-In passing by, Jesus saw a blind man who had been that way from birth. His disciples took this opportunity to ask a serious question, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” They, like many of us, wondered at the mystery of life and why some people are born with advantages while other are born with extreme disadvantages. It was a question about fairness and judgment essentially. Jesus obviously perceived this and answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Then He continued, “We (notice the plurality here) must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” Then, He performed yet another miracle. He spat on the ground making clay of the spittle and applied it to the blind man’s eyes. After this, He told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam (Sent). The man came back healed with eyesight. This captured the attention of those bystanders who knew him as the blind beggar. They rationally wanted to know how this miracle had transpired, and so he told them exactly how it happened. The people wanted to know where his Healer was, but the man didn’t know (John 9:1-12).
-These folks brought the man to the religious leaders, the Pharisees. Problem being, Jesus had healed this man on the Sabbath by making the clay and opening his eyes. This violated the man-made traditions of their law, so they inquired of the man. When it was revealed that it indeed was Jesus, a division arose between those who recognized His power and those who accused Him of being a sinner because of His grievance with their law. The healed man maintained a position exclaiming Him as a prophet, since he had experienced this miracle. The Jews were not so fast to accept the situation and fetched his parents to get more details. When they were questioned, they verified the facts that he had been blind since his birth and that this was actually their son. They had no idea how he had been healed though. They told the authorities to ask him how this happened since he was of adult age, plus they feared the repercussions of those perceived to confessing Jesus as the Christ. People were by now being cast out of the synagogue when they accepted the words of the Messiah. Now, the former blind man was called back and instructed to give glory to God and denounce this sinner, Jesus. The man answered them honestly, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They then wanted a recount of his story in what He did to him and how He opened his eyes. He got somewhat belligerent with them at this point, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” This led to a reviling by the religious authorities as they called him a disciple of the Lord. They purported that they were disciples of Moses, whom they knew spoke the words of God. They were again, slow and not willing to understand that Jesus was the Messiah. Their doubts overwhelmed them. The healed man made an astoundingly astute observation now, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” The evil Pharisees had now had enough, and condemned him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” This was the height of their own blind-arrogance in this situation. They ended up putting him out of the synagogue, which was the most shameful thing a person could have happen to them in the land of Israel (John 9:13-34).
-But, this thankfully is not the end of the story. Jesus heard that they had put him out and found him. He asked him the most important question of his life at this juncture, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He responded, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus revealed, “You have both seen Him, and He is the One who is talking with you.” The man was converted, “Lord, I believe.” And, he worshiped Him. Jesus now summed up the point, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” The Pharisees who were in ear shot of this saying remarked, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus responded, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains (John 9:35-41).”
-*Application*- The whole “Light of the World” theme should now be so apparent to us from this passage. Are we seeing with the Light of the LORD through His Son Jesus in humble faith, or are we still blinded by our own lusts, power, and pride? The choice, as always, is ours to make.
Verses to Memorize: John 9:3, 25, 39