Text: John 9
The 6th sign of Jesus in the Gospel of John takes place in just verses 6 and 7. However, the events pertaining to that sign are dealt with in all these 41 verses. Please read the entire passage.
A man was born blind, living as a beggar. The disciples asked Jesus who sinned so that this man would be this way? Jesus would respond that it was not the sin of him or his parents. Rather, his blindness was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. Jesus then spat on the ground, made mud, and anointed the man’s eyes with it. Jesus instructed him to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. The man went and he came back seeing. This occurred on the Sabbath.
People (neighbors and others who were aware of the blind man) saw the man, and it was clear that he could see. They doubted if he was really the man that was born blind. Was he really the man that was begging? But the man would say, “I am that man!” They asked him how he attained sight, and he told them what Jesus did and what Jesus said for him to do.
The people then called the Pharisees.
The Pharisees asked the man the same question, and the man gave the same testimony again to them. A division arose among the Pharisees as some would say Jesus could not be from God because he performed this miracle on the Sabbath, and others would question how a sinner could do such a thing if he were not from God?
The Jews were skeptical. Was he really born blind? They called the parents of the man, and they testified that their son was indeed born blind. But they were afraid of speaking of Jesus, so they would not say how their son was healed. They simply said to ask their son how it happened. He is of age, after all.
So they called the man again to them, and told him Jesus is a sinner. The man simply stated what he knew to be true, and could not answer what he did not know. He couldn’t comment on whether or not Jesus was a sinner. All the man knows is that he was blind, but now he sees. They continued to be skeptical, unwilling to accept this testimony. They asked him again, “What did he do to you? How did he do it?”
The man scolds them, saying he has told them already, but they are refusing to understand. Asking sarcastically, perhaps, he asks if they want to be Jesus’ disciples, since they’re questioning about him so much. They said they are disciples of Moses, a true prophet of God. But Jesus? We do not know if he comes from God.
The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” (John 9:30-33)
The Pharisees were offended that this man, a beggar, a sinner, was now so bold to teach them. They kicked him out.
Jesus heard what happened to the man, and approached him. Jesus asked the man if he believed in the Son of Man. Clearly, the man would believe anything Jesus would tell him after the amazing miracle that happened. The man asked, “Who is he that he may believe in him?” Jesus said “It is I who am speaking with you.” The man believed and worshipped him.
Questions for Study and Meditation
- Have you ever wondered if a person’s unfortunate circumstances were due to the person’s sin? Are there such circumstances in your life that you believe is because of your sin? If it wasn’t due to sin, but so that God might display his mighty work, what would the mighty work be in your circumstance?
- This man’s sight was given to him after never having it before. What else did he gain?
- I heard a testimony of a boy who claimed that when he came into a worship service, he couldn’t walk, and now he can walk. Some people immediately believed and gave glory to God. I, on other hand, became skeptical and questioned the testimony of the boy, and the person responsible for the healing. While there can be a healthy skepticism, when does it make us blind to what God could really be doing?Similarly, what do you think was the reason the Pharisees just could not accept the testimony of the man?
- What is the significance of this man having been bornblind, instead of a man who became blind?
- 1 Peter 3:15b …always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
This man that was born blind spoke with so much confidence that Jesus was of God because of a very really encounter he had with Jesus. The man was a beggar. He was not trained in the scriptures as the Pharisees. But he was able to get the upper hand in the argument with the Pharisees about Jesus.How would you respond if someone questioned the legitimacy of Jesus? Does your personal encounter with Jesus, who saved you from sin, who you follow as your Lord and Savior, help you respond with confidence?
The man gained more than just sight. He received insight into who Jesus is. He was born blind physically, but also spiritually. We all are born this way. Jesus makes himself known to us through his Word, as the Spirit reveals himself to us. We receive this miraculous spiritual healing of coming to know Jesus, the one true God. This miracle is given to us by the cross. It is by Jesus’ death that our spiritual blindness is healed, as we see our sin being paid for by Jesus.
In week 6 of this Lenten season, let us remember the encounters we have with Jesus, and how he reveals more and more of who he is to us, and let us pray for more of the same, that our spiritual blindness will be completely removed and we can know Jesus fully.
Rev. Alex Kolath, Vicar
Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, Virginia