The Man Blind From Birth is Healed

John 9:1-7  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 

 

I.    Background to this miracle, number six in the book of John. 

A.     Purpose of this miracle. 

1.       To use the words of a lost man against the unbelieving Jews. 

2.       To reflect the great mercy and longing of Christ for these unbelievers to turn to him and accept him and yield to his spiritual kingdom. 

B.     There are seven major miracles in the book of John.

1.       John 2 - Jesus turned water into wine at the marriage supper in Cana of Galilee.

2.       John 4:43-54 - The Nobleman’s son healed.

3.       John 5:1-16 - The impotent man healed.

4.       John 6:1-13 - The feeding of the 5,000.

5.       John 6:16-21 – Jesus Walks on the water.

6.       John 9 - The healing of the man born blind.

7.       John 11 - Raising Lazarus from the dead.

C.     Some history of this miracle. 

1.       John 6:22-71 – After Jesus walks on the water, recorded in John 6:16-21, Jesus speaks to the multitude, who want to make him king, and declare to them they really don’t understand who he is, what he came to do, or the real eternal kingdom he has come to establish. 

2.       John 7:1 states that Jesus walked no more in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. 

a.       “Jewry” is the land of Judah. 

b.       This verse doesn’t mean Jesus never appeared again in Judah, because he did, rather that he went into Galilee, staying until John 7:9.   

3.       John 7:10-53 – Jesus went to the feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem, where the taught in the temple, was questioned, and refused to display himself to the unbelieving Jews. 

4.       John 8:1-11 – Jesus again teaches in the temple, where the scribes and Pharisees bring him a woman taken in the act of adultery, desiring to expose Christ as a fraud, who disregards the law of Moses. 

5.       John 8:12-59 – Jesus teaches concerning his coming death, burial and resurrection, and his eternal relationship with his father, but is rejected of the Jews, reflected in John 8:59 when they attempt to stone him. 

6.       John 9:1 – As Jesus leaves the temple, easily passing by his accusers, he passes a man which was blind from his birth. 

a.       There are many unbelievers, who completely reject and would kill Christ. 

b.       There are many believers who do not understand why things happens as they happen. 

c.       There are still many unbelievers who do not know who Christ is. 

d.       There are still many people who need the healing hand of Christ. 

D.     There is much confusion about who Christ is. 

1.       From those who “believe in him.”

a.       John 8:30-33 - They say they were never in bondage to anybody.

b.       John 8:39-41 - They believed they were saved because they were physically born into the genealogy of Abraham. 

1.)    Some might believe they are saved because they are born into a Christian family.

2.)    Just as many Jews were lost, even though they were born into the nation of Israel, so there are many lost who are born into Christian families. 

2.       John 7:31 – Many of those who “believed in Jesus” did not realize Jesus was the Christ.

a.       John 7:40-43 - Some believed Christ was “that prophet” and others did not think so.

b.       John 9:16 - Some believed Jesus was of God because he healed the blind man, and others said he could not be of God because he healed the blind man on the Sabbath day.

 

II.    John 9:1-7 – The Miracle described.

A.     Verse 1. 

1.       Jesus passed by, seeing, but doing nothing. 

2.       Jesus hid himself to those who were trying to hurt him, and revealed himself to those he would help. 

a.       The disciples didn’t have any trouble seeing or hearing him, but those who intended to stone him couldn’t see Him, much less hear him. 

b.       There is no difficulty to Jesus to hide himself from some and reveal himself to others. 

3.       There is some dispute as to whether chapter 9 immediately follows chapter 8. 

a.       Whether it does or not doesn’t change the principle of the thought I have put into this paragraph. 

b.       Christ is still able to hide himself from some, while revealing himself to others.

B.     Verse 2 – The disciple’s question reveals there was much confusion as to the cause of sickness, pain, suffering, and death, just as there is much confusion today. 

1.       There were those who taught that the possibility of “prenatal sin”.

2.       Others taught the pre-existence of the soul and possibility of sin in some previous life, which would be paid for in a later life.  (The pagan doctrine of re-incarnation.) 

3.       There was also the teaching that indicated the possibility of some type of judgment upon the parents due to sin. 

a.       A man once informed me his sons were born blind because of sins he committed after they were born. 

b.       I told him God does not chasten his children for sins before they commit those sins. 

C.     Verse 3 – Jesus answer and his healing of the blind man. 

1.       The man was not born blind because of sin, but to give glory and honor to God. 

a.       Jesus turned to the work before him: to bring light out of this blind man’s darkness. 

b.       Only a short time before, Jesus had declared himself to be the light of the world.

c.       Now He said to the disciples: I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 

2.       Verse 9 – To manifest Jesus as the light of the world. Note: the seven “I Am’s” of Christ in John’s gospel

a.       I am the Bread of life.  6:35

b.       I am the Light of the world.  9:5

c.       I am the Door.  10:7

d.       I am the Resurrection.  11:25

e.       I am the Way.  14:6

f.        I am the Truth.  14:6

g.       I am the Life.  14:6 

3.       Jesus’ work of banishing darkness is done when it is “day,” meaning in the light, but also meaning while there is yet time.

a.       The disciples didn’t respond to Jesus’ words, but they watched as he spat on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.

b.       In ancient times, saliva of a distinguished person was thought to have healing power.

c.       And Jesus often used the customs of his day to gain the confidence of those who watched.

4.       The blind man did not call out to Jesus for healing. 

a.       Matthew 20:30 - These two blind men cried out to Jesus so they would be healed. 

1.)    There is nothing wrong with people crying out to Jesus to help them. 

2.)    If you see you have a difficulty, you ought to cry out to Jesus Christ to deliver you from that infirmity.

3.)    Sometimes the hopelessness of a situation causes a person to believe Christ can not or will not help them. 

b.       It was Jesus who saw the blind man, not the blind man whose “saw” Christ, or asked to be healed. 

1.)    From the human perspective, if the disciples had not asked Jesus who sinned, thereby causing this man to be born blind, he might not have been healed or saved.

2.)    From the human perspective, if Jesus had not healed this blind man, he would have gone on the rest of his life without sight and without salvation. 

c.       There is nothing special about the blind man, any more than any other blind man. 

d.       The disciples or the Pharisees did not ask Christ to heal the blind man. 

e.       The blind man was obedient to the commands of Christ. 

1.)    He went to the pool of Siloam and washed. 

2.)    The distance was approximately ½ mile, which is quite a distance for a blind man, and would take him some time to travel. 

3.)    The man was told to wash, probably only his eyes, and he did. 

a.)    Washing more than his eyes would do no good at all. 

b.)    There is no merit in “over obeying” only in “complete obedience”. 

c.)    It is implied the command was to wash his eyes only, not his whole body. 

d.)    The healing was to be in his eyes, not his entire body. 

e.)    Jesus Christ never promised the man he would never die, or that his whole body would be cleansed of every disease, sickness and death. 

f.)     This man would eventually die, but his eyesight would remain intact all the days of his life.

f.        God gives the blind man something to do. 

1.)    It is not the “doing” that gives him sight, it is the believing. 

2.)    It is obedience, not works. 

g.       The blind man returned to Christ and his family and friends, seeing.  [1]

 

III.    John 9:8-12 – The personal witness – to neighbors. 

A.     Their confusion was not the confusion of the blind man. 

1.       Some said one thing and others said another thing, but none knew how the man was healed. 

2.       The healed man knew Jesus had healed him, but did not know how or where Jesus was. 

B.     It is no accident the neighbors bring the healed man to the Pharisees. 

1.       The purpose of this healing is to give glory to Christ as the Jewish Messiah. 

2.       The unbelieving Jews will not listen to the words or believe the miracles of Christ, therefore Christ sends them a healed, lost, blind man to witness to them! 

 

IV.    John 9:13-34 – The public witness – to the Pharisees. 

A.     Verse 8-14 – Purpose of the ‘blind-man’s’ testimony.  (It is apparent from verse 38 that this man is lost!  It is amazing indeed that a lost man can witness to other lost people and God will use the words of a lost man to either convict them, or judge them.)

1.       To identify Jesus as the healer. 

2.       To bear record of His great power.

3.       To be a living “eye-witness” of the miracle.

B.     Verse 15-34 – Purpose of the Pharisees’ questioning. 

1.       To discredit Jesus.

a.       Since Jesus had restored the man’s sight on the Sabbath, some Pharisees said, …This Man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath… (John 9:16). 

b.       Others saw this healing as a miraculous “sign,” and asked how a “sinner” could perform it.

c.       Still others doubted that the man had ever been blind!

2.       To discredit the “eye-witness” testimony

a.       They went to the man’s parents to verify that he had actually been blind.

b.       The man’s parents, however, knew for certain that the man was born blind.

c.       But they feared the Pharisees, and avoided the questions about their son’s healing.

d.       They shifted the responsibility of the whole thing to their son.

e.       He is of age, they said, ask him.

3.       The additional testimony of the man.

a.       The man Jesus healed first said, He is a prophet (John 9:17).

b.       But when the Pharisees said to him,  Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner, the man answered them courageously.  Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see! (John 9:24-25).

c.       As the Pharisees continued to question him, his courage grew and his spiritual eyes began to open, but he remained lost. 

d.       He denied that Jesus was a sinner.

e.       Instead, he declared him to be a godly man who does God’s will.

f.        Then he said, If this man were not from God, He could do nothing (John 9:33).

4.       The Pharisees refused to listen or believe, and cast the healed man out of the temple. 

 

V.    John 9:35-38 – The salvation of the blind man. 

A.     The blind man was saved in verse 38. 

1.       It is possible to be healed without being saved. 

2.       The purpose of healing is to show that Jesus is the son of God, and that he has the power to forgive sins. 

3.       Matthew 9:6 - But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 

a.       After I preached on this miracle, I was asked if Jesus forgave the sins of those he saved. 

b.       I replied “Of course, but Jesus did not save the man of palsy when he said, …thy sins be forgiven thee, but healed his palsy. 

c.       I gave the example of John 9, where Jesus healed the blind man, then saved him after he had been cast out of the temple. 

B.     Does this mean a lost person does not have to ask Christ to save them? 

1.       No - it means Jesus will physically heal people who don’t ask him to heal them. 

2.       When it comes to salvation, the blind man who was healed testified to the Pharisees about how Jesus had healed him and they cast him out of the temple. 

3.       Verse 35-37 - Jesus found him and asked him if he believed. 

4.       When he said he didn’t know who the Son of God was, Jesus told him, and he believed.

5.       This shows a desire for more than just physical healing. 

6.       The man had a desire for everything God had for him.

 

VI.    John 9:39-41 – Conclusion. 

A.     Purpose of the 2nd meeting with Jesus.

1.       To heal the man’s ‘spiritual blindness’

a.       When the Pharisees threw the man out, Jesus was there to receive him.

1.)    The man’s heart was open and ready hear what Jesus had to say to him.

2.)    When Jesus declared that He was the Son of Man, the man responded, Lord, I believe! 

3.)    And, …he worshipped Him (John 9:38).

b.       Some people have a different salvation experience that other people, but Jesus is able to save both of them.  Comparing the “eye-opening” experience of the blind men in Matthew 20 and John 9, it is not important to notice the varying circumstances Christ used. 

1.)    Lydia - Acts 16:14 - She already worshipped God, but was lost.  A good woman.

2.)    Acts 16:26-31 - The Philippian Jailer.

c.       It is right and most important to notice that Jesus is the one who opened their eyes. 

1.)    Sometimes we want to compare our salvation experience with the salvation experience of others. 

2.)    The circumstances of our salvation isn’t nearly as important as Jesus who saved us both.

3.)    Every person must realize they need Jesus to take care of those things they can’t. 

4.)    All must realize they are incomplete without Jesus Christ.

d.       Blind teacher at Willow Hill. 

1.)    Build his own sewer system, dug the ditches, installed the pipe, gravel, everything, it worked! 

a.)    Could tell the difference between an open door and a closed door.

b.)    Had trouble telling if a door was half opened. 

2.)    There are many things a blind person (or a deaf person, or a dumb person) can do, but there are many things they can’t do - visualize what something looks like. 

a.)    A lost person cannot visualize what true happiness and contentment is because they don’t have spiritual discernment. 

b.)    They cannot “see” the kingdom of God.

c.)    But he knew he was different from the “sighted” world.  Every lost person must realize there is another world out there, a spiritual world, that they cannot see.

3.)    John 3 - Nicodemus knew there was another world, a spiritual world he had not come into contact with it. He was religious, but lost.

4.)    Lost people may live in the world of the saved, coming into contact with them daily, but they know they are on the outside looking in. 

a.)    They are not a part of Christ, although they are a part of the lives of saved people. 

b.)    In order for them to be a part of Christ, they must be born again, then they are more a part of the lives of saved people than they ever were before.

2.       To declare his mission in this world.

a.       The man knew who Jesus was.

b.       Jesus, who had cured the man of his physical darkness, had now led him out of his spiritual darkness into the light of God’s kingdom.

c.       This is exactly why Jesus came into the world.

3.       To reveal the world’s blindness to God’s ways.

a.       The Pharisees were listening and heard Jesus say, ...I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind. (John 9:39)

b.       The Pharisees and those whom they taught were blind, in darkness, and Jesus said He came that they might see.

c.       Those who came to Jesus, the Light, were then able to see and would be blind to the teaching of the Pharisees.

d.       Jesus said that if the Pharisees had this kind of blindness, they would not be guilty of sin.

e.       However, they chose to remain in darkness, claiming they could see, so their guilt remained. 

B.     Is it ever too little a thing to do to obey the commands of God for physical and spiritual healing? 

1.       The blind man obeyed the command of God and came seeing (verse 7). 

2.       This can also be true for you.

3.       If you will only obey the command of God, he will give you the desires of your heart.  [2]



[1] Preached to here 11/25/2007 IBC Sunday Morning

[2] Preached to here 12/2/2007 IBC Sunday Morning