by Clarence E. Macartney

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Great Interviews of Jesus (9 of 15)
With a Man They Could Not Hush
Clarence E. Macartney
John 9:25

"Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen

This came at the end of a long debate Jesus had with
the Pharisees. They wanted to know if He thought He
was greater than Abraham their father. To this Jesus
said, "Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it,
and was glad." Angered and amazed, they said to Him,
"Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen
Abraham?" Then came that great and impressive answer
of Jesus, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before
Abraham was, I am." At that they took up stones to
stone Him. But Jesus hid Himself from them and,
passing through the crowd, left the temple precincts.

As He was passing, He saw by the roadside a man who
had been blind from his birth. To the disciples of
Jesus this poor man was not a subject for healing
mercy, but just a suggestion for a theological
question and problem: the relationship of sin and
suffering. That problem is as old as humanity, as old
as suffering and sin. In this particular case the
question was more acute than ever because the man had
been born blind. The disciples said to Jesus, "Master,
we believe, in common with all the teachers of our
race and faith, that suffering and misfortune such as
this are the result of sin and the punishment upon
sin. But what about this man, this blind beggar here?
He was born blind. Now tell us, who did sin, this man
or his parents, that he was born blind?"

The disciples were wondering if his soul had sinned
before he came into the world. There were groups among
the Jews at that time who believed in the preexistence
of souls and in the transmigration of souls. Evidently
the idea had filtered through in some form to these
unlearned fishermen who were the disciples of Jesus.
If the man had not sinned before he was born, then,
they wanted to know, had his parents si ...

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