Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Like a Red Rag to a Bull (11/28/13)
- TITLE: One Question Too Many...
By Noel Mitaxa
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“Jesus, was this man born blind because he sinned, or his parents sinned?”
What? I thought, how could Simeon sin before he was born?
Joining us at ground level, Jesus replied, smiling over his shoulder, “Let’s not focus on sin, but on what God can do!”
He spat on the ground; poked his finger into the mud and wiped it on Simeon’s eyelids. Helping him up, he said. “Go and wash at Siloam Pool.”
Simeon accepted my help to get there, and followed me into the water.
Backing against the edge, he leaned forward and scooped water all over his face.
He gasped, and splashed, and laughed, and yelled: “Hey, I can see!”
A crowd quickly gathered. A questioning crowd…
“What’s this about seeing?”
After all his excited splashing, Simeon called to me, “Let’s go home and tell everybody.”
All the way home, his excitement kept him stopping and asking questions. …
"Wow! Is that big thing a tree?
"Does every dog run that fast?
"What color is the sky?
"So that’s what a house looks like...”
As we approached Simeon’s house, his neighbour Caleb saw us. “Isn’t this Simeon, who used to beg?” he asked.
“No!” said Jephthah, “Simeon’s quiet. Not like this fellow!”
With sceptical and curious faces clustering around us, Simeon’s smile faded. “Hey, it’s me!”
“Well how can you see?” Caleb asked
“Yes, tell us!” everyone chorused. “We want to know!”
“Jesus put mud on my eyes and told me to wash it off in Siloam Pool. When I did, I could see!”
“Where’s Jesus now?” somebody asked.
Simeon’s never seen Jesus—or you either! I murmured.
Simeon shrugged. “I’ve no idea.”
Meshech, another neighbour, cut in. “Today’s the Sabbath. Let’s ask the Pharisees.”
We went into a synagogue, unaware of how many questions the Pharisees would raise.
“Simeon’s blindness has been healed.” Meshech declared to them; news which met with deep frowns
“Tell us how,” they demanded.
Simeon happily replied. “It was Jesus. He spat on the ground, made some mud, wiped it over my eyes and told me to wash it off at Siloam.”
“Humph!” snorted one, “Jesus isn’t from God. He breaks the Sabbath law!”
“But can sinners do miracles?” asked another.
That started them arguing, until one clapped his hands for silence. He asked Simeon, “Come on, what do you say? It was your eyes he opened!”
“He is a prophet!” Simeon replied, enjoying this newfound fame...
“Bah!” one grunted. “Let’s ask his parents. They’ll know if he was blind!” He glared at Meshech. “Go fetch his parents!”
Meshech left, with tension building around us.
Simeon’s parents, Josiah and Hannah, nervously entered. But their joy erupted on seeing Simeon’s smile. “It’s true,” exclaimed Josiah. “You can see! We praise God with you!”
The Pharisees snarled again. “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?”
Josiah shuffled his feet. “Yes, he’s our son; born blind. We - can’t understand what’s happened. But he’s grown up; he can speak for himself!”
Another Pharisee glared at Simeon. “Tell us what really happened. And give God the glory, for we know this Jesus is a sinner!”
“I don’t know if he is a sinner,” Simeon said. “All I know is that this morning I was blind but now I can see!”
“Come on, tell us!” they chorused, “What did he do? How did he open your eyes?”
Simeon looked puzzled.
Naively, he asked the most provocative question possible…
“Why do you want to hear it again? Do you all want to become Jesus’ disciples as well?”
They erupted; for following Jesus was the last thing they would ever want!
“You are his disciple!” one of them roared. “We follow Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses. But as for him—who knows where he came from?”
Simeon almost laughed out loud, “That’s amazing! You don’t know where he’s from and he healed my blindness! Surely God does not listen to sinners. He listens to people who do his will. No one ever opened a blind man’s eyes before! If Jesus were a sinner he could do nothing, for God would not hear him!
Their faces turned almost as black as the phylacteries on their foreheads. “You have known nothing but evil all your life and you would teach us about religion?” they shrieked, “You don’t belong here! Get out and don’t dare come back!”
Author's note: John chapter nine is such an amusing yet tragic expose on how people react or respond to events which they don't understand - or want to understand. Like all scripture, it is both timeless and timely - for human responses have not changed in two thousand years...
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