John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
John 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
John 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
This chapter begins with an encounter between Jesus and His disciples and a man who has been blind since birth. The disciples ask Jesus why the man was born blind—for the sin of his parents or because of his own sin? This is a strange question to me since the man was blind from birth. If they thought it was because of sin—why would they think a baby would be born blind for sins he hadn’t even committed. Jesus quickly answered that it wasn’t because of sin, but so that the work of God could be displayed in his life.
All of us are born with a purpose. The scripture says that purpose is for God’s pleasure.
Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
The word pleasure in this verse means “a determination, choice, purpose.” We are individuals created to serve God’s purpose. We fulfill our purpose through the manifestation of His works in us.
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
I’ve read this story many times, but never really stopped to think about verses 4-5. What is the Lord saying? In chapter 6, verse 29, the Lord told us “the work of God is to believe on Him whom He hath sent.” The time is coming when the opportunity to believe will no longer be available. After death, the darkness of night sets in and there is no more opportunity to turn to Jesus. Jesus calls Himself the “light of the world.”
I liked this quote from JVMcGee: “The lack of sight does not mean that light is not there. Light reveals the condition of the eye. The “Light of the World” reveals the condition of the soul. The Pharisees thought they saw, but they were blind.”
“As long as I am in the world” is the part that is harder. It sounds like He is referring to His physical presence, but having light is equivalent to day—so that can’t be right. His presence is always with us, and He is still the light, and people are still being saved. The phrase “as long as” indicates a temporary time to respond to the light. “The world” must be the operative term. Maybe it should say this world in reference to the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth and this world will no longer be. As long as this world exists, the opportunity to respond to the light exists for those living on planet earth. There is one sure exception. During the tribulation, the seven years on earth prior to Jesus’ coming back as King, those who accept the mark of the beast will no longer have the opportunity to respond to the light after that point.
Revelation 14:9-10 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb….”
John 9:6 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,
John 9:7 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.
Then Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud with His saliva, and puts the mud on the man’s eyes. Then He tells the man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. So the man went, washed, and was made whole. He could see! Why didn’t the Lord just speak and command his eyes to see? I don’t know, but it makes a good object lesson. Dirt and mud represent sin and its filth. It blinds us to the truth. When we put our faith in Jesus as this man did (get rid of the “dirt and mud” in our lives), our spiritual eyes of faith are opened, and we begin to see and learn truths that were hidden from us before.
John 9:8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
John 9:9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
John 9:10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
John 9:11 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.
People began to recognize the man who was blind and used to sit and beg. Other people piped in that he only looked like the beggar. Then the man confirmed that he was that man. So they wanted to know how he was healed. He told them that a man called Jesus put mud on his eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam—and he did; then he could see. He was eager to share his good news and point the people to Jesus, the healer.
Another good thought from McGee with my paraphrase: When God touches your life, the difference is visible.
John 9:12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
John 9:13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
John 9:14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
John 9:15 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.
John 9:16 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.
John 9:17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
They (legalists looking to cause trouble) asked him where Jesus was, but he didn’t know. Then the people took the man to the Pharisees. Now we find out that it “just happened” to be the Sabbath when Jesus had healed him. The Pharisees asked him how he had received his sight, and the man repeated his story to the Pharisees. The Pharisees then determined that Jesus couldn’t be sent from God because He did not keep the Sabbath. Some of the Pharisees were of the opinion that a sinner could not perform such miracles. The Pharisees were divided in their opinion. Finally, they turned and asked the man who had been healed what he thought about Jesus. He told them that he thought Jesus was a prophet.
1) When we have believed something to be true for a long time, it is hard for us to accept that we may have been wrong.
2) When we are in a position of authority, we tend to attack or want to destroy anyone or anything that would jeopardize our position.
I really have to guard against #1 when I am studying the Word. I want my eyes and heart to be open to The Truth—wherever that leads.
John 9:18 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.
John 9:19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
John 9:20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
John 9:21 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.
John 9:22 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.
John 9:23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
Many of the Jews didn’t even believe the man had been blind until they sent for his parents. They asked them if he was their son, whether he was born blind, and how he was able to see. They confirmed that he was their son and he was born blind—but they did not know how he came to see. The parents were afraid because the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged Jesus as the Christ would be kicked out of the synagogue. This would basically ostracize one from society.
B. W. Johnson’s commentary states: “There were, according to Rabbinical writers, various degrees of excommunication, the mildest of thirty days duration. The effect of even the mildest grade was to render the offender a heathen, to cut him off from religious privileges, from association with his Jewish friends and neighbors, and even from his own family. If, at the end of thirty days, the offence was not repented of, a severer punishment was administered.”
So the parents told them to ask their son how he was healed; he was an adult and could speak for himself.
John 9:24 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.
John 9:25 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.
So the man was called before them again was told to give glory to God for his healing because Jesus was a sinner. The man was brave in his reply. He could not swear whether Jesus was a sinner or not, but he did know that once he was blind and now he could see (because of Jesus).
The last half of verse 25 should be the testimony of every believer—“one thing I know.” Once we become a child of God, we are privileged with spiritual sight that reveals how blind we have been. It’s like stepping into the sunlight out of the darkness. It’s a personal experience.
John 9:26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
John 9:27 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?
This man seems to be speaking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Again they asked him how his eyes were opened. (I am sure they were looking for a contradiction in his story.) He basically said—I’ve told you once already; didn’t you listen? Do you want to hear it again so that you can become his disciples too? (Obviously, he counted himself among the followers/disciples.)
John 9:28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.
John 9:29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
John 9:30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
John 9:32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.
John 9:33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
This statement caused them to insult him. They were disciples of Moses because they knew God had spoken to Moses. They didn’t even know where Jesus was from. Then the man is really bold. He basically said—Amazing! You don’t know where He’s from, but He healed me! We know God doesn’t listen to sinners; He listens to those who do His will. No one has ever heard of a man blind from birth being healed and made able to see. If this man weren’t from God, He could not have healed me.
This man “knew” that God does not hear sinners. How? I believe from the scripture.
Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me….”
Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
John 9:34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
The Jews basically called him a liar and threw him out.
John 9:35 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?
John 9:36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
John 9:37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
John 9:38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
Jesus heard what happened and found the man. He asked him if he believed in the Son of God. The man wanted to know who that was so he could believe in Him. (He had obeyed Jesus and gone home seeing—but had never seen Jesus.) Jesus identified Himself as He, and the man believed Him and worshipped Him.
This man’s heart was open and seeking. As Jesus said—only those who are sick need a physician.
Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”
Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
Mark 2:17 “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
John 9:39 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.
Verse 39 tells us that Jesus came into this world to judge (sin). He came so that those blinded by sin could be made to see, and those who think they know it all and refuse to recognize their sin would be blinded. It’s either/or with the truth—you either believe and see or reject and are blind.
John 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Some of the Pharisees who heard Him asked if He thought they were blind. Jesus basically tells them that to be blind means you don’t recognize your sin. You have to admit you are sick before a physician can help you.
They claimed to “see” the truth, but that claim didn’t get rid of the fact that they were sinners. They were just refusing to admit it.