Man Born blind Healed; Following Consequences

 Jerusalem
(5) Man Born blind Healed; Following Consequences
John 9:1-41


The Lord has been giving His discourse on the Light of the World.  Because He claimed He is God, the Jews wanted to kill Him.  Jesus “hid” Himself as He went out of the temple, “going through the midst of them” (John 8:59).  It was a miracle that He could escape this angry mob.  His time had not yet come, and so they could not lay their hands on him.

The incident which now follows is still really a continuation of the discourse on the Light of the World.  The enemies of the Lord Jesus could not see because they were spiritually blind.  The blind man also could not see, even when the Light of the World stood before him, but Jesus is going to reveal Himself to him.  Before the blind man can see, he must have his eyes restored.  Light must be received.  There must be a receiver as well as a sender of Light.

(John 9:1-2)  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

The disciples want to establish the cause of his disease.  They want to discuss who’s at fault, who is it that sinned.  In their day there were probably four answers they would have given.  The pagans of that day, and many of today also, believed in reincarnation and held that inherited disease could be the result of sins committed during a former existence.  The Jews never did accept this explanation.  Then there is the argument of heredity, that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and forth generations (see Exodus 20:5).  We know that this is possible and that blindness in some cases can be the result of the sin of the parent.  Then, there was the explanation that the sin of Adam was passed to each member of the human family so that all are subject to death and disease.  And finally, the Jewish rabbis believed that a child in the womb could sin.

(John 9:3-5)  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.   I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Jesus doesn’t give them the answer they wanted.  He says the important thing is not to probe around in the past and try to find out who is guilty.  The thing to do is to cure the man.  It may be true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but after a man is sick, it is pretty important to get that pound of cure for him.

God has His own wise reasons for permitting sickness, disease, suffering and trouble.  God doesn’t always reveal to us why He permits things.  God has His way and He doesn’t propose to tell us all His reasons.  He does ask us to walk with him by faith through the dark times of our lives.

I think we need to understand that our Lord is not saying for one minute that this man was some sort of spiritual guinea pig.  I believe the punctuation in the verse misleads us.  Jesus is saying, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents.  But that the works of God should be made manifest in him, I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day.”

God has created you and me for His glory.  He did not create us so that we might try to be somebody down here.  He created us for His glory.  If we miss that, we miss the entire purpose for our creation.  These trials and sufferings come to us because they bring about the glory of God.  Not only will this blind man see (and think how much he will enjoy seeing all the rest of his life), but also he will see Jesus Christ and come to know Him as his Savior.

(John 9:6-7)  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, 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.

Christ had to touch the blind man, and the blind man had to obey Christ.  Christ must touch our spiritual vision and bring new life to the dead spiritual optic nerve.  It is not a question of who sinned.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).  If Christ has not touched your spiritual eyes, you are not seeing.

There are a lot of people in our churches today who are blind, and don’t know it.  Pontius Pilate asked, "What is truth?” (John 18:38) as he was standing right in the presence of the One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).  We need to let Christ touch our eyes so that we can see.

You will notice that Christ touched this man although the man could still not see Him.  Then Jesus asked Him to go wash, and the man obeyed.  We may ask why Jesus used this method to heal this man.  I think there are several reasons:
(1) This gospel sets forth the deity of Christ, but it also sets forth Jesus as a man.  Jesus had just claimed his deity and now He touches the blind man, man to man. 
(2) The blind man must obey the Lord Jesus Christ if he is to see.
(3) The Lord sent him to the pool which is called Siloam, and John makes a point of telling us Siloam means “sent.”  Even the name of the pool bears testimony that Jesus has been sent from the Father, and in the same way He is sending him.
(4) The blind man needed the water to make him see.  The water represents the Word of God in many passages of scriptures.  It is my opinion that there has never been a conversion without the Word of God.  “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130). 
(5) The Jews needed this testimony because in verse 29 they say, “We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.”  They must see by this healing of the blind man that Jesus is the God-man who is sent by the Father.

I want to stop here and show how the condition of the blind man parallels our condition before we were saved.

(1) The blind man was outside the temple, shut out from God.  Remember that Paul says in Ephesians 2:12 that we were strangers from the covenant of promise, that we had no hope; we were without God in the world.  That is the condition of everyone before he is saved.  Without God, without hope, shut out!
(2) The man was blind.  He was unable to see the Savior.  We were blind without Christ.  Did you see Him as your Savior before you were saved?  Was He the wonderful One to you then?  No.  We were blind.
(3) The man had been blind from birth.  We were born in sin.  We came into this world as sinners.
(4) The blind man was beyond human help.  Nobody had a cure for his blindness.  We were helpless sinners in this world and no one had a cure for us.
(5) He was a beggar.  This is what hurts a lot of people.  They hate to admit they are beggars.  They would be willing to pay for salvation, but it is not for sale.  You have to come to God for salvation as this beggar did.  God gives it away.  This beggar could never have bought salvation, because he had nothing with which to buy it.  Listen to this appeal to the poor: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1).
(6) He made no appeal to Jesus.  Blind Bartimaeus was loud and insistent, but this man just sat there.  He didn’t know Jesus.  It took him a long time to grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Friend, did you really want to get saved?  Were you looking for salvation?  Were you looking for the Lord Jesus?  If you are the average person, you were not.  You were not looking for Him, but He was looking for you.  That is the story of man and his salvation.
(7) There was no pity shown to him by others.  The Jews passed him by on the way to the temple.  The disciples wanted to argue about him.  They had no intention of showing any mercy to this man, and they were not prepared to do anything for him.  This is a picture of the human family.  Christ feels compassion for us, and Christ alone can help us.

There is a change in this man who had been blind.  He no longer must feel his way home every day but walks home seeing.  I think this man was shouting, “Hallelujah, I can see!”

Next, let’s look at the reaction to the miracle by the man’s neighbors, the Pharisees, the man’s parents, and finally let’s see what happens when he meets Jesus again.

THE NEIGHBORS

(John 9:8-9)  The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?  Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

Can’t you picture the neighborhood?  Someone stands at the window and says, “Look, there is the blind man.”  His wife goes to the door to look and says, “That is not the blind man.  He looks like the blind man, but He is not blind.”  So the man must identify himself to his own neighbors.

The neighbors knew something had happened to him.  I do not believe that if you were truly converted, if you have changed from blindness to seeing, you can go on without people noticing that you have changed.  If there is no evidence of a change, then something is wrong, radically wrong.

(John 9:10-12) Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?  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.  Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

I love the testimony of this man.  He told only what he knew—a good, honest sincere testimony.  He grew in perception every time he gave his testimony.  Notice how accurate the Word of God is.  He didn’t say Jesus took spittle and made clay.  In his blindness, he didn’t know that.  All he knew was that he felt clay rubbed on his eyes.  His testimony is honest, not elaborate or glamorized.

Salvation is really a simple matter.  It is coming to the Lord Jesus and experiencing the power of God.  This man hadn’t even seen Jesus and yet the Lord Jesus had opened his eyes.  The important thing for us is not to see Jesus but to believe in Him.

THE PHARISEES

(John 9:13-15)  They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.  And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.   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.

Again, the man’s testimony is very simple.  You would think these Pharisees would rejoice that a blind man could now see.  You’d think they would break out in a “Hallelujah chorus.”  Not this cold blooded crowd!  Now notice the reaction of the Pharisees.  They just don’t know what to do about a man who was born blind that is now walking around seeing.

(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.

These men were undoubtedly some of the cleverest men on earth.  I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would have been more than a match for the Greek philosophers.  They were experts at arguing.  Their argument consists of a major hypothesis, a minor hypothesis and then a conclusion.  If both the hypothesis ate true, then the conclusion will be true.  But if either of the hypotheses is false, the conclusion will be false.  Here is there reasoning:
• Major hypothesis—all people from God keep the Sabbath.
• Minor hypothesis—Jesus does not keep the Sabbath.
• Conclusion—Jesus is not from God.
Their false major hypothesis kept people from coming to the true conclusion.  If both Hypotheses had been true, their conclusion would have been true. 
• Major hypothesis—only people from God can open the eyes of a man born blind.
• Minor hypothesis—Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man.
• Conclusion—Jesus is from God.
Unfortunately, we find similar controversies going on in our churches today.  There are arguments over nonessentials while the world outside is dying and going to hell, blind to the gospel.  There is still the same old argument.  “He doesn’t keep the Sabbath”—which means “He doesn’t do it our way.”

(John 9:17-18)  They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.  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.

In making their case against Jesus they ask, “How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?”  This is the very thing which helped the blind man to grow in his perception.  If a sinner can’t do such miracles, yet because of Him he can see, then this One must be a prophet!  He must be from God.  The blind man has taken another step. 

“But the Jews did not believe concerning him.”  When men don’t want to believe concerning a thing, it’s amazing what little failings they will attempt to dig up to really get away from the truth.  Because they won’t accept the man’s testimony, they call in his parents.

THE PARENTS

(John 9:19-22)  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 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.

Here is religious conniving, and it is one of the most malicious things that’s imaginable.  The religious rulers are trying to find somebody they can hang this on, and the parents want to get off the hook.  These rulers never contested the fact that the man had been blind and now could see.  It is only professors in swivel chairs and universities who doubt the miracles Jesus performed.  The people who were present never doubted that a miracle had been performed.

(John 9:23)  Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.

The parents knew that a miracle had been done.  But they were not prepared to explain how the miracle had been done.  They did not want to be excommunicated because that would completely ostracize them, and they didn’t want to get into that kind of trouble.   Since the religious rulers cannot deny the miracle, they will try to keep the Lord Jesus from receiving the credit for it.

(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.

The Jews now go back to their first argument: this man is a sinner because He broke the Sabbath.  Don’t give glory to this Man, the Lord Jesus.  Give glory to God.  My, doesn’t that sound nice and pious!

(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.

He hasn’t seen the Lord Jesus yet.  This is the second time they have brought him into court, and he’s a little weary of the whole thing.  Yet, listen to his testimony, “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”

This is the testimony of a sinner who has been saved.  Once I was blind but now I see.  Once I was in spiritual darkness but now I am in spiritual light.  Once I did not know Christ, but now I know Him as my Savior. 

(John 9:26)  Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?

The Pharisees are really up against it.  They are trying their best to find some little flaw that they can seize upon to explain away this miracle that has been performed.  They cannot simply dismiss it as theologians and professors try to do today.  The man is there and he can see.

(John 9:27-28)  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?  Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.

The man who had been blind is beginning to understand what they are doing, and he gets a little sarcastic with them.  “Will ye also be his disciples?”   He makes another interesting observation, “Would ye hear it again.”  Not only are the Pharisees blind so they cannot see the Light of the World, they are also deaf so that they cannot hear.

(John 9:29-34)  We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.  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.  Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.   Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.  If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.  They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

The religious rulers insult him.  You can notice again that, when men do not have an answer, they will resort to ridicule.  Inadvertently they have slowly moved the blind man into a line of logic so that he knows only a man from God could do such a miracle: there is no doubt that he had been healed, so this man must be from God.  Remember, he still has never seen Jesus.

These rulers have no answer.  They cannot meet the argument or give a satisfactory explanation.  The facts confound and contradict them.  What do they do?  They cast the man out.   This excommunication shut him out of the temple.  It also shut him out of business.  It made him an outcast, almost like a leper.  He would be shut out of everything religious and social.

THE BLIND MAN MEETS JESUS

(John 9:35-38)  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?  He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

The Lord Jesus comes on the scene.  This man has defended the Lord Jesus, and has come out a winner in the argument, but he has been cast out by the religious rulers.   It is quite wonderful that the Lord Jesus comes to him.  Friends, it is always Jesus who looks for the man.  The Lord has prepared this man all along the way.  Now this man must put his faith in the Son of God.  Our Lord now comes to him with that crucial question: “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”  The experiences through which he has gone has strengthened his faith and clarified his thinking.  The Lord knows that he is ready for this final step.  This man is so very open, so honest and so sincere.  He asks who the Son of God is so that he might believe.  You can see the eagerness in this man.  He wants to go farther.  He wants to come to know Him.  Our Lord responds in this lovely way, “Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.”  The man believes Him and worships Him.  This is one of the finest instances of faith that we have in the whole Bible.  Our Lord took this blind man step-by-step and brought him to His feet where he could say, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped Him.

It is the same steps with every sinner.  We are blind at first.  We are lost sinners, and we don’t even see our lost condition.  Then we come to Christ.  He reveals Himself to us; our eyes are open and we see who He is and what He has done for us.  Then the question is: “Will you believe?”  This man’s answer can also be your answer, “Lord, I believe.”  And you will fall at His feet and worship Him.

(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.

It seems to be a strange statement.  The Lord says that there are those who have eyes and see not.  They have physical eyes and physical sight. But they’re blind spiritually.  If a man will admit he is blind and will come to Jesus as a blind man, Jesus will give him spiritual insight.  Paul writes, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).

My friends, if you have come into the presence of the lord Jesus, the Light of the World, and still say, “What is truth?” or “I just don’t see that He is my Savior, or “I don’t understand what this is about,” then you are not seeing.  You are spiritually blind.  The Pharisees had eyes; they thought they saw; they were religious people, zealous people, and yet they were blind.

The heathen are lost.  They are in darkness.  Yet the Lord puts each man through a series of steps.  If there is any man today out yonder in heathenism who wants to know about Jesus, the Lord will get the gospel to him.  The man who sets in the church pew and hears the preaching of the Word of God and the giving out of the gospel is in the presence of the Light.  That light reveals his blindness.  Jesus said, “…If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23).  If you know the facts about Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, but you will not believe, then, my friends, you are spiritually blind and there is nothing else to offer you.  If you have been in the presence of the Savior of the world and have rejected Him, there is no other Savior to offer you.

(John 9:40-41)  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

We began with a blind man that was healed so that he saw, both spiritually and physically.  We end with religious rulers who are terribly, tragically blind, yet who thought they could see.  In the presence of Christ, in the presence of the Light, in the presence of the revelation of God, they said they had no sin.

Some of the most inflexible people today are the atheists and the cultist.  They say they see, but they are blind.  They reject the Lord Jesus Christ, and so their sin remains.  Although they are not walking around with a white walking stick, they are blind.

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