Book of John 9:1-23

Book of John 9:1-23

April 17, 2021

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

John 9:1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.

Beggars waited by the gates of the Temple for gifts from worshipers.  He sat and was begging (vs 8)

Only record in the Scripture of one (healed) blind from birth.

In the Gospels: more cases of blindness than any other affliction:

  • 1 deaf and dumb           
  • 1 sick of palsy        
  • 1 sick of a fever
  • 2 cases of lepers           
  • 3 dead raised         
  • 5 blind healed.


John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

  • This is a long-time question among religions, which implies someone must have sinned.
  • Among the Jews, the opinion that these things that happen to people, were the effect, of sin.
  • Notice, the disciples appealed to Jesus as a Rabbi to settle this question.

John 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed {or displayed} in him.

  • Jesus just rejected both suggestions, that sins committed by a baby still in the womb or sin committed by parents could result in a baby being born with this disease.
  • Just think of the years that this man carried his burden of blindness until the time it could be used for God’s glory.

Maybe this example should comfort us in our pain and trial as we wait on the Lord for our healing, for edification to others and Glory to God.

John 9:4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

This is a reference to the work Jesus is doing on the earth, which was soon to end at the cross and a new work Jesus will then start.

Notice the Father gave Jesus a precise work to do upon the earth, until Jesus finish His assigned work and then the night comes. 

**John 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Remember, what Jesus said back in John 8:12

John 8:12 Later on Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 9:6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

  • The Jews has a common practice of mixing clay with saliva and is used for eye infections or disease.
  • The blind man had to show his faith in washing the mixture off.
  • The Jews forbid the use of medicines on the Sabbath.
  • Does this show that something is going to happen with his eyes? 

John 9:7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

Jesus wanted an symbolic act of faith to be healed.  Healing his eyes was accomplished upon obedience to Jesus command.

  • Once Jesus healed two blind men by merely touching their eyes (Mt 9:27–31).
  • He healed another blind man by putting spittle on his eyes (Mk 8:22–26).
  • Jesus varied His methods lest people focus on the manner of healing and miss the message in the healing.

John 9:8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

We find a growing conflict that is taking place around two questions:

1) Was this really the blind beggar? 

2) Who caused him to see?

Witness of the Blind Man:

John 9:9 Some were saying, “It’s him,” while others were saying, “No, but it’s someone like him.” He himself kept saying, “It’s me!”

  • Notice, three groups of speakers. Some, Others, Himself
  • The neighbors were reluctant to acknowledge the miracle because of the Pharisees.
  • This was very natural reaction to others for someone who had their eye open would greatly change their looks, manner,
  • He must have given him a very different appearance to what he had before. Have a beard, take it off, look different.

John 9:10 Therefore they said to him, How were your eyes opened?”

The blind beggar discovers the Pharisees and neighbors were unfriendly toward him, wondering how can he see. 

Four times in this chapter people asked, “How were you healed?” (vv.10, 15, 19, 26).

Jesus is called a man

John 9:11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received {my} sight.”

  • The blind man did what Jesus told him to do, with faith.
  • Jesus is called “a man”: At least twelve times in the Gospel of John, (Jn 4:29; 5:12; 8:40; 9:11, 24; 10:33; 11:47, 50; 18:14, 17, 29; 19:5).
  • John shows that Jesus is the God/Lord/Creator/Spokesman of the Old Testment
  • John’s emphasis is that Jesus Christ is God, but John by reminding us that Jesus is also true man. {1 John 1:1–4} {John 1;1-5,14-18}.  

John 9:12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, I do not know.”

  • Jesus had left the area and was gone when the man returned.
  • He knew the Pharisees would be upset for doing this miracle on the Sabbath.

John 9:13 So they brought to the Pharisees the man who had once been blind.

They wanted to accuse Jesus of having violated the Sabbath by making clay which was illegal to make. 

John 9:14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.

  • Remember the miracle at the pool of Bethesda how the Pharisees were angered by any violation of the Sabbath day.
  • Now, we have another one healing and miracle on the Sabbath day.

John 9:15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

Notice the blind man is becoming impatient of this cross examining,  by the Pharisees, he then answers much more briefly than at first

John 9:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

Pharisees said because of this, Jesus does not keep the Sabbath, but the problem for them this was not a violation of the law, but of their oral traditions that grown up around the Law, Jewish Tradition. 

Matthew 15:2 “Why do your disciples disregard the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands when they eat.”

Could the others be Nicodemus and Joseph who we know became disciples of Jesus.

Jesus is called a prophet

John 9:17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

  • A little while before the man had said that “a man called Jesus” healed him;
  • now he declares, thinking about the miracle that “he is a prophet;”
  • a little later he is prepared to receive him as the Son of God.
  • His faith becomes deeper towards Jesus as the Pharisees continue to question him and what Jesus did for the man.

John 9:18 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.

So the Pharisees summoned the parents, hoping they might get something out of them after examining them against Jesus.

  • How would you feel to be summons to a federal court and be examined by the Judge.
  • They did not want to be there for fear that the Jews would put them out of the synagogue
  • if they acknowledge Jesus, not simple excluded, but excommunicated.
  • Notice John does not speak the name of the Pharisees, but uses the name “the Jews”,
  • Jesus enemies, the official representatives of the Nation that rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

John 9:19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

The Pharisees proposed three questions to the parents, by which they hoped to convict the man of falsehood:

  1. Whether he was their son?
  2. Whether they would affirm that he was born blind? and,
  3. Whether they knew by what means he now saw?

John 9:20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;

The parents answer the question very freely and with great confidence, he is our son.

The said the man with confidence that he was born blind.

John 9:21 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.”

The third question they could not answer since they were not eyewitness of the healing.  Of age is of thirteen years, ask him.  

John 9:22 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.

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

Notice: Of age, 30?  Wonder, if the Apostles were excommunicate?

Feared the Jews”: Excommunication; Three main forms:

  • “Rebuke”: 7 – 30 days, could not come within 6 feet of anyone else
  • “Casting out”: 30 – 60 days. excluded from all fellowship and worship;
  • Cutting off”: indefinite; expulsion forever, treated as dead; stones thrown on coffin when dead

These judgments were very serious because no one could conduct business with a person who was excommunicated.

It was the fear of this terrible punishment that deterred his parents from expressing their opinion

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