John 9:1-41

READ JOHN 9:1-12

What does the disciples question presuppose about the cause of disabilities?

It presupposes that a disability is caused by sin. That God had judged that person with a disability.

If the man was born blind, then using the disciples logic, whose sin caused his blindness.

Taking the disciples logic the answer would be the parents – or the man if he had sinned in the womb.

What do you make of Jesus’ response? What issue does it raise? Was the man born blind in order to be healed by Jesus?

Jesus is not dismissing that sin was the cause of the disability – only that neither the parents nor the man are the cause of the blindness.

The cause of the blindness is the sin of Adam. Disability is caused by the sin of adam. We live in a fallen world where imperfection, disability and disease are prevalent.

For Jesus, all things, even afflictions, calamties and evil acts have as their ultimate purpose the glorification of God in Christ. God does not let an evil act, or an affliction or a calamity pass him by. He knows. And for all who are in Christ it shall be turned into good as Romans 8 tells us and as the cross illustrates – Jesus suffers the greatest in justice of history – God killed unjustly and without cause.

But what has Jesus come into the world to do?

To set humanity free from sin through his death – he is the light of the world – this man is an example of what Jesus has come to do – set people free from the darkness. Jesus says the night is coming – Jesus’ earthly ministry will be limited in time – which went against the notion of the time that the Messiah and the Messianic age would last forever.

Why does the Bible tell us that Jesus spat in the dirt and made mud? Couldn’t he have just said “Be Healed?”

We don’t know really why he did this. One point is that Jesus is deliberately provoking the Pharisees by making mud / clay, which was considered one of the 39 classes of forbidden work – on the Sabbath (see v14). Another is that Jesus took that which was deemed unclean (Lev 15:8) – spit – and uses it as a symbol of healing. Also, Jesus requires an act from the man – he sends the man to wash his face.

Do you see anything significant in the meaning of the name of the Pool?

Go and wash your face in the pool of Sent. Jesus has told the jews many times he is the one sent by the Father. Maybe this is over spiritualizing, but there might be an illusion here to the jews going and washing in the pool of the sent one.

The healing sends everyone into a spin of confusion – this was healing never seen before – the mans words in v32 show that nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. Yet it really is only confusing because they are trying to find an alternative explanation for what really happened.

Now we have had discussions about hindsight and how easy it is to read back into the gospel of John with what we know. And that is true. But don’t forget there were 12 very ordinary Jews, who while they made many mistakes, and did not understand – they followed Jesus and sought to understand.

READ V13-23

Who the ‘they’ are who brought the man to the Pharisees we do not know – but he is brought to them for questioning.

What has happened to the Pharisees over this healing?

They are divided. Some where saying this man is not from God. Their reasoning went like this:

Major Premise: All people who are from God keep the Sabbath.

Minor Premise: Jesus does not keep the Sabbath

Conclusion: Jesus is not from God.

The other group also had their reasoning:

Major Premise: Only people who are from God can heal

Minor Premise: Jesus has healed a blind man

Conclusion: Jesus is from God.

What does the mans declaration of who Jesus is show about what is happening to him?

He is changing. He calls Jesus Jesus at the beginning. And as all this discussion is going on around him he must be thinking and contemplating and his understanding is growing – Jesus must now be a prophet – the highest accolade he could give Jesus.

The Pharisees are on a campaign to discredit the healing or the blind man.

What is odd about the Parents response to the Pharisees? Why do they act like this – what is missing?

John tells us they are scared about being put out of the synagogue. They are frightened for their own position. Also, they show no sign of happiness that their blind son can now see.

READ v24-34

How would you describe v24?

They are, in my opinion, in a VERY dangerous position. They invoke the name of God in order for the man to speak truthfully only to then attribute God as a sinner.

What remarkable barrier are the Pharisees hitting in this passage?

The truth. The Pharisees theoretical and dogmatic assumptions run into the indisputable and unalterable fact that this man can now see!! He has simply been telling them what HAPPENED!! The  plain facts.

It is an example for us. We have the truth of who Jesus is. We will face opposition, rejection, dismissal, even attempts to modify the truth but we must continue to stand on the undeniable truth of the God of the Gospel

By v27 the man’s understanding is growing.

What does the man’s question “You don’t want to become his disciples too, do you?” imply about him?

That he already considers himself to be a disciple. Maybe this whole charade has helped him understand.

The Pharisees realize that the man has seen through their attempts to trip him up – and so they resort to another sophisticated and educated method – insults!!

We have already seen Jesus show that he has surpassed Moses and that in fact Moses would be their judge (5:45), and yet even here they claim Moses as their standard.

Finally, what has the man become to the Pharisees?

This blind man has become a teacher to the Pharisees. This uneducated, former beggar, dismantles the theologians argument. The Pharisees know that God only listens to the godly who do his will!!

It shows that a person seeking God and his truth will always expose a Minister, or  theologians prejudices and agendas.

The man is thrown out being accused of being steeped in sin – which was true – but also now he has encountered Christ his sin has been forgiven.

READ vv35-41

What does Jesus do here in v35

Is this not a beautiful picture. The man has stood up to the Pharisees and been thrown out of the temple. Jesus hears about it and goes and finds him – he is the good shepherd – he seeks this man out. And he completes the conversion – the man worships Jesus. 

Jesus again states his mission in v39 – what is it?

The judgment refered to here is the division of humanity into believers and unbelievers brought about by Jesus coming into the world and being the light.

Jesus refers to the Pharisees as blind guides in Matt 23:16 – the Pharisees believed they saw well – Jesus calls them blind.

What v41 intend to teach us?

It is not the Pharisees sin that makes them lost. If they had recognized their sin and were yearning for God no charge would be brought against them. It is their repudiation of grace that makes them lost – for there is no were to go by rejecting Jesus because they have rejected the light, which does not just make them blind, but culpable.

The man was an image of humanity and the Pharisees – blind and lost – and Jesus’ mission is to awaken the eyes of th lost – to be the light which shines and draws people to him. The Pharisees prove their blindness by refusing to see the light and this poor, uneducated former beggar kneels at Jesus’ feet to worship him.

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