Adult Object Lesson: Jesus Cures the Blind Man

boxillusionSeeing Is Believing

1 Samuel 16:1-13
John 9: 1-41

Jesus Heals the Blind Man

We mortals rely on sight as empirical proof for everything. Seeing is believing. 

Today’s scriptures revolve around sight, its general importance, and its link to understanding.

First we read the story of Samuel and David. A reluctant Samuel sets out to find Saul’s successor. Things aren’t going so well with Saul. God chose him to lead but he fell in love with power. A course correction is needed.

Samuel travels to Bethlehem to review the sons of Jesse. A parade of fine, strong, handsome young men are brought before Samuel. God tells Samuel to reject all. Finally, David, still a boy, the runt of the litter by virtue of his age and birth order, is called in from the lowly task of shepherding (Here’s where today’s psalm ties in—Psalm 23). Jesse and his sons cannot believe their eyes. Samuel chooses the kid brother.

The disciples and a crowd of people in today’s gospel experience something equally incredible.

Read this story with your congregation slowly. Allow them to visualize the scene. Act it out if possible. You might assign a reader or readers to read just the questions as they occur in the story. This will call attention to the questions in the text—and there are many.

Choose an optical illusion for your talk today. There are a number of great ones on the web.

We’ll use the one above.

You see black lines and an orange dot.

Your mind will read the black lines as a box. Your mind is not likely to think about it being a box with poor perspective. Our eyes can be forgiving when we want them to be!

Your mind will also see an orange dot.

That’s enough for most people.

Start asking questions.

  • Is the dot outside the box on the right front panel? Is the dot inside the box on the back panel? Take a poll!
  • Is the dot suspended, bouncing from side to side, trying to escape the box?  Is the dot butting up against the outside of the box, trying to get in?

That’s the dilemma facing all the players in today’s gospel story. All those present who can see, see a pathetic blind man (trying to get out his box). They start asking questions. Whose fault is it that this blind man cannot see?

That question become less important when Jesus removes the impediment. But more questions follow.

First it was, “Who caused the blindness?” Now, the question is, “Who cured him?” Sometimes you can’t please anybody!

The people are trying to understand. They want to be in the know (on the inside of the box).

They were stuck. The evidence before their eyes was unbelievable to them. It didn’t fit into their view of what their “box” should look like. Solution: Get rid of the dot. Get rid of the problem. What’s wrong with just having a box? That they could understand.

And so the blind man who has just seen his first glimpse of the world — must hide.

With this analogy in mind, analyze the various questions in this Bible passage.

In the end, pay attention to the questions Jesus asks.

The decisive question comes near the end: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

Well, do you?


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