Summary: There are those who know they are blind and receive Christ's healing, and those who think they see and therefore remain blind. Of which group are you?
“As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” 6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.”
Before we even get started today with chapter 9, there is something I want you to make note of out of chapter 8. We’re not going to take the time to go back and read it, but since what I am going to be talking about today is willful unbelief and its consequences, I just want to show you what has just transpired.
Jesus has just left another of His ‘in your face’ confrontations with the Pharisees. They have called Him a liar. He said no, but they were the liars. They called themselves children of Abraham but He said no, but their father was the devil. They said he was a demon-possessed Samaritan, which was probably about the most insulting thing a Jew could say to another Jew, and He had said no, but although you dishonor Me I give honor to My Father. They said he was too young to speak with authority about Abraham and He said actually, before Abraham was born “I AM” – and in using that term of Himself they understood Him to be claiming to be the very God who called Moses from the burning bush and commissioned him to confront the Pharaoh and lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt.
We know they took it as a claim to Deity because they looked for stones with which to bash Jesus’ skull in for speaking blasphemy.
So Jesus has once more hidden Himself from them because it is not His time yet to die. But I wanted you to see that on the heels of telling them He is God, Jesus goes directly to a man who was born blind and gives him seeing eyes, demonstrating the truth of His words. Yet, as we will go on now to examine, there is none so blind as he who will not see.
The opening words of chapter 9 are ‘As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth’. But please do not take that to mean that Jesus just happened to see this blind man for the first time and decided coolly and almost callously to heal him in order to teach the Pharisees a lesson.
No, as you have heard me state in the past, and I stand by this conviction, Jesus did not do or say anything out of a knee-jerk reaction to present circumstances. I believe that every work He did, every miracle, every road trip, every action of His in the Jerusalem Temple, every confrontation with the Jews and every meeting with people like this blind man, was all a part of the package labeled, ‘the works of Him who sent Me’.
There is evidence of what I’m saying here in the early verses of this chapter. The disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” In His reply, Jesus says that the man was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Now stop and think about that for a moment. What does that tell us?
The disciples asked, ‘why was this man born blind’ and the reply from Jesus is ‘so that the works of God might be displayed in him’
Jesus didn’t say that the man was born blind because of some disease contracted in the womb, He didn’t say the man was born blind because of a genetic defect. Jesus said nothing to indicate that the man’s plight was a terrible and tragic quirk of fate.
The answer Jesus gave them said that the man’s life of blindness was God-ordained so that He, God, might be glorified in this man!
Now I am well aware that many people would have trouble accepting this. Maybe even most people. God? How could a loving God actually destine someone for a life of absolute blindness, relegating them to a life of rejection and dismissal by society, begging in the streets, and all the hardship that would come to someone, especially in that time in history who has no eyes?