Blindness of Timaeus – Son of Plato
Long before the time of Jesus Plato wrote the classic Timaeus providing an expression of Socrates and his thoughts. This piece is a discourse about the nature of the universe.
This literature would have been a source of logic and reason for the then-modern Jew. The people were Hellenized in their manner of thinking.
Therefore, in this Gospel reading today we are witnessing bar-Timaeus (Son of Timaeus from the city of Jericho, the place of failing flesh) reconsidering all these things taught in this Platonic philosophy.
This Son of Plato (an apt title for this Gospel story) had a solid philosophical framework for creation, for the animation of life, and the origins / essence of body and soul. It provided a framework of ‘how’ but not the ‘why’ and not the ‘who’.
He was blind or said another way blinded by his philosophy. He knew a framework of creation and accepted the premise of his being alive. He accepted a concept of morals and moral life without a connection to person. The God of Plato does not hear. The God of Plato does not ask questions. The God of Plato simply doesn’t care what you do.
Using this now as a starting point to Timaeus meeting Jesus. There was a throng of people, a cacophony of noise. It is doubtful an ordinary person could hear him. Jesus heard him. “Jesus, son of David, Have pity on me… Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus can always hear. What do you want me to do for you?
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Jesus, the divine image always hears. Jesus the divine image always asks what we need.
Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way (“The Way” – the first expression of the new Christian sect).
Timaeus received first of all spiritual sight where the eyes of his heart were opened. Also the eyes of his body. For Timaeus the way of philosophy, void of person, is no longer his path. His path now is the way of engagement of the divine and human on the journey from Jericho to Jerusalem, from the place of failing flesh to the place of divine love.
In light of the attacks this week of the mailing of pipe bombs and the violent attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, we are reminded that ideological frameworks and philosophical viewpoints are void of humanity and is the way of rotting flesh. Bar-Timaeus needed to be rescued by the divine from the blindness of philosophy and political ideology. He cast aside that cloak and received divine insights and a new path in life.
All of us must do the same!
What is your cloak? What empty political ideology and firmly held philosophy of life that has stripped the humanity out of you? How blind are you to the divine?
Cast off the cloak… Son of David, have pity on us!!
Peace be with you,