Reading the Bible Without The Veil of Dogma: The Father Sickens, Jesus Heals

If there is an omnipotent being, is it really that marvelous that he can cure blindness?

There is something blinding about reading the Bible as sacred text. You read without reading. You record without analyzing. You see and yet fail to perceive.

For eight years, I most looked forward to Holy Week; I spent hours listening to the chanting of the Biblical text and was lulled into such a stupor that I failed to see the nakedness of the emperor.
One such text was the Johannine story of the healing of the man born blind from birth:   
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes,  saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent) (John 9:1-7)
In the Christian tradition, this story is an icon of the revelation of the revelation of God in Christ. Jesus is the one sent and this is emphasized by the Gospel writer through the use of the pool of Siloam, which means sent. How clever!
Jesus uses the very stuff of creation to heal the blind man, the stuff of his mouth, and combines it with the Earth to make mud—the very material that recorded in Genesis to create humanity. In doing so, Jesus takes part in the creative process; he shows himself to be God.
Like much of the Gospel of John, it is filled with irony. It is not ultimately a story about physical blindness, for in the Bible, physical ailment is but a minor inconvenience. It is rather a story about spiritual blindness; it is the blind man who actually sees:
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.”  He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.  Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains (John 9:35-41).
At the risk of taxing your atheistic patience, I share all of these to reveal the questions that fascinated me for so long and to showcase the intellectual and moral blindness that it ensued.
Why Jesus’s revelation of his divinity should have so captured my imagination seems strange to me now. What an uninteresting bit of data, especially, when one considers the more salient questions the story raises.
Let us consider the first question posed by Jesus’s disciples. Who sinned that this man was born blind?
The question reveals a certain assumption by the universe and the deity who governs it. It tells us that the disciples believe in a God who is just. If he allows a person to be afflicted and reduced to begging for his sustenance, it must be because there is some cosmic debt to be paid.
Of course, there are many problems with this assumption. First, how could a child have sinned sufficiently to deserve blindness? Secondly, would it be just to punish a child for the infractions of his parents?
Admittedly, this view of justice deserves much refinement and we should all be grateful that Jesus is recorded as having said neither. Imagine how Western medicine would have been impacted by Jesus implying that illness is the sufferer’s just dessert.
Nonetheless, Jesus’s response does not do much to buttress our confidence in the justice of his father. Let’s look at it again.
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”
So, why did this man spend decades of his life deprived of eyesight? To create the conditions necessary for God to heal him. The father caused him to be born blind so that Jesus can show off his power to heal.
According to this story, after Yahweh spent all those centuries telling the children of Israel that he is one, and should not be cast in any physical form, he casts himself in physical form to amend the very important Jewish shema: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Actually, I am not one, God decides to finally tell us. I am a mystery (ahem, self-contradiction), and I have had a son all along. Yes, all along. He is eternal, but still my son. And you know this is true because I caused someone to be born blind and now, I am sending my son to heal him with mud.
Is it really surprising that the people who best understood the Hebrew Bible found this unpersuasive?
Moreover, let’s us imagine that all of this is true. Is awe the most appropriate response to this kind of deity? Do you even feel safe in a universe run by such a being?
This is a universe in which the supreme being can withhold valuable information for centuries, and cause illnesses so that he can use them in order to reveal that which he could have revealed all along without using sentient beings as pawns.  
The father and Jesus are like an arsonist and firefighter tag team. One sets the fire and the other takes it out. And we are all supposed to be impressed that someone can set fires and another can take it out.
If there is an omnipotent being, is it really that marvelous that he can cure blindness? Wouldn’t that go without saying? Would we not want to know more important aspects of his character, such as whether he is good or a sadist who doesn’t even have the virtue of being creative?