Summary: This is the final segment of the this four part series exploring John 9. What does it mean to be spiritually blind?

As we conclude our examination of John 9, we begin to see the story is a lot more than just one where Jesus healed a man born blind. We begin to see that there are those who are spiritually blind even though they have 20/20 physical vision. We looked at the man who was born blind having his spiritual eyes open as well. But a good portion of this story is about the Pharisees, those religious leaders and experts in the Scripture, whose spiritual eyes are blinded.

Here are the Pharisees – separated from the world and devoted to God – yet they were blind as bats to spiritual truth. The origin of the name “Pharisee” has been debated, but most scholars agree that it derives from the Hebrew root meaning “to separate.” This makes sense, because the Pharisees were separatists. One such group of Pharisees were known as the "bruised and bleeding" Pharisees. This was because in the attempt to avoid lust they would walk about with their eyes covered - and as a result fall into holes or walk into walls. Their bruises became their proof of spirituality and commitment to God. The Pharisees were those people who set themselves up as the religious leaders of the people while being separate from them and better than them. [1]

What scares me about the Pharisees (whom Jesus never had a kind word about), is when I examine my own life, I see that I’m more like them than I care to admit.

We conclude this 9th chapter today, we’re going to be looking at spiritual sight and spiritual blindness and more important, we will see what Jesus has to say about it.

John 9:35–41

In 1995 Jane’s International Defense Review reported that Norinco of China was offering to export a weapon that used laser beams to damage the eyes of enemies. The weapon is called the ZM–87 portable laser “disturber.” According to the Chicago Tribune, “Jane’s said the company states ‘one of its major applications’ is ‘to injure or dizzy’ the eyes of an enemy combatant with high-power laser pulses, and ‘especially anybody who is sighting and firing … [by means of] an optical instrument, so as to cause him to lose combat ability or result in suppression of his observation and sighting operation.’ ” The ZM–87 is effective to a range of two miles. Blinding a soldier renders him worthless for battle. Satan knows that, and so he too has weapons to blind the eyes.[2]

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NKJV) whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

In fact some of the most blinded spiritually are those who claim to be “enlighten,” who know far more than us ordinary people.

Just to review, we remember that Jesus gave sight to this man who was born blind. This has never happened before and the people were amazed and also bewildered. “What does it all mean? What is the spiritual significance of all this?” So they brought the man to the Pharisees who had all the answers.

One little detail John added to the story:

John 9:14 (NKJV) Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.

This changed everything. The Pharisees ignored the miracle of the healing and concentrated on their traditions of keeping the Sabbath. They claimed Jesus was a sinner.

John 9:24 (NKJV) So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”

The Pharisees knew a sinner when they saw one, because after all, who kept the Law as well as they did? But the man born blind could not be made to speak evil of the One who gave him His sight. That uneducated man born blind stuck to his story and began to teach the Pharisees a thing or two.

John 9:33 (NKJV) If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

The pharisees had quite enough, they could not argue with this man as he was confusing them with the facts. So the penalty for receiving his sight, something that had never happened in the history of the world to that point, for receiving it on the Sabbath, was excommunication. He was casted out of the temple.

John 9:34 (NKJV) They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.

What a blow, what humiliation, what a disgrace. They threw this man out of temple. But the Lord of the temple finds the man.

John 9:35 (NKJV) Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

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