Chapter 7

  1. And as Jesus departed Jerusalem, he saw a man who had been born blind. His followers inquired, Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, to cause him to be born blind? Jesus answered, Neither this man nor his parents caused this affliction, but his infirmity allows the mercy of God to be displayed by making him whole. I must perform the works of him that sent me while I am with you. The time is coming when I will have finished my work here, then I will return to the Father. As long as I am in the world, I am the giver of light in the world. When he said this he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle. Then he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay and said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent). The blind man left for the pool and washed, and he began to see.
  2. The people who knew him and were aware of his blindness asked, Is not this the blind beggar? Some said, Yes it is him; others said, No he only resembles him, but the man said, I am he. Those who knew him asked, How did you obtain your sight? He answered and said, A man named Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, Go to the pool of the Sent One and wash. I went and washed and I received sight. Then they asked him, Where is that man? He said, I do not know.
  3. And they brought the formerly blind man to the Sanhedrin because once again Jesus healed the blind man on the Sabbath day. The leaders again asked the man the same question: How were you healed of blindness? He answered them, There was a man who put clay on my eyes, and I washed and was no longer blind.
  4. Some of the Sanhedrin declared, That man cannot be of God because he breaks the commandment to never work on the Sabbath. But others said, How can a sinful man do such miracles? And there was a disagreement among them. They then asked the blind man again, Do you think the man who healed you was a sinner? He responded, He is a prophet.
  5. But the leaders avoided settling the argument by deciding every thing was a lie: Therefore the man had never been blind and did not have his sight restored. Then the parents of the man born blind were asked, Is this your son who is claimed to have been born blind? How then does he now see? His parents answered, We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now has vision we do not know, nor do we know who cured his blindness. He is old enough to speak for himself so ask him, he should speak for himself. The parents were afraid of the leaders because the Sanhedrin had threatened to excommunicate anyone who claimed Jesus was the Messiah. This is why they said, He is old enough to speak for himself so ask him.
  6. Then they threatened the man that had been blind telling him, Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner. He responded, Whether he is a sinner or not, I would not know. All I know is that I was blind, but now I can see. Then they asked him again, What did he do to heal you? How was he able to cause you to see? He answered them, I have told you already, and you do not believe. Will you believe if I repeat it and tell you again? And would that cause you to become one of his followers? Then they reviled him and said, You are his follower, but we follow Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses. As for this man we do not know where he comes from. The man answered and said to them, Why this is indeed a marvelous thing, that you do not know anything about the man, yet he has cured my blindness. But you teach that God does not listen to sinners, but if a man is obedient to God then God will answer his prayers. Since the world began, no man has restored eyesight to anyone born blind other than a prophet of God. If this man was not sent by God he could not have performed a miracle. The leaders reviled him by declaring, You were altogether born in sins, and are you attempting to teach us, who are not sinful? And they cast him out.
  7. Jesus heard he had been cast out, and when he found him, he said to him, Do you believe on the Son of God? He replied, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said to him, You have both seen him and spoken with him, and I am he. And the man said, Lord, I believe. And he knelt down and worshipped him.
  8. Jesus said, I am here in the world to prove who is righteous and who is not. Those who have been blinded by falsehoods I can teach them to see, and for those claiming they see clearly, I will leave them in their blindness. And some of the leaders who were nearby overheard him say this, and asked him, Are we blind also? Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would not have sinned. But because you claim, We see, therefore your sins remain.
  9. In the name of Father Ahman I tell you, If you do not enter by the doorway into the protective sheepfold, but climb in any other way, then you are only a thief and a robber. But when you enter at the door and the shepherd lets you enter, then you belong. The shepherd guards the entry, and his sheep respond to his voice. He calls his sheep by name and leads them up. He leads his sheep by his example and asks them to follow in his path, and they follow because they trust his words. His sheep will not follow another, but will flee from a stranger. They do not recognize the stranger’s voice. Jesus told this parable to them, but they could not understand what he meant by the parable.
  10. Then Jesus spoke to them again, In the name of Father Ahman I tell you, I am the door of the sheepfold. Every teacher now or before who has not testified of me are only thieves and robbers trying to take my sheep away, but my sheep have refused to heed them. I am the door. Any man who enters the sheepfold through me shall be saved and shall continue to progress and be supported. The thief only intends to steal, slay, and consume the sheep. I have come to preserve the lives of my sheep so that they might have abundant life.
  11. I am the good shepherd, and a good shepherd will sacrifice his own life for the lives of his sheep. The true shepherd does not profit from the sheep, regarding them only as property, and cares nothing for the lives of the sheep. The false shepherd runs away when he sees a wolf approaching, letting the wolf destroy and scatter the sheep. I am the good shepherd and know my sheep, and they know me. But he who profits from the sheep flees, because he is only self-interested and cares nothing about the sheep. Just as the Father laid down his life for me, he trusts me with the lives of the sheep. I will sacrifice my life for the sheep.
  12. I have other sheep that are not part of this fold. I will visit them and they will also hear my voice, and I will make all my sheep into one fold, following one shepherd. My Father loves and trusts me with the flock because I will sacrifice my life for them, and then take it up again to provide life for the flock. No one will take my life, but instead I will offer it as a willing sacrifice. I have made the choice to lay it down, and I possess the power to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.
  13. There was a debate among the leaders of the Jews because of Jesus’ teachings. Most of them concluded that He has a devil in him, and it makes him a madman. They asked, Why listen to him? Others said, What he teaches are not the words of a devil or madman. Besides, would a devil restore sight to the blind?
  14. Another confrontation happened at Jerusalem during the wintertime Feast of the Dedication. Jesus walked in the temple on Solomon’s porch. The Jewish leaders came and surrounded him and said, How long do you intend to leave us guessing? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I have already told you, and you did not believe. Consider the deeds I have accomplished in my Father Ahman’s name, they identify me. But you will not believe even what you have seen me do, because you are not part of the flock given to me by the Father, as I have also told you before. My sheep respond to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I cause them to have life. They shall never die throughout the eons, neither can any adversary remove them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and no adversary is able to take them out of my Father’s hand. My Father and I are one.
  15. Then the leaders of the Jews picked up stones again to execute him. Jesus rebuked them saying, Many good works have I showed you from my Father. For which of those acts are you going to stone me? The Jews answered him, We are not offended by good acts, but by your blasphemy which the law condemns with stoning. It is blasphemy for you, a man, to claim to be God. Jesus responded, Is it not written in the scriptures, I said you are gods? If God referred to those he spoke with as gods, and the scriptures are reliably true, how can you claim that I, who the Father sent as a witness of truth, commit blasphemy when I refer to myself as God’s son? Judge me by what I do, and if I fail to do what God expects, then you do not need to believe me. But if I do what God tells me to do, even if you reject my words, consider my actions. They will convince you that God is within me, and I am within the Father. Whereupon they attempted again to detain him, but he escaped their hand and went away again beyond Jordan to the place where John first baptized. And he remained there. Many visited with him there. The visitors heard him teach and remarked, John did no miracle, but every thing that John said about this man is true. Many were converted during the time he stayed there.