Summary: A brief message on Christ's healing of the man born blind, contrasting the Pharisees and the man born blind. The man born blind met Christ and was made to see; the Pharisees saw the same miracles and heard the same truth, but left blind.
John 9:5: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
The Scripture we just read is hardly the only one that refers to Jesus as the light of the world. An Old Testament prophet pointed to Jesus as the “Sun of righteousness” who would arise “with healing in His wings.” Earlier in the gospel of John, we read that “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)
But, in this Scripture, Jesus illustrated his point very powerfully by healing a man who had been born blind — his problem was not that he had seen at one time and gone blind, but he had never seen.
In the gospel of John, we are given a myriad of illustrations to support what Jesus taught, and this is presented to us as an object lesson of what Jesus meant when He said, “I am the light of the world.”
Let’s look at three lessons from this passage about the work of Christ in our lives, and the necessity of a right response to Light.
1. Christ Overcomes Darkness (John 9:3-6)
Jesus made it clear that His purpose was not to simply bring judgment or condemnation against the darkness, but to correct it. The disciples had the same problem many of us have — they wanted to find someone to blame. They asked Jesus who was responsible for this man’s blindness — had his parents done something to warrant it? had he?
Often, we want to take sin and defend it with the blame game:
• I wouldn’t have stolen if I didn’t need it...
• Well, if my employer treated me right...
• They aren’t doing their part...
• My parents never taught me that...
All of that may be true. In this case, Jesus made it clear that it wasn’t the man’s sin or his parents that had caused this, but rather God had allowed or even caused the man to be born blind so that God’s works could be revealed.
But, regardless of who was to blame, the man was still blind. Everything was dark to him. The sun was shining, the leaves were changing, the water was flowing, but he couldn’t see any of it. He still had a desperate problem.
You and I may be able to point to people or circumstances we can legitimately blame for our problems. We can probably even use those people or circumstances to rationalize disobedience to God. But, God is not interested in playing the blame game with us — He is interested in dealing with the problem.
Jesus didn’t play the blame game. Instead, through a two-part process, He healed the man of His blindness!
The disciples were sitting around trying to figure out who had caused the problem. Jesus came not with blame but with a solution.
Jesus isn’t interested in our rationalizations. Sure, we can all point to negative circumstances, and I’m not negating those. But, Christ has the power to take the worst circumstances and somehow turn them into victories of grace.
But Christ doesn’t overcome only physical darkness. He overcomes the heavy spiritual darkness that comes with covered sin and habitual deceit. In fact, John 1 tells us that the “light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not,” or could not comprehend it.
Don’t allow the devil to convince you that sin’s darkness is permanent! Born blind? Yes, we were all “born blind.” We were born in sin, born into a cosmic rebellion against the Creator of the world. BUT — the Light shined! The Voice spoke! Jesus came so that we can “see clearly.”
2. Christ Rewards Duty (John 9:7-11)
We have here (as in many of the miracles) a juxtaposition of two truths. On one hand, Christ’s mission was to heal this man to God’s glory. That was God’s will, God’s plan from the beginning for this man. Yet, Christ hinged this miracle that He was going to perform on the man’s obedience. Jesus said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam,” and the man washed and “went his way seeing.
God has given us instructions as well. Salvation is by grace, but Peter told the crowd at Pentecost, “Repent...and be converted.” John the Baptist told the Pharisees to “Bring forth fruits meet for repentance.” In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul wrote that a “godly sorrow” would result in “repentance,” which would lead to “salvation.”
God is not going to drag us to heaven kicking and screaming, and He wasn’t forcing healing on this man, either. He gave him simple instructions, and expected him to obey.
When the blind man simply obeyed the instructions to wash in the pool of Siloam, he found that he was healed. “He went his way seeing.”