Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
John 9:30-33 (Holman) AThis is an amazing thing,@ the man told them. AYou don=t know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes! We know that God doesn=t listen to sinners, but if anyone is God fearing and does His will, He listens to him. Throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He wouldn=t be able to do anything.@
Though a miracle was performed, the Pharisees persisted in unbelief. The healed man was shocked. He saw their stubborn unbelief as more marvelous than his cure. He said literally, AHerein is the miraculous thing@ (v. 30). His healing wasn=t near as unbelievable as their reaction. To him, what Christ did on Earth sufficiently demonstrated what He was in Heaven (v. 33). He felt the Pharisees were behaving irrationally.
We who have experienced the transforming power of God still marvel at those who reject Jesus. We think all people should think highly of Jesus.
This was a brave man. He knew the Pharisees were furious at Jesus. Excommunication was probable, but he took his stand for Jesus because of what the Lord had done for him.
After he received his sight, his testimony was all of Jesus. The blind man=s longest talk was a defense of Jesus. Thus must it be for all who have been cleansed by Him. All of Jesus and Jesus only is our theme. He satisfied the Father, purchased our salvation, released the Holy Spirit, saved us. No merit is in us. We place every crown of honor on His head for He did all things well.
John 9:34 AYou were born entirely in sin,@ they replied, Aand are you trying to teach us?@ Then they threw him out.
Debate ended. Abuse began. The Pharisees knew his argument was air-tight. As it became obvious they were losing, they changed their game plan. They threw away weapons of debate and took up stones of abuse. Debate and investigation had failed; abuse was their only recourse.
Their strategy was simple B abuse the man you cannot answer. They could not win in the world of ideas so they dropped down to the personal level and marked him off as a born sinner, incapable of knowing the things of God.
Learn a valuable lesson here. The Pharisees, not the healed man, hurled abuse. Disagreements come, and we need to discuss our differences, but when dialogue degenerates into angry insults, it becomes an argument, a contest in bitterness. Heated words prove our case is too weak to stand on its own evidence.
Our Lord gave us the perfect example. He never became angry over affronts to Himself. Let=s do likewise.
John 9:35 When Jesus heard that they had thrown the man out, He found him and asked, ADo you believe in the Son of Man?@
Jesus looked for the outcast. The Royal sought the loyal. Chrysostom said, AThe Jews cast him out of the Temple; the Lord of the Temple found him.@ Jesus had to find the man because God=s work in him was not yet completed.
What a blessing to lose Pharisees and find the Savior. Any time our witness separates us from others, it brings us close to Jesus.
Notice Jesus= love. The leaders accused the beggar of being born in sin. Jesus asked nothing about his ancestry, creed, or past life. The issue was faith, ADo you believe in the Son of God?@ AOn@ suggests dependence, trust, reliance.
John 9:36 AWho is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?@ he asked.
The sharp-tongued, independent man suddenly fell into submission ready to accept whatever Jesus said. Readiness to believe expressed his gratitude to Jesus.
AWho is He?@ expressed eagerness, urgency, wondering, hope. Having been rejected by the religious leaders, he probably felt beyond help.
John 9:37-38 Jesus answered, AYou have seen Him; in fact He is the One speaking with you.@ AI believe, Lord!@ he said, and he worshiped Him.
His blind spirit gained full sight. True faith proves itself by humbly adoring Jesus. All the arguments of the leaders were in vain. Instead of shaking him, their arguments merely helped him clarify his position. He finished the interrogation with more appreciation for Jesus than he had at the beginning.
The blind man=s perception of Jesus followed a lovely progression. First, Jesus is a man (v. 11). If Jesus were only a man He would still rank as one of history=s greatest heroes. He was a man among men.
Second, Jesus is a Prophet (v. 17), one who hears God, and brings to people a message from the throne room. If we followed Jesus= teachings, the world=s personal, social, economic, and political problems would be relieved.
Third, the man saw Jesus deserved allegiance (v. 27 Aalso@). He could see people needed to connect their lives to Jesus. He deserves allegiance.
Fourth, Jesus is the Son of God (v. 38). The man realized human categories were inadequate to describe Jesus. Something in Jesus is more than human.
Often the more we know of a person, the less we think of them. We see larger weaknesses, faults, and failings. But the more we know Jesus, the greater the wonder becomes. He is more beautiful to us all the time. There is something extra-human, above-human, supra-human, in Jesus.
John 9:39 Jesus said, AI came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.@
Judgment was not Christ=s primary purpose in the world, but His coming inevitably divides people into two groups. Light always has a twofold effect: it gladdens healthy eyes, but at the same time tortures diseased eyes.
Jesus will now gather into focus the teachings of this miracle. The man born blind is a type of the spiritually blind who come to Him for sight. The Pharisees, who thought they saw all things clearly, served as a type for the self-sufficient who reject Jesus= illumination.
The leaders knew so much about the Old Testament and the Law that they had developed pride in their knowledge. AKnowledge-worship@ made them incapable of further progress. By being content with Moses= writings, and shutting out Jesus= light, the Pharisees were plummeting deeper and deeper into darkness while the beggar was climbing toward more and more illumination.
John 9:40-41 Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and asked Him, AWe aren=t blind too, are we?@ AIf you were blind,@ Jesus told them, Ayou wouldn=t have sin. But now that you say, AWe see B your sin remains.@
The Pharisees prided themselves as the Aseers@ of Israel. It would have been better for them to lack vision than to rebel against the light. Blindness is more dangerous to those who believe their sight is okay. By saying, AWe see@ they sought not the Physician. Hence, their blindness remained.
The Kingdom is marked by a paradox. The blind who confess blindness receive sight, while those who claim satisfaction with their sight prove to be blind. When people willfully confine their vision, they lose power to see.
Having spoken comfort to the beggar, Jesus now spoke conviction to the persecutors. The Pharisees were without excuse because they claimed sight, but failed to profit by it.
The Pharisees saw Jesus and His miracles, but chose not to follow Him. It would have been better for them to have been ignorant of Him. They were closing their minds and would thus be held responsible.
ADo you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him@ (Proverbs 26:12). It is easier to save us from our sins than from our righteousness.
If you have not seen Jesus to be the Son of God, you=ve never seen anything at all. Don=t make the mistake of the Pharisees, who were more concerned about having truth on their side than about being on the side of Truth. May God make us clear-sighted, able to see reality.