In the previous study, Jesus declared himself to be the light of the world. In this study, He restores a blind man's physical and spiritual
Jesus Heals a man born blind:
VERSE 1-3: "As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."
The disciples had seen this man as they were leaving the temple. Blind people would often be found near the temple begging. That was the only way they could make a living.
Jewish teachers often believed suffering and sickness was due to sin; that someone could be made to suffer for the sins of one's parents, or even for a sin committed by the mother during the pregnancy.
This curse, sometimes referred to as a Generational Curse, was surely removed by Jesus. Paul says, "there is now no condemnation." If God does not condemn us for our own sins, He surely will not condemn us for the sins of others, (Rom 8:1).
Nevertheless, we often carry the curses of our forefathers dating back perhaps, to
the Garden of Eden. We can also have their bad habits, features, and
propensities to do the wrong things. We might make the same mistakes, have
the same sicknesses, and so on.
So there are many reasons, to seek deliverance from things passed down from our forefathers, but these things are not due to the sins of our forefathers, because Jesus paid the price for all sins.
VERSE 4: "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
The contrast between day and night appears to be symbolic. In
that time, the ones who worked after dark were
shepherds and watchmen. Jobs that were essential but did not require lighting.
VERSE 5: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
In our previous study, Jesus said that He was the light of the world to all nations, and that all who did not follow Him were walking in darkness. As long as Jesus is present, there is light and illumination.
VERSE 6-7: "Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing."
The strange use of saliva in curing blindness is also found in
Mark 7:33, however, in that case it was applied direct,
and here, (in the man born blind), it was mixed with soil.
Our present medical professionals might disagree, but in that time, there was a belief that saliva was beneficial for a diseased eye. John made it clear that it was a miraculous healing, which occurred as the man obeyed by washing his eyes in "Siloam.
His healing was a result of his obedience, faith in Jesus, and the power of God.
VERSE 8-12: "The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?" 9Some said, "It is he." Others said, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the man."So they said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" 11He answered, "The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed and received my sight." 12They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know."
The people were debating the identity of the man
born blind that Jesus healed, and questioned his vague knowledge of Jesus.
People don't normally recover from being born blind. The man kept telling them He was the same one they had always known, but some of them just could not believe he was.
VERSES 13-14: "They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes."
We're not told who brought the man to the Pharisees, but it is likely to have been some who were hostile toward Jesus. Even though it was an act of mercy, making the clay on the Sabbath would have been against the law.
Regardless of how much good He had done, their response would be to charge Him with breaking the law.
VERSE 15: "So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see."
The Pharisees were interested in the method Jesus used, and He told them. The
Pharisees claimed to know God and everything about the law, but the man born
blind, who knew very little about the law, had met Jesus. He had
experienced a miracle these scholars could not refute.
VERSE 16-17: "Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them. 17So they said again to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."
Again, they accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath. In
that day, there is said to have been ninety nine classes of work that
were forbidden on the Sabbath, and apparently miraculous healing was one of them, (even the making of mud from
However, some of them knew the healing of the "man born blind" had to come from God.
It seems obvious that he had not previously known Jesus, and certainly did not know He was the Messiah; perhaps, "He is a prophet," was all he knew to say.
VERSE 18-21: "The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" 20His parents answered, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself."
The Jews didn't accept the man's testimony that he had been born
blind, so they summoned his parents and asked them if he had actually
been born blind.
Although His parents didn't want to testify, both the Greek and Jewish courts could have forced them against their will. Not wanting to be in trouble with the court, they simply acknowledged that he was their son and had been born blind. Then they said, "ask him, he is of age."
We aren't told how old the man was, but he was certainly of age. A Jewish boy became responsible for keeping the commandments at the age of thirteen.
The Jews had already made up their mind to disregard the man's miraculous healing. They dismissed the evidence that, although he had been born blind, now he could see. They disregarded his testimony, his parents, and the testimony of all of those who had known him these many years.
Even though there was no other explanation for the man's healing, they clung to their argument that no power, except of God, could heal anyone who had been born blind, and that Jesus was not of God.
VERSES 22-23: "His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."
The law of the Pharisees was very strict concerning cross-examing the witnesses. It was supposed to be fair, and without prejudice, so these interrogators had violated their own rules and ethics.
To be put out of the synagogue, (excommunicated), was very harsh treatment. It was considered to be one of the most severe forms of discipline.
VERSE 24: "So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner."
Again they called the man born blind to court and commanded him to "give glory to God." Although it would seem they were urging the man to praise God for the healing. This was actually a, "Swearing in Ceremony," a common Jewish oath to tell the truth.
VERSE 25: "He answered, "Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." 26They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" 27He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?"
Since the man's testimony did not give them the answers they needed to accomplish their purpose, they began asking for details. Technicalities would be much easier to challenge than his straightforward witness to the facts.
The man born blind seems irritated by their stubborn
refusal to accept the truth. He realized the
only answers they wanted were those that would help accomplish their purpose.
VERSE 28-29: "And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from."
"They reviled him", (used abusive language), then admitted they did not know where Jesus came from.
This may have been a suggestion or idea concerning Jesus heritage that seems to reappear from time to time. The courts would sometimes investigate a person to determine if they were an illegitimate child, which would eliminate any credibility.
VERSE 30-33: "The man answered, "Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him."
The man seems perplexed over their disbelief; and becomes even more harsh with his answers. He tells them, God doesn't listen to sinners, but He does to those who worship Him, and do His will.
This unlearned, previously blind man begins to lecture these powerful, and intellectual, Pharisees.
VERSES 32-33: "Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
Never had it been heard that anyone had opened the eyes of the blind. This man, who had been born blind, realized that the restoration of his sight was a miracle from God.
VERSE 34: "They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out."
The theologically minded Jews finally realized they could make no headway with this man. Although he had argued his case with integrity and correct argument, they kicked him out of the synagogue, because it was not the answer they were looking for.
Jesus finds the man born blind
VERSE 35-38: "Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" 36He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" 37Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you." 38He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him."
Jesus finds the man born blind and offers him comfort, assurance, and eternal life.
The man did not know Jesus' true identity until He said, "I am the Son of Man;" then he said "Lord I believe." How blessed, to meet the Master, and worship Him face to face.
Jesus continues to speak
VERSE 39: "Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."
The blind man had received both spiritual and physical sight. The Pharisees possessed natural sight, (and thought they possessed spiritual sight), but their reaction to Jesus shows they were (spiritually blind.
VERSE 40-41: "Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" 41Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."
They have demonstrated their blindness throughout this study. Their question, "are we also blind," was a sign of their unbelief.
Some of these Pharisees would have been Scholars, intellectuals, and teachers of the Law, and should have recognized Jesus.
Their willful, and deliberate spiritual blindness carried with it judgment and guilt. They were guilty of rejecting the Messenger of God, and God Himself.
This concludes our study of; "Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind."
Our Next Study is:
"The Good Shepherd"