As I did some research into the story of Jesus healing the man who was born blind, R.C.Trench in his book Notes on the Miracles of Jesus, shed some new light (no pun intended). He says this healing probably occured at the end of a long day for the Master. He had dealt with the issue of the punishment for a woman taken in adultery. As he left the temple he might have paused in the immediate neighborhood where beggars, cripples, and others afflicted took their station.
We can assume that some of his disciples knew this man, because they were aware that he had been born blind. They asked Jesus to address this as it was not the result of some accident or disease. It seems an odd question, who sinned, this man or his parents. To their thought such a grave punishment must have been the result of some great sin on someone's part. Jesus, of course, does not see things as they did. We all love Mrs. Eddy's description of what Jesus saw, "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Savior saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy" (S&H 476). There's the next reference to purity in this Lesson.
Jesus gently rebuked that human tendency to poke into the secret lives of others, like Job's friends attempts to figure out why Job seemed to so badly afflicted. Jesus knew this was not of the man's doing or attributable to his parents actions. Seek the cause elsewhere. See this instead as an opportunity to see the works of God. Jesus goes on to remind them of his purpose and mission, to work the works of Him that sent me. He says, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world".
Now he proves what he has been teaching by using saliva to create clay as a means to let the man know what he was about to do. It might have helped the man's faith, for surely he could have done this without that external help. Having anointed him, he now instructs him to go wash it off. He is to leave this place and go to a nearby pool to wash off the dust of the ground. This he does without arguements or 'buts'. He does not attempt to describe his condition or the length of time he has had it, he obeys. By the time he returns Jesus has moved on and the man, unaided, no longer needing to be lead, goes home. This is the talk of the town for never before had anyone who had been born blind been healed. So much for birth defects.
There is more to the story but for the purpose of this week's Lesson, it is another example of our freedom from any belief of an everlasting punishment. Freedom given by the Christ. I believe more than this man were healed that day as word of this spread. Spiritual blindness dispelled by the light of Truth.
We are also followers of the Christ. When we see someone who appears to have a physical challenge do we ask the wrong question? Do we try to figure out some material answer for what caused it, or even condemn them for past behavior? Isn't that what Jonah was learning as he went to Ninevah?
Let's not get caught arguing on the wrong side. Let's look through God's eyes and see the perfect man, the idea of divine Mind's creating. Purity.