Summary: The enemies of the Lord Jesus could not see because they were spiritually blind. The blind man also could not see, even when the Light of the World stood before him, but Jesus is going to reveal Himself to him. Before the blind man can see, he must ...
Lesson: Man Born blind Healed; Following Consequences
The Lord has been giving His discourse on the Light of the World. Because He claimed He is God, the Jews wanted to kill Him. Jesus “hid” Himself as He went out of the temple, “going through the midst of them” (John 8:59). It was a miracle that He could escape this angry mob. His time had not yet come, and so they could not lay their hands on him.
The incident which now follows is still really a continuation of the discourse on the Light of the World. The enemies of the Lord Jesus could not see because they were spiritually blind. The blind man also could not see, even when the Light of the World stood before him, but Jesus is going to reveal Himself to him. Before the blind man can see, he must have his eyes restored. Light must be received. There must be a receiver as well as a sender of Light.
(John 9:1-2) And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
The disciples want to establish the cause of his disease. They want to discuss who’s at fault, who is it that sinned. In their day there were probably four answers they would have given. The pagans of that day, and many of today also, believed in reincarnation and held that inherited disease could be the result of sins committed during a former existence. The Jews never did accept this explanation. Then there is the argument of heredity, that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and forth generations (see Exodus 20:5). We know that this is possible and that blindness in some cases can be the result of the sin of the parent. Then, there was the explanation that the sin of Adam was passed to each member of the human family so that all are subject to death and disease. And finally, the Jewish rabbis believed that a child in the womb could sin.
(John 9:3-5) Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Jesus doesn’t give them the answer they wanted. He says the important thing is not to probe around in the past and try to find out who is guilty. The thing to do is to cure the man. It may be true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but after a man is sick, it is pretty important to get that pound of cure for him.
God has His own wise reasons for permitting sickness, disease, suffering and trouble. God doesn’t always reveal to us why He permits things. God has His way and He doesn’t propose to tell us all His reasons. He does ask us to walk with him by faith through the dark times of our lives.
I think we need to understand that our Lord is not saying for one minute that this man was some sort of spiritual guinea pig. I believe the punctuation in the verse misleads us. Jesus is saying, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents. But that the works of God should be made manifest in him, I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day.”
God has created you and me for His glory. He did not create us so that we might try to be somebody down here. He created us for His glory. If we miss that, we miss the entire purpose for our creation. These trials and sufferings come to us because they bring about the glory of God. Not only will this blind man see (and think how much he will enjoy seeing all the rest of his life), but also he will see Jesus Christ and come to know Him as his Savior.
(John 9:6-7) 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, 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.
Christ had to touch the blind man, and the blind man had to obey Christ. Christ must touch our spiritual vision and bring new life to the dead spiritual optic nerve. It is not a question of who sinned. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). If Christ has not touched your spiritual eyes, you are not seeing.