Summary: Jesus takes a man’s physical blindness and demonstrates the stages of spiritual insight and sight.
Tonight we cover part one of our study in John 9 concerning the opening of man’s eyes. Chapters 8 & 9 of John are still under the title, The Revelation of Jesus, The Light of Life. Man is spiritually blind, and our eyes need to be opened. The mission of Jesus is to open the eyes of man.
Chapter 9 is the continuation of the subject Man’s Sinfulness. Jesus takes a man’s physical blindness and demonstrates the stages of spiritual insight and sight. By spiritual insight I mean seeing Jesus and Jesus alone. You see, Jesus is the very theme of God’s revelation. He is the perfect revelation of God and man’s spiritual eyes can be opened to see God but only through Jesus. A part from Jesus, no man will ever see God.
READ vv. 1-3. So Jesus is passing by. We don’t really know where He was at this point in Scripture, it’s not stated. And again, we don’t need to know or God would have told us. As He passed by, He saw a man who had been blind since birth.
There was something about this man that attracted both Jesus and the disciples. It says in verse one that Jesus saw him. This tells us that Jesus had an interest in the man, he cared, he had a concern, he had compassion. The disciples apparently felt the same interest and concern for the man because it says they began to wonder why he had been doomed to suffer so terribly throughout his life.
You see, it was a common belief that a man suffered because of sin, either his own sin or his parents’ sin. So they were attracted to the man and wondered about him. Was he suffering because of some great sin committed by his parents, or because God had foreseen that the man would be a great sinner before he was born? So God made him born blind.
The question is often asked, “How can a man who is not yet born be punished for sin he had not yet committed?” Apparently Jewish belief was that person’s sin was foreseen; so the person was “born in sins” and thereby punished. But lets’ notice two things about this passage so far:
1. Jesus said that the man’s suffering was not due to sin but that he suffered so that the works of God could be demonstrated in his life. So this gives us some insight into why man suffers. Man suffers. . .
So that God can. . .
• Have an opportunity to work
• Show His compassion
• Prove His power
• Demonstrate that He does care and looks after men
• Lead unbelievers to trust Him. BUT ALSO
So that man can . . .
• Give God an opportunity to show what He can do in a life.
• Learn to trust God more and more
• Demonstrate a special strength and endurance
• Set forth a dynamic example of God’s care and power to a lost world
• Better learn and know that he lives in a sinful, corruptible world and desperately needs deliverance.
Think about it. The person who suffers, whatever the suffering may be, has a very special opportunity to show the works of God in his life. He can allow the Spirit of God to be demonstrated in a much more powerful way than a healthy person. The sufferer can show that the grace and power of God are sufficient much more than a healthy person can. Very often a person suffers not because of sin but because God wants a unique opportunity to show His works.
2. The second thing we need to notice about this passage is that Jesus carried the discussion beyond the man’s blindness. The disciples were perplexed over this man’s situation, wondering and asking questions about the problem of suffering and sin. How could a man such as this be punished from birth? Jesus picked up the question, moving it to His worldwide mission as the Light of the world. He dealt with the problem of suffering and sin throughout the whole world. His very mission upon earth was to work the works of God.
READ v. 4. What is Jesus saying here? Jesus came to work the works of God.
Note the words “sent me.” (v.4) God sent Jesus. Jesus had come into the world on God’s mission. He was of God. He was from God’s very presence.
Note that Jesus came to do the works of God. It was God’s works that had to be done. And there are four works that are stressed in this passage.
a. There is the work of seeking man. God seeks man. Jesus took the initiative with this man, reaching out to help him. It wasn’t the man who reached out for help. In fact, the man was blind; he didn’t even know that help was available. If Jesus hadn’t reached out for him, he would have remained blind and been in darkness forever.