzeret, He went into the city of Jerusalem to heal a blind beggar. The blind beggar had been blind from birth. Yeshua often healed the blind. However, the choice of the Messiah to heal this man of his congenital blindness on the day of Shemini Atzeret is especially significant. This miracle of the Salvation of HaShem (Yeshua) healing the man born blind from birth supported His declaration to be the Light of the World. This means the Messiah is the permanent solution to humanity’s spiritual blindness from birth. When did humankind first experience spiritual blindness? Spiritual blindness, all human illness and death itself was first introduced into human existence when Adam listened to the lies, the deceitful words (devarim), of the evil one. This leads us to a follow-up question, Who will repair the damage that has been done by Adam (humanity) ingesting into his spirit, soul and body the deadly (highly infectious) lies of the evil one? Upon seeing the blind man the Messiah’s disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” This is the first question asked in the narrative of Healing the Man Born Blind. It is the question of “Who is to blame?” The Messiah answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of the Almighty One might be displayed in him.”  The disciples were facing the multi-faceted problem of sin. They believed that sin directly caused all suffering. So they were asking themselves the question, How could a person be born with a handicap unless he or someone else sinned? “Who Sinned?” Therefore, either this man sinned as an infant in his mother’s womb or one or both of his parents sinned. The Messiah therefore answered:

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned.”

So the Messiah said that what is relevant to this particular case, this man’s life, is not a matter of blame; either blame of the man or of his parents. These words of Messiah are not a denial of the problem of sin. All of us sin at some point in our lives. But we do not sin as infants. We are born innocent. However, as we grow we become aware in our consciences that there is a difference between what is right and what is wrong. If we receive training in the Torah that awareness is all the more sharpened by the Divine revelation of the D’var HaShem (Word of God). We all have sinned (Jew and Gentile). However, the Messiah did not come into the world to condemn the world. He was sent into the world by the Holy One to save the world. The first Adam ben Elohim is the answer to who is to blame for sin entering into the world. The Messiah Yeshua ben Elohim is the answer to the follow-up question, “Who will repair the damage that has been done?” It seems appropriate on the Day of Extended Assembly (Shemini Atzeret) that our range of extended vision should extend out from the opening-up problem of sin and suffering in the past to the blessed future when forgiveness and healing will completely exodus us out of this world into the world to come, where even the taint of remembering that sin and suffering ever existed will be removed. Shemini Atzeret is a time to not just look back at the problematic narrative of man but to look forward to the solution-driven narrative of God. We all have need of our tragic stories being rewritten into stories of triumph and great joy. The Messiah is the One who the Holy One sent to us to help us move from a narrative of defeat to a narrative of victory. We all have need of the Sent One (HaSheliach), the sinless Savior. The Last Adam (HaAdam Ha-acharon), the Messiah alone is able to redeem us and heal us from all of our sins. He is our Deliverer (HaPalat). The central truth of the Messiah here was one of conveying to us all the healing power of HaShem.  The central point was not to assign blame but to mercifully administer sight to the blind. Because the problem of sin, suffering, and death existed the Holy One had sent His Servant the Messiah to display His Glory.

Messiah was the expert on remedies. The Prushim were the experts on blame!

The Messiah was focusing His attention not on who was to be blamed for the problem of sin and suffering but who was the one who could remedy the problem of sin and suffering (i.e. God, that His works might be displayed in him). Therefore, the Messiah focused His attention on the work at hand of restoring spiritual and physical sight to the blind. “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.” Day (Yom) means the time allotted for Yeshua to do HaShem’s will (to “do the work of Him who sent me”). “We” includes the Jewish talmidim (disciples) and by extension all Gentile believers (the Goyim whose messianic conversion is both predicted and celebrated in Sukkot). “Night” is the limit set to do the works of the Holy One. In the case of the Salvation of HaShem, Yeshua the Messiah, it was His coming sacrificial death. As the Light of the World the Messiah our Deliverer gives people salvation. After His death, His Jewish disciples would be his lights (and the Goyim whom the Jewish talmidim would convert to faith in God).

Going to wash in the pool called “Sent:”

“When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.” The Messiah placed clay (mud with His saliva) on the man’s eyes. Man was made from the same substance. Man was made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). The Creator (Hayotzer) had His Holy Servant use the clay as an aid to develop the man’s faith, not as a medicine. However, the making of clay on the Sabbath violated the oral Rabbinic regulations against kneading clay on Shabbat. Obviously, the Lord of the Sabbath is not restricted to observe the regulations of the oral Law. Or is He? Apparently the Bramble Bush King even feel the Holy One must obey “him.” For over nineteen centuries the Prushim rabbinate and their successors have ignored nearly all of the changes and exceptions that have been commanded by HaShem (the originator of the real Oral Law, the Torah of the Spirit); and anyone who has complied with the will of the Holy One, rather than conforming to the Rabbinic regulations, has been severely ostracized and branded a heretic. After applying the kneaded clay onto the blind man the Tzaddik then told the man, “Wash in the pool of Siloam (in the pool of “Sent”), located at the southeast corner of Jerusalem (where Hezekiah’s tunnel channeled water inside the city walls from the Gihon Spring). The man born blind from birth was “sent” there and the Salvation of HaShem (Yeshua) was the One “sent” by the Father. The man washed and “went home seeing.” Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one.” The people were arguing with one another over whether this was the same blind man who used to sit and beg. If so, it was an incredible miracle that he could see. The miracle was so incredible that some doubted. “Surely,” these people said, “this was a case of mistaken identity.” But the man himself insisted, “I am the man born blind!” “So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man who is called the Salvation of HaShem, Yeshua, made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” They said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” The man born blind, who could now see, he gave a simple and factual account of how the miracle occurred. He referred to the Holy Servant as “The man they call the Salvation of HaShem, Yeshua.” The people wanted to know where the Holy Servant went, however, since the man was blind at the time of the miracle, he had no idea what the Messiah actually looked like or where He had went…He only knew the Name of the One who had healed him.

Controversy over the Man

וַיָּבִיאוּ אֶת־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עִוֵּר לְפָנִים אֶל־הַפְּרוּשִׁים׃ וְהַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה־בוֹ יֵשׁוּעַ אֶת־הַטִּיט וַיִּפְקַח אֶת־עֵינָיו הָיָה יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת׃ וַיּוֹסִיפוּ לִשְׁאֹל אֹתוֹ גַּם־הַפְּרוּשִׁים אֵיךְ נִפְקְחוּ עֵינָיו וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם טִיט שָׂם עַל־עֵינַי וָאֶרְחַץ וְהִנְנִי רֹאֶה׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ מִקְצָת הַפְּרוּשִׁים זֶה הָאִישׁ לֹא מֵאֵת אֱלֹהִים הוּא כִּי לֹא־יִשְׁמֹר אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת וַאֲחֵרִים אָמְרוּ אֵיכָה יוּכַל אִישׁ חֹטֵא לַעֲשׂוֹת אֹתוֹת כָּאֵלֶּה וַתְּהִי־מַחֲלֹקֶת בֵּינֵיהֶם׃ וַיּוֹסִיפוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־הָעִוֵּר וְאַתָּה מַה־תֹּאמַר לוֹ כִּי פָקַח עֵינֶיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר נָבִיא הוּא׃

They brought the man who had previously been blind to the Prushim. The day on which Yeshua had made the mud and opened his eyes was the day of Shabbat. The Prushim also asked Him once more how His eyes were opened. He said to them, “He placed mud on my eyes, and I washed them, and now I see.” A few of the Prushim said, “This Man is not from the Almighty One, because He does not observe Shabbat.” Others said, “How would a sinful man be able to do signs like these?” There was a dispute among them. Once more, they said to the blind man, “What do you say of Him, since He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

“They brought to the Prushim the man who was formerly blind. Now it was a Shabbat on the day when the Salvation of HaShem made the clay and opened his eyes.” Since this miracle was so unusual the people brought the blind-beggar man who was miraculously given his sight to the Prushim rabbinate. These professional religious leaders were the uncontested legal experts on all matters related to Judaism. To the Prushim healing and making or kneading clay on the Sabbath, unless a person’s life was in immediate danger, was a grievous sin. The Prushim believed that the Messiah was a false prophet because He showed compassion on the blind man, healing him on Shabbat. The oral Law came first. The oral Law was held in higher esteem than the D’var HaShem (the Word of God; i.e. the Tanakh). Everything else and everybody else was unimportant. The professional religious leaders cared nothing about this poor blind beggar man. He was their Jewish brother. They should have rejoiced at the good fortune of their brother being able to see for the first time in his life. Instead the so called holy ones (literally separated ones) vigorously looked for a way to invalidate the miracle. They cared nothing about the great miracle that was graciously provided through the Messiah by HaShem. The Prushim were false shepherds who only saw Rabbi Yeshua as a competitor.  The Messiah was treated with disrespect and hatred because He was a serious threat to the rabbinate’s market share in their religious business. The fact is the Messiah was not the false prophet. The Prushim rabbinate were bearing false witness against the real Servant of the Holy One (Eved HaKadosh). The Prushim and their successors are the false teachers, prophets, priests, and kings. The nation and people of Israel have suffered for over two millennia at the hands of these anti-messiah imitation messiahs (cf. Jeremiah 10:21-2212:10; Zechariah 11:4-17). The Bramble Bush kings are experts at complaining and blaming because they have no real solutions! The imitation messiahs have to be experts at complaining and blaming because they have no real solutions to offer. Accusing others of doing wrong is all that they can do. In stark contrast the Messiah is an expert on solutions.  Solutions are all He can or wants to do.

The Messiah did not come down from heaven to earth to condemn but to save humankind.

His life is exactly what His name says, the Messiah “is” the Salvation of HaShem (i.e. Yeshua, cf. Messiah in Shemini Atzeret, Chapter 7, Midrash on the “Good Shepherd”). “Then the Prushim also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Therefore some of the Prushim were saying, “This man is not from the Almighty One, because He does not keep Shabbat.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such attesting miracles (signs)?” And there was a division among them.” When the professional religious experts asked the blind beggar who could now see about his situation, he briefly told them what had happened. “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”  The creative power of God was being displayed here. The clay speaks of the creative physical power of the Creator (Hayotzer) when He made man out of the dust of the earth. The water is symbolic of the spiritual cleansing power of the Word of God. The Holy One gave His blind Jewish son a pair of new physical eyes. He also gave Him spiritual sight as well. This gift of spiritual sight to the beggar son was in great contrast to the elite religious leaders who possessed physical sight but no spiritual sight. They were spiritually blind and they expected everyone else to be the same. The only thing the Prushim could clearly see was that their Jewish brothers the Messiah and the blind beggar-man were a very real threat to their institutionalized power. Their plan was to ultimately gain control over the entire civil and religious establishment of Israel (cf. the prophetic parable of the Bramble Bush that would be king over all of the trees; i.e. ruler over all of the institutions of Israel). The Prushim rightfully believed that the Messiah was turning the people away from their teachings, so the self-serving religious professionals conveniently concluded, “This Man is not from God” (הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה אֵינֶנּוּ מֵאֵת אֱלֹהִים).

The first century rabbinate wickedly called the Messiah everything from crazy to demon-possessed.

However, this time they were having a great deal of trouble explaining away the miracle of giving sight to a man born blind. How could they explain away the healing of one who had been blind from birth? Even some of the Prushim membership became followers of the Messiah after this miracle. “So they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.” The healed blind man’s initial personal opinion was that the Messiah Yeshua was a prophet. The ancient prophets of Israel sometimes performed miracles which marked them out as HaShem’s special servants. So the blind beggar man who experienced the gift of sight initially believed the one named the Salvation of HaShem (Yeshua), must be a prophet. Who else could restore the sight of one such as himself, a man born blind?

וְלֹא־הֶאֱמִינוּ הַיְּהוּדִים כִּי עִוֵּר הָיָה וְאֹרוּ עֵינָיו עַד־אֲשֶׁר קָרְאוּ אֶל־יוֹלְדֵי הַנִּרְפָּא׃ וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ אֹתָם לֵאמֹר הֲזֶה בִנְכֶם אֲשֶׁר אֲֲמַַרְתֶּם נוֹלַד עִוֵּר וְאֵיכָה הוּא רֹאֶה עָתָּה׃ וַיַּעֲנוּ אֹתָם יוֹלְדָיו וַיֹּאמְרוּ יָדַעְנוּ כִּי זֶה הוּא בְּנֵנוּ וְכִי נוֹלַד עִוֵּר׃ אֲבָל לֹא יָדַעְנוּ אֵיךְ הוּא רֹאֶה עַתָּה וְלֹא יָדַעְנוּ מִי פָקַח אֶת־עֵינָיו הֲלֹא בֶן־דַּעַת הוּא שַׁאֲלוּ אֶת־פִּיהוּ וְהוּא יַגִּיד מֶה־הָיָה לוֹ׃

The Yehudim (Prushim religious leaders) did not believe that he had been blind and his eyes were enlightened until they called for the parents of the one who was healed. They asked them, saying, “Is this your son whom you said was born blind? How does he see now? His parents answered them and said, “”We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But we do not know how he sees now, and we do not know who opened his eyes. Is he not a sensible person (lit. a son of knowledge; i.e. able to speak for himself)? Ask him directly (lit. ‘ask his mouth’), and he will tell you what happened to him.”

The religious leaders still refused to believe this Jewish man had been blind. [The Prushim could not believe in supernatural solutions; however, they did possess the naturalistic ability to expertly assign blame.] Surely some mistake had been made! So the Prushim sent for the healed blind man’s parents. The rabbinate hoped that the man’s own parents would disavow their son’s claim that he had been born blind. However, when the parents responded to the summons to tell the truth, they avoided giving a direct answer. They wisely did so because they were afraid of what the Prushim might do to them if they candidly spoke the truth.

כָּזֹאת דִבְּרוּ יוֹלְדָיו מִיִּרְאָתָם אֶת־הַיְּהוּדִים כִּי הַיְּהוּדִים כְּבָר נוֹעֲצוּ לְנַדּוֹת אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר יוֹדֶה כִּי הוּא הַמָּשִִׁיחַ׃ עַל־כֵּן אָמְרוּ יוֹלְדָיו בֶּן־דַּעַת הוּא שַׁאֲלוּ אֶת־פִּיהוּ׃

His (Jewish) parents spoke like this due to their fear of the Yehudim (the religious authorities), since the Yehudim (these leaders had) already determined to ostracise (persecute and exclude from the Jewish society) anyone who would admit that He (Yeshua) is the Mashiach. That is why his parents said, “He is a sensible person (of a mind and age to speak up for himself); ask him directly.”

The parents of the healed blind man knew of the severe enmity that existed between the religious leaders and Rabbi Yeshua. They were afraid to risk saying anything that might anger the powerful men who had summoned them. They were afraid to hazard any opinions about the cure of their son by a Man that the Prushim hated and wanted to kill. The parents knew that these men were the rulers over all of the synagogues in Israel and that they had already decided to find a way to execute Rabbi Yeshua for heresy. They feared that if they gave testimony that supported the view that Rabbi Yeshua was the Messiah they too would be labeled as heretics. At best they would be excommunicated (along with their son) from membership in the synagogues. Worse yet they might suffer the fate of the Messiah. It was no longer a secret that the religious leaders wished to kill Rabbi Yeshua. Maybe anyone who supported His testimony would suffer the same fate. The parents were justifiably greatly feared the religious leaders. It was too late to help their son. Therefore, they quickly shifted the pressure of being questioned by the Prushim off of themselves and onto their son. They did this by reminding the religious leaders that he was of legal age and mental ability to testify for himself.

One thing I know, “I was blind, now I see!”

וַיִּקְרְאוּ שֵׁנִית לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עִוֵּר וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו תֵּן כָּבוֹד לֵאלֹהִים אֲנַחְנוּ יָדַעְנוּ כִּי־הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה חֹטֵא הוּא׃ וַיַּעַן וַיֹּאמַר אִם־חֹטֵא הָאִישׁ לֹא יָדָעְתִּי אַחַת יָדַעְתִּי כִּי עִוֵּר הָיִיתִי וְעַתָּה הִנְנִי רֹאֶה׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו עוֹד מֶה־עָשָׂה לָךְ אֵיךְ פָּקַח עֵינֶיךָ׃ וַיַּעַן אֹתָם כְּבָר אָמַרְתִּי לָכֶם הֲלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם וּמַה־לָכֶם לִשְׁמֹעַ שֵׁנִית הֲתַחְפְּצוּ גַם־אַתֶּם לִהְיוֹת תַּלְמִידָיו׃ וַיְחָרֲפוּ אֹתוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אַתָּה תַלְמִידוֹ וַאֲנַחְנוּ תַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל־משֶׁה׃ אֲנַחְנוּ יוֹדְעִים כִּי אֶל־משֶׁה דִבֶּר הָאֱלֹהִים וְאֶת־זֶה לֹא יָדַעְנוּ מֵאַיִן הוּא׃ וַיַּעַן הָאִישׁ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם דָּבָר נִפְלָא הוּא אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם לֹא יְדַעְתֶּם מֵאַיִן הוּא וְהוּא פָקַח אֶת־עֵינָי׃ וְהִנֵּה יָדַעְנוּ כִּי אֶת־הַחַטָּאִים לֹא־יִשְׁמַע אֵל כִּי אִם־אֶת־יְרֵא אֱלֹהִים וְעֹשֵׂה רְצוֹנוֹ אֹתוֹ יִשְׁמָע׃ מֵעוֹלָם לֹא נִשְׁמָע אֲשֶׁר־פָּקַח אִישׁ עֵינֵי עִוֵּר מֵרָחֶם׃ לוּלֵא הָיָה זֶה מֵאֵת אֱלֹהִים לֹא הָיָה יָכֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת מְאוּמָה׃ וַיַּעֲנוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו הֵן בַּחֲטָאִים נוֹלַדְתָּ כֻלָּךְ וְאַתָּה תְלַמְּדֵנוּ וַיֶּהְדְּפֻהוּ הַחוּצָה׃

They asked the man who had been blind a second time. They said to him, “Give honor to the Almighty. We know that this man (Yeshua) is a sinner.” He answered and said, “If the man is a sinner, I do not know. The one thing I know is that I was blind (from birth) and now I see!” They said to him, “What else did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have already told you. Did you not hear? Why do you want to hear it a second time? Do you also want to be his disciples?” They became angry at him and said, “We know that God (the LORD) spoke to Mosheh, but we do not know where this One is from.” The man answered and said, “It is a perplexing matter that you do not know where he is from but he opened my eyes! Look, we know it is not sinners that God hears; but one who fears the Almighty and does His will, this is whom He hears. It is unheard of ever before (since the world began) that a man would open the eyes of one blind from the womb. If he were not of the Almighty, he would not be able to do anything.” They answered and said to him, “Look, you were born entirely in sins! And you would teach us!” Then they pushed him outside.

The aggressive religious leaders attempted to pressure the man healed of congenital blindness into changing his previous testimony about the Messiah. “Give glory to God,” they said. This was a call for the healed man to admit his guilt and stop siding with the Messiah, whom the religious leaders called a sinner. When the religious officials said, “We know,” they were pressuring the healed man to lie and give to them the testimony they wanted to hear. In spite of the pressure to lie the man told the truth anyway. The healed blind man’s honest witness to the truth remained clear: “I was blind, but now I see!” The enemies of Messiah, not liking the truth that was presented to them, continued to try to get the man to contradict himself. The man knew he was being unfairly interrogated. He began to grow impatient and disgusted with his examiners. So, he began to sarcastically ask them if they were asking so many questions because they wanted to become disciples of Rabbi Yeshua. At this point the religious leaders reviled the man. The idea of this uneducated beggar suggesting that they should be interested in becoming the disciples of Rabbi Yeshua was more than their pride could take. The officials began to insult him. Then they reminded him that they were Moses’ disciples. Moses came from HaShem. They did not know where Rabbi Yeshua came from. In response the courageous man answered the angry religious officials:  “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He (Messiah Yeshua) is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hearsinners; but if anyone is fearing of God  and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

The common beggar man proceeded to teach the religious elites.

Since the learned ones openly admitted their ignorance about the origin of the Messiah, the unlearned beggar was more than willing to share his insights about the matter. He began to say that no one had ever heard of a man born blind receiving his sight. He reasoned that HaShem grants not the request of sinners but those of the righteous. Therefore, it seemed obvious to him that whatever “this Man” said was from God. Otherwise, he could do no miracles. The humble beggar’s insightful words only angered the religious officials all the more. The Prushim answered him, You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us? So they put him out.” Therefore, the officials promptly declared the wise, honest, courageous beggar excommunicated from the entire Jewish community. Upstaged by the uneducated man the elite leaders could only insult him again and again and then ban him from attending any of their synagogues. The rabbis angrily and self-righteously claimed that the poor man’s blindness must have been due to his being born in “sin.”  By the religious leaders endorsing this absolutely ridiculous defense we see that the experts in their own defective oral law were in no way knowledgeable in HaShem’s real, inerrant Oral Law (i.e. that bad things can and do happen to good people; cf. the Book of Job).


Messiah in Shemini Atzeret Chapter 6 >>