June 11, 2014

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John 9 (ESV)*

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”[c] 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”

From 21st Century Science and Health*

“Sin multiplies when we believe life is in matter. If thinking doesn’t shift out of the vicious cycle of believing in a temporal life, life is very disheartening and we feel cursed. Error hides behind a lie and excuses guilt, but can’t be concealed forever. Even the attitude that tries to justify or hide guilt is punished. People who avoid justice and deny truth tend to perpetuate sin, bring on crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy. This human mindset tries to eliminate the spiritual idea, or improved thought, whenever and wherever it appears. It is that same mindset which tried to kill Jesus in order to get rid of Truth. However, Truth, through eternal laws, causes error and sin to betray itself.

“The beast and the false prophets are lust and hypocrisy. These wolves in sheep’s clothing are detected and killed by innocence, the Lamb of Love.

“Divine Science shows how the Lamb slays the wolf. Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error. Ever since the foundation of the world, ever since error would establish rut thinking, evil has tried to kill the Lamb, but Science is able to destroy this lie called evil.

“It is important to examine our inclinations and intentions. Mental examination is the way we learn what we honestly are. If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen patiently to the criticism and reconsider our attitude? Or, do we react by giving thanks that we are “not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector”?[1] During many years, I have been most grateful for constructive criticism. The misdeed is destructive careless criticism, which does no one any good.

“The test of prayer is found in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of our prayer? Or, are we satisfied with our prayerful words and yet give no evidence of living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we will regard our neighbor unselfishly and pray for our enemies;[2] but this great responsibility is never accomplished simply by asking that it may be done. Improvement of mind/body/spirit needs to be tangible before we can experience the achievement of our hope and faith.”

“As human thought changes from one stage to another, from conscious pain to painlessness, from sorrow to joy, from fear to hope, and from faith to understanding, the visible manifestation will at last be self-governed by Soul.”

(Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011.Text from 21st Century Science and Health copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen)

 

[1] Luke 18:11 (NRSV)

[2] Matt. 5:44

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