Lectionary Year B
October 26, 2003
Step V: Distillation
A. Summary of Salient Features
(JFC) The point of this pericope is blindness’ being healed and the cured man
following Jesus in response to his recovered sight. Jesus’ identifying the man’s faith making him well is also part of the theological axle/hinge here. He admits he is blind, literally or figuratively, in need of healing and he asks Jesus for a cure. These observations leave as secondary elements in this story, the man’s identity, the on-lookers around him who tried to keep him quiet, his eagerness to go and be healed, his dialogue with Jesus and his references to Jesus as the Son of David and Rabbi/Teacher/Rabbouni.
B. Smoother Translation
(JFC) 46 And they go toward Jericho. And as He was coming out from Jericho, He
and His disciples and a substantial crowd, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, was sitting by the road/way. 47 And hearing that it was Jesus the Nazarene who was coming, he was beginning to cry out saying, “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me.” 48 And many were rebuking him in order that he should be quiet/silent. 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man saying to him, “Take courage/Cheer up, get up/come, He calls you.” 50 And/But/So throwing off his coat/cloak he jumped up and went to Jesus. 51 And Jesus asked him saying, “What do you want/wish I should/could/might do?” And the blind man said, “Teacher/Rabbi, may I receive my sight?” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has cured/delivered you.” And immediately he received his sight and began following Him on/along the way.
C. Hermeneutical Bridge
(JFC) In the 1990 movie “Ghost”, Patrick Swayze plays Sam Wheat who is in love
with Demi Moore’s character Molly Jensen. Carl Bruner, played by Tony Goldwyn, has Sam murdered and Sam remains at least spiritually on earth trying to communicate with Molly that her life is in danger of a similar crime. Sam works through Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) a “sassy” psychic/medium to contact Molly. All the while all characters might be classified as “unable to ‘see’” what’s actually happening. Molly might be the most obvious one whose “blindness” gets “cured”. She finally discerns that it is Sam, trying to contact her. At the end of the movie, Sam goes on to heaven amidst beautiful music and impressive cinematography. Molly observes this transition and seems to “see”/appreciate how Sam describes it as good/beautiful/beneficial beyond human measure. And, “This film works well in helping others to identify with the impulse to share truth and convictions related to the supernatural. The scene where Patrick Swayze first visits Whoopie Goldberg and realizes that she can hear him, followed by the scene of him singing, ‘Henry the eighth I am’, demonstrates that once one hears of and encounters truth, it is difficult to deny:” (submitted to “The Text This Week’s Movie Index” on line by Jay Slocum.)
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