John 9 – Jesus Heals the Man Born Blind & Islamic Banking

Finger Pointing UpWe know how well the Jews obey their laws, let alone Your laws, how hypocritical they are.  As Jesus had pointed out:

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“Woe unto you , scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matt 23:14-15).

Tomorrow we’ll look at a different subject in regard to the House of Islam, we’ll look at…

John 9
Jesus Heals the Man Born Blind

2 In Judaism
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רַבִּי rabi [ˈʁäbi], meaning “My Master”, which is the way a student would address a master of Torah. The wo rd “master” literally means “great one”.

The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism’s written and oral laws. In more recent centuries, the duties of the rabbi became increasingly influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title “pulpit rabbis.”

And in 19th-century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, and representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance.

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

“Who did sin…?” – the rabbis had developed the principle that “There is no death without sin, and there is no suffering without iniquity.”  They were even capable of thinking that a child could sin in the womb or that its soul might have sinned in a preexistent state. 

They also held that terrible punishments came on certain people because of the sin of their parents.  As the next verse shows, Jesus plainly contradicted these beliefs.

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

“Siloam” – a rock-cut pool on the southern end of the main ridge on which Jerusalem was built, it served as part of the major water system developed by King Hezekiah.

8 The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

3 The Rabbis of Rhodes
The Rabbis of Rhodes
The Jewish communities of the Ottoman Empire operated as self-governing bodies, known as “millets”. The Jews of Rhodes organized and conducted their communal life according to the teachings of the Jewish traditions.

Because they were so involved with Jewish law and custom, it was necessary for them to have teachers and scholars who could interpret and clarify the requirements of these laws. Consequently, the rabbinic authorities were held in high regard and respect.

A “Chief Rabbi” was assigned to lead the rabbinic authorities. For centuries, the small Sephardic community of Rhodes was fortunate in having a number of additional religious scholars. There were many rabbis and “hahams” in Rhodes to serve the community.

Rhodes was always known for its traditional observance of Judaism. In fact, from 1927 to 1937, Rhodes maintained a Rabbinical College which served the Aegean Sea area.

9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.

14 And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.

“Some…Others” – the first group started from their entrenched position and ruled out the possibility of Jesus’ being from God.  The second started from the fact of the miraculous signs and ruled out the possibility of His being a sinner.

Sinners can do some miracles, through the power of Satan.  But no sinner could do the miracles that Jesus did.  It never dawned on the Pharisees and their cronies that maybe they didn’t understand God as they thought they did? 

Many people today want to interpret God to their own liking, assuming that if they believe whatever it is they believe God will understand that and accept that.  Those people are in for a surprise because God changes for no man.  He is what He is.

17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.

9:18-28 – this shows you how ignorant and bullheaded the Jews are.

19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?

20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:

21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.

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22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.

24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.

25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?

27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.

29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

5 The Blind Man
The Blind Man Washes in the Pool of Siloam

30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.

31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

“God heareth not sinners” – this is somewhat correct, but what the Pharisees were implying is not correct.  The Pharisees believed that they were not sinners and God heard their prayers, but God didn’t hear the prayers of sinners like Jesus.

God doesn’t hear prayers from people that choose to live the way of the world (see Is 59:1-2, and see 1 Jn 2:15-17).

32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.

33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

6 Siloam
Siloam is near the intersection of the Kidron, Hinom, and Tyropean Valleys at the southern and lower end of the City of David along the Ophel Ridge.

There was also a lower pool below the Byzantine Siloam that was used during Roman times. During 2005 a construction crew was repairing a drain line in this area and uncovered some stone steps. Since then part of the pool has been revealed at the north end of a sunken garden.

Years ago I had seen one archaeologist described this area as the “lower pool”, but had not called it the pool of Siloam mentioned in the Bible.

34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?

36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?

37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.

38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

“Pharisees” – they found it incredible that anyone would consider them spiritually blind.  

They had the same mindset as Obama, he would never imagine anyone not believing him to be a great president.

41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Islamic Banking

Merchants from Europe to Africa to China followed trade routes across the Islamic world, circulating among ports, oases, and crossroads cities.

7 Islamic banking
Islamic banking is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of sharia and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics.

As such, a more correct term for ‘Islamic banking’ is ‘Sharia compliant finance’.Sharia prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees (known as riba, or usury) for loans of money. Investing in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles is also haraam (“sinful and prohibited”).

Although these principles have been applied in varying degrees by historical Islamic economies due to lack of Islamic practice, only in the late 20th century were a number of Islamic banks formed to apply these principles to private or semi-private commercial institutions within the Muslim community.

Silk, spices, jewelry, furs, amber, ceramics, livestock, textiles, slaves, and more were exchanged in a thriving commercial economy. Entrepreneurs banded together to form partnerships and share the risks of business investments.

Abbasid banks responded with a new level of sophistication. Like banks today, they loaned money to new businesses, brokered investments, and exchanged currencies.

Although Islamic law prohibits excessive interest or usury, medieval banks were allowed to charge interest in some cases. They expanded the system of letters of credit, or shah—the origin of today’s English word check.

Although letters of credit had been in use since classical times, the Islamic banks, with multiple branches of the same institution, spread the practice through their domain, allowing merchants to trade with each other at a distance without the need to carry easily stolen hoards of coins.

…Omar Khayyam

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