John Chapter 9 Continued
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.”
In the last lesson, we closed with the Pharisees being of different opinions. Some believed He was of God, and some did not. Now they want the blind man to settle this argument for them by telling them who Jesus is.
The blind man does not know. He realizes there is something supernatural about Jesus, so for a better explanation, he calls Him a prophet.
People throughout the ages have been willing to admit that Jesus was a prophet, because they, too, realize that He had more power than anyone they had ever known. The truth is that Jesus Christ was God the Word, God the Son.
Until we realize that Jesus was God the Word, who took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us, we will be like this blind man who called Him a prophet. We will not know the fullness of Him until we realize that He is, was, and always will be Immanuel, God with us.
While the blind man saw clearly that Jesus was more than a mere man, the sighted but obstinate Pharisees were spiritually blind to that truth (see verse 39). Blindness in the Bible is a metaphor for spiritual darkness, i.e., the inability to discern God or His truth.
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.”
These particular Jews had not seen this miracle take place. They did not even believe that the man had been blind before. Now they are badgering the man who had received his sight.
They wanted some solid evidence that he had really been blind, so they call for the man’s father and mother. They knew they were not capable of restoring sight to the blind, so they believed that this could not be.
While neighbors may have been mistaken as to the man’s identity, the parents would know if this was their own son. The authorities considered the witness of the healed man worthless.
John 9:19-21 “And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?” “His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:” “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.”
These parents were reluctant to say too much, because they feared the Jewish leaders. They say ask him. Let him be responsible for whatever has occurred. They even add that he is of age. The Jews first want to know if this is really their son. If he is their son, they want to hear the parents say that he was blind from birth. If even this is true, then they want to know how he can now see.
The parents were probably not there when he received his sight. It looks to me like they should have been proud to give credit to whomever restored their son’s sight. We see in verse 22, why they were reluctant to say.
John 9:22-23 “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.” “Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.”
To an Israelite, about the worst thing that could happen to him was that he would be banished from the synagogue. I cannot imagine the pain of a parent with a child born blind however. It seems to me that my joy over a blind child that could now see would be so great, that it would diminish my fear of having to leave the synagogue.
If this son is truly of age, then they have suffered twenty years or more knowing their son could never see. I cannot imagine their reluctance to praise Jesus for this miracle.
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.”
This means that the authorities wanted the man to own up and admit the truth that Jesus was a sinner because he violated their traditions and threatened their influence (Joshua 7:19).
“We know this man is a sinner”, they said. Enough unanimity existed among the religious authorities to conclude that Jesus was a sinner (8:46). Because of this already predetermined opinion, they refused to accept any of the testimony that a miracle had actually taken place.
These Jews were not willing to accept Jesus as their Messiah, even if they condemned themselves by not admitting the obvious only conclusion. The praise should be to the one who healed him. Little did they know that Jesus was God manifest in the flesh.
All men are sinners. This really was not a man, but God the Son housed in the body of man. In a way they spoke truth, because man should not take credit for things God did.
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.”
This man who could now see has no idea who healed him. He just knows that he was blind and now can see. He will not deny that he can see, for fear his blindness might return.
John 9:26-27 “Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? How opened he thine eyes?” “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?”
In order to forcefully emphasize their hypocrisy, the healed man resorted to biting sarcasm when he suggested they desired to be Jesus’ disciples.
We see here, that these Jews are not willing to accept the truth. It appears the answer the man (healed of blindness), gives them is a bit sarcastic. He says, if I tell you again, will you believe and follow Him? He says, does telling you more than once make you any more willing to believe?
John 9:28 “Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.”
Here we see disciple used as someone who disciplines themselves and follows someone. They are willing to accept the teaching of someone who they decide to follow. That makes them disciples of Moses, since Moses gave them the teaching they are willing to follow.
At this point, the meeting degenerated into a shouting match of insults. The healed man’s wit had exposed the bias of his inquisitors. As far as the authorities were concerned, the conflict between Jesus and Moses was irreconcilable. If the healed man defended Jesus, then such defense could only mean that he was Jesus’ disciple.
John 9:29 “We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.”
This is really a lie. They have no first hand knowledge of Moses. The only thing they really know of Moses is that they have been taught that he gave the law. The difference is that they accepted the teaching that Moses gave the law, and they did not accept Jesus’ teaching that He is Messiah.
John 9:30 “The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.”
The healed man demonstrated more spiritual insight and common sense than all of the religious authorities combined who sat in judgment of Jesus and him. His penetrating wit focused in on their intractable unbelief.
His logic was that such an extraordinary miracle could only indicate that Jesus was from God, for the Jews believed that God responds in proportion to the righteousness of the one praying. The greatness of the miracle could only indicate that Jesus was actually from God.
In verses 31-33, Jesus could not work the miracles if He were a sinner as they said.
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.”
This is pretty straightforward; God does not hear the prayers of sinners unless it is the prayer of forgiveness for the sins which caused Jesus to die for them (repentance). Nor does God hear those Christians who commit habitual un-confessed sin until they too repent for those sins.
(Verse 31), makes it clear, God does not hear sinners (unrepentant), but those who are His and do His will, those He hears.
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 9:32 “Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.”
You see here, that this man, whose sight was given to him by Jesus, is more aware of the things from God’s teaching than these (so called), learned men of the law. He reminds them that they were not able to give him sight, even with all of their intelligence of the law.
They claimed to be God’s representative to the people, why could they not give him his sight? They claim to be better than Jesus, so why could they not do the miracles Jesus did? The man just simply says, you are sinners, because you could not do this. Jesus is free of sin, because God answers His prayer. He says it all in verse 33.
John 9:33 “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.”
In this scripture, he just the same as calls them sinners.
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.”
They were so puffed up with pride that they could not be taught of anyone. They certainly would not be taught of him, because they thought themselves better than him. He probably did not care that they threw him out of the synagogue. He was not ashamed of Jesus.
The Pharisees were so incensed with the man, and their anger prevented them from seeing the penetrating insight that the uneducated, healed man had demonstrated. The phrase “dost thou teach us”, also revealed their ignorance of Scripture, for the Old Testament indicated that the coming messianic age would be evidenced by restoration of sight to the blind. (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7; Matt. 11:4-5; Luke 4:18-19).
While (verses 1-34), dealt with Jesus’ restoration of physical sight in the blind man (verses 35-41), featured Jesus bringing spiritual “sight” to him.
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?”
Jesus comes to him and asks him the most important question that any of us ever answer “Do you believe on the Son of God?” You see, Jesus had never told this man who He was.
Jesus invited the man to put his trust in Him as the One who revealed God to man. Jesus placed great emphasis on public acknowledgment of who He was and confession of faith in Him. As a marginal note, this should be Son of Man.
John 9:36 “He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on Him?”
We see here, a man eager to learn. He knows whatever Jesus tells him is the truth. He calls Jesus, Lord. We see in this, a willingness to follow Jesus. He will follow and believe on whoever Jesus says He is.
The word Lord here should be understood not as an indication that he understood Jesus’ deity but as meaning “sir” (see verse 38 also). Since the blind man had never seen Jesus (verse 7), nor meet Him since he went to wash in the pool, he did not recognize Jesus at first as the One who healed him.
John 9:37 “And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.”
Jesus confirms His deity once again.
This time Jesus leaves no doubt who He is. I think the reason that Jesus didn’t say: It is I, is because He reminds the man that He is the same one who gave him his sight. He says you have seen Him.
John 9:38 “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”
We see here, the blind man who received his sight was not nearly as blind as these Jewish leaders who did not believe unto everlasting life. When the opportunity was offered, this man believed.
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.”
We see here, that Jesus is speaking of the spiritual and not the physical. He has taught a beautiful story about how the physical house of Israel, who had the law, will be blinded to the gift of grace that He (Jesus), will bring to those who do not have the law (the Gentiles).
Jesus was rejected by God’s own chosen people (the Jews). The Gentiles (those who had previously been in spiritual darkness), would see and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.
“For judgment”: Not that His purpose was to condemn, but rather to save (12:47 and Luke 19:10); saving some, nevertheless, involves condemning others. The last part of this verse is taken from (Isaiah 6:10; 42:19 & Mark 4:12).
“They which see not” are those people who know they are in spiritual darkness. “Those which see refers in an ironic way to those who think they are in the light, but are not (Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31).
John 9:40 “And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?”
These Pharisees were like the lukewarm Christians of today. They claimed to be His followers, but they were only following Him on the surface. They were not truly His followers, willing to stop being Pharisees.
In 2 Timothy, it calls people like this “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”
“Are we blind also?” Apparently, Jesus found the man in a public place (verse 35), where the Pharisees were present, listening.
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.”
These Pharisees were proud that they were learned in the law. The law had promised a Messiah. If they had truly realized Jesus to be this Messiah, they should have stopped being proud that they had the law, and realized they were nothing until they forsook all and followed Jesus.
Jesus had particular reference to the sin of unbelief and rejection of Him as Messiah and Son of God. If they knew their lostness and darkness, and cried out for spiritual light, they would no longer be guilty of the sin of unbelief in Christ. But satisfied that their darkness was light, and continuing in rejection of Christ, their sin remains.
John 9 Continued Questions
1. What did the blind man call Jesus in verse 17?
2. What had divided the Pharisees?
3. Who is Jesus Christ, really?
4. What did these Jews not believe?
5. Who did they call to confirm it?
6. What three things did they want to know from the blind man’s parents?
7. How did the parents answer?
8. What made them not tell who did this miracle?
9. What did they add when they told these Jews to ask their son?
10. What would happen to anyone who believed that Jesus was Christ?
11. These Jews said give God the praise and then called Jesus what?
12. What did the blind man say to the Jews in answer to their saying this about Jesus?
13. What did the blind man say to them when they asked for him to tell them again how he was healed?
14. Whose disciples were these Jews?
15. How is disciple used in verse 28?
16. What lie did the Jews tell in verse 29?
17. The man said we know that God heareth _____ _________.
18. Who had ever opened anyone’s eyes who had been blind from birth?
19. If they were ________________ than Jesus, why could they not open his eyes?
20. In verse 33, what is the strong statement the man makes to the Jews?
21. What is the prideful statement these Jews make to the man?
22. What did they do to the man whose sight had been given him?
23. What did Jesus do when He found that they had thrown him out?
24. What question did Jesus ask him?
25. What did he call Jesus?
26. In verse 38, what did the man say that we all need to say?
27. Why did Jesus say He came into the world?
28. What did some of the Pharisees who followed Jesus ask?
29. Who, in our day, can they be compared to?
30. What had given them so much pride?
31. What must they realize to be acceptable to Jesus?