Man Born Blind
THE MAN BORN BLIND – John 9:1-41
An ensemble presentation created by Rev. Bert Marshall from the Scholars Version of the Gospel of John
- Man born blind
- His parents
- Chorus (playing the parts of the Disciples, the Neighbors, the Pharisees, and the Judeans)
[The man born blind stands in the center, farthest from the congregation. The narrator stands to his right, Jesus to his left, each slightly forward. The chorus is on the wings, with half of them on one side, and half on the other side. A shallow arc is formed. The Chorus either stands to speak, then sits down; or stands and steps forward to speak – but always speaks in unison.]
Announcer: A reading of the story of the Man Born Blind, from the Gospel of John, Chapter 9, verses 1 – 41. Take one! [Loud throat clearing from the Cast].
Narrator: As he was leaving he saw a man who had been blind from birth [Blind man is standing there with his eyes closed]. His disciples asked him,
*Chorus (Disciples): Rabbi, was it this man’s wrongdoing or his parents’ that caused him to be born blind?
Narrator: Jesus responded,
Jesus: This fellow did nothing wrong, nor did his parents. Rather, he was born blind so God could display his work through him. We must carry out the work of the one who sent me while the lights lasts. Nighttime is coming and then no one will be able to undertake any work. So long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.
Narrator: With that he spat on the ground [Jesus spits on the ground], made mud with his spit [Jesus makes pretend mud with his pretend spit], and treated the man’s eyes with the mud [Jesus treats the man’s eyes with the pretend mud]. Then Jesus said to him,
Jesus: Go, rinse off in the pool of Siloam.
Narrator: The name means “Emissary”. So he went over [he goes over, groping his way with his hands and arms], rinsed off [he rinses off], and came back with his sight restored. Then his neighbors, and those who recognized him as the one who had been a beggar before, would say,
*Chorus (Neighbors): Isn’t this the fellow who used to sit and beg?
Narrator: Some would agree,
*Half of Chorus: It’s him.
Narrator: others would say,
*Other half of chorus: No, it only looks like him.
Narrator: He kept saying,
Man born blind: It’s me.
Narrator: So they asked him,
*Chorus (Neighbors): How were your eyes opened?
Narrator: He answered,
Man born blind: Someone called Jesus made some mud and treated my eyes; he told me, ‘Go to Siloam and rinse off.’ So I went, and when I had rinsed off, I could see.
Narrator: They said to him,
*Chorus (Neighbors): Where is this man?
Narrator: He says,
Man born blind: I don’t know.
Narrator: They take the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It was the Sabbath day when Jesus made mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees asked him how he could see.
Man born blind: He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I can see,
Narrator: he told them. Then some of the Pharisees said,
*Half of Chorus (Pharisees): That man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath day.
Narrator: But others said,
*Other half of Chorus (Pharisees): How can a sinner do such miracles?
Narrator: And there was a rift among them. So they ask the blind man again,
*Full Chorus (Pharisees): What do you have to say about him, since it was your eyes he opened?
Narrator: He said,
Man born blind: He’s a prophet.
Narrator: The Judeans wouldn’t believe that he had been blind and got his sight until they called in the parents of this man who had recovered his sight. They asked them,
*Chorus (Judeans): Is this your son that you claim was born blind? So how come he can see now?
Narrator: His parents replied,
His Parents (together): We know that this is our son; we know he was born blind; but we don’t know how he can see now or who opened his eyes. Ask him, he’s an adult; he’ll speak for himself.
Narrator: His parents said this because they were afraid of the Judeans, for the Judeans had already agreed that anyone who acknowledged Jesus as the Anointed would be banned from the synagogue. That’s why his parents said,
His Parents: He’s an adult, ask him.
Narrator: So for a second time they called in the man who had been blind, and said to him,
*Chorus (Judeans): Give God the credit! We know this man is a sinner.
Narrator: He replied,
Man born blind: Whether he’s a sinner I don’t know; the one thing I do know is that I was blind and now I can see.
Narrator: They asked him,
*Chorus (Judeans): What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?
Narrator: He answered them,
Man born blind: I told you already and you wouldn’t listen to me. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become his disciples, do you?
Narrator: They hurled insults at him:
*Chorus (Judeans): You may be his disciple; we’re disciples of Moses. We know God spoke to Moses; we don’t even know where this man came from.
Man born blind: Now isn’t that wonderful,
Narrator: he responded.
Man born blind: You don’t know where he’s from and yet he opened my eyes! God doesn’t listen to sinners; we know that. But if someone is devout and does God’s will, God listens. It’s unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything at all.
*Chorus (Judeans): You’re a born sinner and you’re going to teach us?,
Narrator: they replied. And they threw him out. Jesus heard they had thrown him out; so he found him and said,
Jesus: Do you believe in the Son of Man?
Narrator: He replied,
Man born blind: Master, who is he, so I can believe in him?
Narrator: Jesus said to him,
Jesus: You’ve already seen him; he’s speaking with you right now.
Narrator: He said,
Man born blind: Master, I believe,
Narrator: and paid him homage. Jesus said,
Jesus: I came into this world to hand down this verdict: the blind are to see and those with sight are to be blind.
Narrator: When some of the Pharisees around him heard this, they said to him,
*Chorus (Pharisees): We’re not blind, are we?
Narrator: Jesus said to them,
Jesus: If you really were blind, you would be free of sin; but now since you say, ‘We see’, your sin is confirmed.
[All pause, then walk very slowly back to your seats]
© Rev. Bert Marshall, 2018