Summary: Jesus opens the eyes of the blind man, but brings blindness to those who see... Hmmmm. Only by faith can we truly see, and only through Jesus can we come to receive our sight.
(The audio version skips the review and includes a second application as an ending).
Views of a Blind Man
It’s time for a brief review of John’s gospel before we move into the ninth chapter.
1. John introduces Jesus differently than any other gospel: He is the Word of God, who is with God, and who is God. He is the creator of all that is made. He came here as one of us… the word became flesh. He revealed God to us and God’s grace to us. John the Baptist pointed to him as the Lamb of God, come to take away the sins of the world. Spirit anointed, promised, and now present, Jesus came to his own and was rejected. His first disciples were a result of John the Baptist’s referral. We meet Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathaniel.
2. Next we go with Jesus to a wedding where the wine runs out. Jesus turns about 120 gallons of water into the best wine. His disciples are beginning to discover his glory and faith is beginning to take root in them. Jesus goes to Jerusalem at the Passover feast with his disciples, cleanses the temple and is questioned by the authorities there. He answers them by saying, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in 3 days.” His disciples watch, listen and learn.
3. Nicodemus comes to visit Jesus at night. Impressed with the miracles of Jesus he addresses Jesus as rabbi and says, “We know you have come from God. No one could do what you do if God were not with him.” Jesus responds telling Nicodemus he must be born again of water and the Spirit before he can see the kingdom of God. The golden text of the Bible is here in the middle of Jesus discussion with Nicodemus. 3:16 For God so love the world, he gave his only begotten Son… Jesus immediately enters a baptizing campaign and attracts and baptizes more disciples than John the Baptist. At the end of this chapter we read of John the Baptist’s final testimony about Jesus.
4. Now Jesus goes through Samaria on his way to Galilee. Here he meets and evangelizes a woman at Jacobs well. She goes and brings crowds from Sychar who Jesus also evangelizes. They believe based on his words. When he arrives in Galilee a royal official travels several miles to get Jesus to come heal his dying son. Jesus forces the man to take him at his word. He returns home and finds that the words of Jesus have healed his son and he and his household believe.
5. Jesus returns to Jerusalem on an unidentified feast day and heals a lame man at a pool. But he does it on the Sabbath. This brings the authorities down on the one he healed and when they discover it is Jesus that healed him, they focus their attacks on Jesus. He gives them plenty of ammunition to shoot him with by making claims about himself that only God can make. He supports his claims with the witness of John, the Scriptures, the works of God in him, and Moses. Instead of believing him they want to kill him.
6. Jesus goes back to Galilee. Feeds the 5000. Walks on the water. Tells those who come after him for more food, “I am the bread of life.” He presses this so sharply that many quit following him. He asks his disciples if they will leave him too, and Peter answers, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Vs68-69.
7. Now John reports that it is dangerous for Jesus to return to Jerusalem because the Jews there are seeking to kill him. John reports that Jesus’ brothers don’t believe in him. The feast of Tabernacles has come and Jesus legally was required to go. He went in secret. In the middle of the feast, Jesus goes right up to the temple and begins teaching. He is challenged immediately. He again makes claims about himself and his teaching that infuriate the authorities. They send officers to arrest Jesus, but they come back saying they’ve never heard anyone speak like Jesus. The Pharisees go ballistic, accusing the officers and the crowds of being accursed. Nicodemus sheepishly speaks in Jesus defense and is verbally attacked as well.
8. The Pharisees now confront Jesus with a legal matter. What do you do with a woman who is caught in adultery? Stone her like Moses said, or what? Jesus doesn’t bite the bait. In a single sentence he silences his accusers and sends the accused woman away uncondemned. Jesus now says about himself, “I am the light of the world.” Now he begins to turn up the heat on the authorities by telling them that by rejecting him they are rejecting God. In potent words Jesus says, “Unless you believe I am He, you will die in you sins!” And he concludes his exchange with them saying this: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” They were picking up stones to throw even as he hid himself and left.