Vs. 1-2 “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'”
Do you think God actually punishes people with difficulty, pain, and misery because they have sinned or made Him angry? There were occasions in the Old Testament when God punished individuals or entire people groups or nations for their sin. However, this man certainly didn’t sin from birth so we know that’s not the case here. God uses difficulties and hardships in all of our lives to draw us closer to Him.
For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous
The Lord allows rain to fall on all of us, the same as He allows the sun to shine upon all of us. It doesn’t matter how good or bad we are.
Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.
~ 1 Peter 5:7
He cares just as much for this blind man as He cares for each of those disciples.
Vs 3-5 “Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.'”
God has a very specific purpose and a plan. His plan included this man suffering and being blind from the time he was born. Jesus explains it to us – “that the works of God should be revealed in him”. It was so that Jesus could reveal and reflect God’s glory.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians:
Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:7
Are this man and his parents sinners? Yes! How do we know that? The Bible tells us ALL OF US ARE SINNERS.
For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.
~ Romans 3:23
As sinners, what is our punishment for sin?
These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
~ Matthew 25:46
The punishment for sin is not blindness, it is eternal death and hell.
Remember, when bad things happen to you and me, it is NOT because God is punishing us. There will be times when God is using a difficult situation in our lives to teach us, train us, or correct our course. God will always be acting in our best interest. He simply asks that we love Him, follow Him, serve Him, and TRUST that He is acting in our best interest.
From David Guzik: “This is consistent with the spirit of the book of Job. Sometimes, God intentionally leaves us without knowledge regarding the source or reason behind pain.
It is possible that John 9:3 could be punctuated ‘. . . nor his parents sinned. But that the works of God should be revealed in him, I must work . . .'”
Vs 6-7 “He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’. So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
Remember we talked a few weeks ago about the healing of the crippled man on the porch at the Pool of Siloam. It’s interesting that Jesus uses the Pool of Siloam twice in this few chapters to heal someone, first a crippled man and now a blind man. There are many methods that God shows us in the New Testament that He heals: the laying on of hands on each other in prayer, God may grant someone a gift of healing, God may grant healing in response to faith, and God can heal through medical treatment.
God is amazing! He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He can and will act in His time! This man had lived his entire life blind. The Lord waited for this very moment in all of history to heal his eyesight. Could God have healed him earlier? Absolutely! I’m sure in this man’s life, many, many times he had prayed for eyesight. His parents had probably begged for healing. He may have even given up by now. This man has no idea Jesus is Lord, he doesn’t know Jesus and has never seen miraculous spit in action. But God in His perfect time approaches the man and puts spit-made mud on his face and heals his eyesight.
We can see many times in Biblical history instances where God waits for His time, and then takes action to perform His miracle. Moses and the Hebrews in Exodus is one great example. The Israelites had waited 400 years in Egypt to return home to Israel. They had prayed, they had begged God for deliverance.
Exodus 3:7-8 “And the LORD said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey'”
Again from David Guzik: “This was a completely unique miracle in the Scriptures. From Genesis to John, no prophet, priest, or apostle ever gave sight to blind eyes but Jesus did this type of healing more than any other miracle. Since healing blind eyes is the work of the Lord, it shows that Jesus is God: The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. (Psalm 146:8)”
This also shows the prophecy fulfilled by the Messiah: “The eyes of the blind shall be opened.” (Isaiah 35:5)
Vs 17-23 “They said to the blind man again, ‘What do you say about Him because He opened your 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 who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does 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 sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’
The (formerly) blind man still didn’t quite understand that Jesus is God and the promised Messiah. What he did know was he was healed and delivered from a lifetime of difficulty from blindness. He makes an assumption about Jesus: “He is a prophet.” The Pharisees had even threatened excommunication from the synagogue if anyone called Him Christ (Messiah or Savior). They were probably really angry that a miracle had just occurred and it seems here that they were looking to make an example of the man or his family. This way they could put into everyone watching a fear of being thrown out. They go to his parents and ask them the same thing.
Vs 24-34 “So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, ‘Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.’ He answered and said, ‘Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.’ Then they said to him again, ‘What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?’ He answered them, ‘I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?’ Then they reviled him and said, ‘You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.’ The man answered and said to them, ‘Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.’ They answered and said to him, ‘You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?’ And they cast him out.”
This man still doesn’t seem to quite understand that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah, but the light is dawning on him. “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.” The blind man realizes that this is a miracle that has NEVER BEEN DONE and he gives God the glory! This is what God wants us to do as well.
Notice also that this man says “God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.” When he says “sinners” here he is talking about unbelievers, folks that don’t believe in Jesus. When he says “worshiper of God” he is talking about Christians. God hears and answers the prayers of His followers.
This poor blind man was finally healed of his blindness after a lifetime of sadness and difficulty and then the religious community kicked him out! How incredibly painful!
Churches are filled with people. A bunch of sinners we are – forgiven – but sinners nonetheless. When we sin, it hurts others. God’s church is His bride, and it is His intent that the church be loving, kind, and generous toward one another. That doesn’t always happen. Sinners hurt each other at times. You and I will get hurt at times by others – yes – even at church. I have no secret to making that hurt less painful, but I can tell you that the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ was enough for this man and it is enough for us.
Vs 35-38 “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’ He answered and said, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”‘ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.’ Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Him.
Notice this man was so filled with joy at being healed and knowing Christ, he didn’t mourn a single moment over being rejected from the synagogue. It was enough for him. He didn’t whine, no complaints, no anger – the Bible simply says “he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Him”. He just focused on Jesus.