HIGHLIGHTED PASSAGE: (1-12) THE HEALING OF THE BLIND MAN
1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”
But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”
10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?”
(11-12) He shared his miraculous experience. They asked where the man was who healed him, but Jesus had left and the man didn’t know where he went.
OVERVIEW OF JOHN 9
(1-12) Jesus heals a man born blind. Those who know the man, a beggar, ask him who healed him, and the now-sighted man shares his experience. (Note: He did not know it was Jesus at the time.)
>If you did not already read it, please scroll up to Highlighted Passage to learn the details.
(13-34) Hearing about the miracle, the Pharisees question the man. It’s the same old story with those Pharisees, they’re doubting the healer was from God, because he would know better than to work on the Sabbath. Other people wondered how an ordinary sinner could do miraculous signs.
(The Jewish leaders could not see that Jesus was demonstrating that it is right to care for the needs of others – to work – in doing so, even if it is on the Sabbath.)
They continue to ask him who the healer was, how did he heal him, where did the healer come from? The response is best given by the actual verse (NLT).
30 “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”
Then the Pharisees threw him out of the synagogue.
(35-39) Jesus reveals himself to the formerly blind man.
35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
Key verse: 39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”
Key verse: 41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
Link to complete chapter John 9: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%209&version=NLT
LESSONS AND APPLICATION:
If God removed suffering when we asked, we would follow him for comfort and convenience, not out of love and devotion.
In this fallen world, goodness is not always rewarded, and innocence sometimes suffers.
Jesus can help us deal with suffering and trials. Ask God to give us strength and a clearer perspective on what is happening, instead of asking, “Why me?”
(8-12) You don’t need to know all the answers to share Christ with others. Tell how he changed your life.
(38) We see Christ better as we grow closer to him.
(40-41) These verses are about spiritual blindness. Stubbornness and stupidity were enough to excuse the Pharisees’ behavior, if they knew they were blind to it and realized their sin after their interactions with Jesus. Their problem is that they were self-satisfied and claimed they could “see”.
Blind are those who cannot see God when they look at a precious baby or the beauty and power of nature. (I was healed of this particular blindness.)
Blind are those who, like the Pharisees, can hear or read the Bible and not see that Jesus fulfilled multiple prophecies of the Old Testament, who deny other evidence, who are blind to the truth.
Blind at times are Christians who trust in and try to obey God, but who have times of doing what we want, being self-centered, saying something we regret, or deciding that our way is the best way. At those moments, you might say we have blind spots. Pride blinds us as Satan puts his hands over the “eyes of our hearts”.
Having sight, in the context of John 9, is more than the result of our eyes functioning normally. We see with our hearts, in a metaphorical sense, don’t we? I’m reminded of a song we’ve sung in church – “Open the Eyes of My Heart”.
May we each see God and what he wants us to see, by opening the eyes of our hearts.