In John Chapter 9, Jesus heals a man who has been blind from birth. The disciples wonder why this poor man was born blind, and conclude that this disability must be due to either the man’s parents’ sin or his own sin. Jesus answers, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (v. 3). Jesus is making no statement about why this man was born blind. He is merely saying that the occasion of this man’s blindness will provide an opportunity for God to display his great power. Jesus continues, “We 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” (vv. 5-6). And next, Jesus miraculously heals the man (vv. 6-7). This miracle was performed on a Sabbath day.
The Pharisees, who hated Jesus and were looking for ways to discredit him, were fanatical about no work being performed on the Sabbath. And they considered “healing” a work. Their jealousy and hatred of Jesus wouldn’t allow them to consider that these miracles could only be sourced in God (vv. 15-16). So, they say to the blind man, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he says, “He is a prophet.” As this account progresses, so does the blind man’s faith in Jesus. In verse 11, when asked about who it was that healed him, he responds, “The man who is called Jesus…” In verse 17, he refers to Jesus as a prophet. He has taken another step of faith in terms of how he perceives Jesus.
The Pharisees didn’t like that response. Their working theory was that this was all a hoax. Their next step is to question the man’s parents (vv. 18-23). Fearing excommunication from their synagogue, the parents decline to comment, and suggest the Pharisees once again question their son. “So, a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man (Jesus) is a sinner.” He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (vv. 24-25). But the Pharisees continue pressing the formerly blind man (vv. 26-27). Having already confessed Jesus as a healer and a prophet, the man now progresses in his faith to declare himself a disciple of Jesus. Of course, they don’t like his response (vv. 28-29). The Pharisees revile the man and claim they are disciples only of Moses. Yet the man is growing bolder by the minute. “The man answered and said to them, ‘Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes…If this man were not from God, He could do nothing’” (vv. 30, 33). In response, the Pharisees excommunicate the man. Since they couldn’t cope with his reasoning, they resorted to name-calling and censure.
Jesus then finds the man and asks: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to both as the Son of Man and as the Son of God, because he is both. He is both human and divine. “He answered, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him, (He is the one who healed you) and He is the one who is talking with you.’ And he said, ‘Lord, I believe’” (vv. 35-37). And he worships Him. Note the progress of this man’s faith: he recognized Jesus as a prophet, he became Jesus’ disciple (follower), he concluded Jesus was sent from God as the divine-hum an messiah, and then he believed and worshiped him!
“And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind’” (v. 39). What is Jesus saying? He is saying, “Listen, I came into the world to open the spiritual eyes of those who are seeking God but who are ignorantly blind. If they will admit their guilt, and turn to me in faith, I will pardon their sin and give them eternal life. But to those who wrongly think that have 20/20 spiritual vision, and have convinced themselves that they are so righteous that they don’t need the forgiveness that I offer, their rejection of me proves their spiritual blindness and confirms their guilt.” Verses 40-41: “Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, ‘We are not blind too, are we?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.’” In other words, “If you were ignorantly blind about your spiritual condition, if you humbly admitted your spiritual need, forgiveness could be yours. But because you pridefully persist that you have it all together spiritually, the guilt of your sin remains.” What about you? Who do you say Jesus is?
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
Only God can perform miracles. Jesus performed these miracles so that you might believe that he is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. So trust him! Allow him to open your eyes to a whole new spiritual reality!
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TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)