Part 1: What does it mean to see spiritually?
Let's hear Terry Wildman introduce the background about the blind man in John 9:
A READING FROM THE FIRST NATIONS VERSION
Background: In the chapter just before this passage (John 9:1-39), the religious leaders were talking about a blind man who was blind from birth. They taught that he was blind as a punishment for his (or his parents') wrongdoings. This is also something Jesus' disciples believed. However, Jesus sees the man and heals him on the Sabbath (the day that the Jews don't work and intentionally rest). Later, the religious leaders discover the man has been healed by Jesus and question him. In their questioning, they refuse to believe that Jesus is from God and assume Jesus must have a bad heart because he did work (i.e., the work of healing) on the Sabbath and that the blind man is also a sinner, though he insists that it was Jesus who healed him. They say to the blind man who is healed, "you were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!" (v 34). Jesus then confronts the religious leaders:
John 9:40-41 (First Nations Version)
40. Some of the Separated Ones (Pharisees) overhead what he said to the man. "Are you saying that we are blind?" they asked.
41. "If you were truly blind, you would have no guilt," he answered them. "But since you claim to see, your guilt remains."
LOOKING AT THE TEXT
- Who is physically blind in this passage? Who is spiritually blind? Can you be blind physically but see spiritually? How about the reverse—seeing physically but being blind spiritually?
- Why does Jesus say the Pharisees are guilty because they claim they can see (they say they are not blind)?
- The Pharisees made lots of extra laws, like a fence, around following God. As the religious leaders became corrupt, they actually prevented people from finding God. How did the blind man find God?
Let's hear more from Terry Wildman about 7 teachings in Anishinaabe culture:
REFLECTION QUESTIONS (FROM VIDEO)
- In the video, Terry described the seven teachings in Anishinaabe culture. What are some examples of how the Creator might be speaking through these teachings?
- Think about what you do know about your culture, from language (if you grew up learning some), stories from friends, family, or elders—what do you remember about peace or harmony or other virtues?
APPLYING THE TEXT
1. How dominant culture has been blind to the good of Native culture?
2. What does it mean to see spiritually?