No Longer Blind Because of Jesus, Part II, John 9:8-15
Chapter nine of the Gospel of John begins by John telling us that Jesus passed by.
It is interesting that chapter eight ends with Jesus also passing by, in this instance after his confrontation with the Pharisees and scribes and hiding himself that the stones taken up to cast at him would not its target.
So going through the midst of them, He passed by.
And then as he passes he sees a man who was born blind.
In this account by John, Jesus said: As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.
Jesus had just evaded a stoning death but he had never evaded his mission on earth to be the light of this dark world and now he intended to be the light to this man, a man who had never had seen or known light.
He knew he was now a hunted man but this did not dissuade him from being about His Father’s business.
And he now shows the power of light in the life of this blind man, bending down to him with clay mixed with his spittle, applying it to his eyelids and commanding him to go to the pool called Sent and thereby wash away his blindness.
The blind man does not object and say some foolish, silly or faithless thing but obeys and somehow finds his way to the pool where his eyes are marvelously opened and he comes forth seeing, something he had never done before.
Oh how gloriously he would join us in singing, Amazing Grace, I once was blind but now I see!
Now later in verse 39 Jesus again declares his purpose exactly carried out in the life of this man blind from birth.
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Two purposes of Christ, to make to see and to make blind.
Now I believe the blind beggar is a representative of any one of us.
The Father arranged this meeting of Jesus Christ and the blind man for our edification and for our learning of his glorious life saving Grace.
For it has spiritual lessons for all ages.
It accurately depicts what happens today to a sinner saved by the grace of God.
If you are saved it depicts your spiritual history.
The man, found outside the temple, represents the sinner alienated from God.
He was blind and unable to see the Savior coming to him.
He was blind from birth, so too is the sinner, estranged from the womb.
As Psalm 58:3, says: The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
Even the cry of a baby will proclaim this truth.
This blind man was totally helpless, beyond the aid of man, and hopeless unless God intervened.
He was simply a beggar, unable to purchase a remedy for his blindness and was completely dependent upon the charity of others.
We see him here making no appeal to Jesus Christ for help.
Such is the condition of the sinner before the grace of God begins to do its work.
And last the philosophizing and reasoning of the disciples’ shows the inability of man to help the sinner to see light.
So by his word he shows that we too are blind.
This passage shows that Jesus Christ is the one who looks for sinners, that he is the one who heals,
This passage tells us that some who suffer, may suffer that God's power and grace is revealed in the sufferer.
It shows the imperative nature of God's grace.
Jesus is light as long as he is in the world and:
He must work the works of the Father, the works of grace, for that is God's nature.
This passage tells us to wash in the water of his word and apply it to ourselves and we will then have light, for he is the light.
As we are told in: Psalm 119:130, The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
So continuing in the narrative John writes of the reaction of the blind man’s neighbors in:
John 9:8, The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
This blind man had been well known in his neighborhood.
His range of activity had been very limited because of his blindness.
The people of the neighborhood were used to seeing him often in his place of begging, for he was a fixture, unable to change his ways.
But today Jesus had come into their neighborhood and changed things.
For Light cannot be hidden.
In this passage John tells us that his neighbors notice something different about the blind beggar.
Light has done its work and darkness has been dispelled.
The man who was blind is blind no more, the man who had begged begs no more.
The difference in a life touched by Jesus Christ is obvious.
A work of grace produces something that neighbors see.
A work of grace turns a person into a useful person, a person whose eyes are opened to truth.
Some said in John 9:9,10, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
What a typical picture of those regenerated by God!
Some saw the man as he had been but now there was something different about what they saw.
Two natures now where there had been only one before.
The old man is there to occupy his body of death, but the new man has taken up residence to prepare this man for eternal life with God.
Some recognized the one they had known before his eyes were opened; others saw a different person.
God does not destroy you when you are born again, he regenerates you.
He makes you, not somebody else, but he makes you new!
This is the miracle of the new birth.
To make something that is corrupt, incorrupt.
So we see a work of grace put to the test.
A testimony is called for in the life of the man born blind.
How were your eyes opened, the neighbors ask?
So, very quickly, the new soul in Christ is given an opportunity to bear witness of Jesus Christ for amazing Grace has worked in his behalf.
To confess that Jesus is the reason that his eyes were opened.
Not how they were opened as asked by the neighbors but who opened them.
The natural man wants to hear of your experiences so his curiosity is satisfied.
But they had no natural desire to hear about Christ.
The sign of their unbelief is when they asked "how" and not "who".
The whole world of science asks how but never who!
Belief recognizes a person, unbelief recognizes a process, a religion.
Religion caters to the “how” and not the “who.”
I should not be concerned about the religious experiences that you have had.
I should care about whether you know Jesus Christ.
Do you have life in him?
Are you joined to him?
Are you related to him?
Belief revolves around a person and not a process.
So in John 9:11,12, He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
Notice how simple, honest and sincere was this man's testimony.
He told them only what he knew.
Notice how he related what Jesus had done but he did not mention that Jesus had spit on the ground.
He had not seen that.
He only felt Jesus apply the wet clay to his eyes.
He could honestly testify of that, but he does not mention the wetting of the clay by Christ.
See how perfect the word of God is in its detail!
See how the Holy Spirit led John the Apostle to carefully write this book.
And notice how in his simple honest testimony he publicly names the name of Jesus.
He did not shrink from naming the one who had given him sight.
He did not couch his testimony in fancy theological terms skirting around the truth to avoid controversy.
He simply related what Jesus Christ, the man, did for him.
He did not have much light but he was faithful to the light that he had and that is the way to obtain more light.
He did not try to embellish the light.
He did not speculate or elaborate or try to impress anyone or elevate himself as someone special.
As a new believer he boasted of the work of Christ because he did not as yet have an intimate knowledge of his person.
That will come later.
What was your experience as a new believer?
Were you not interested in forgiveness of sins and eternal life and becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus?
As you mature in Christ don't you find yourself wanting to know the person of Jesus Christ in a more intimate way?
We should want to know Jesus Christ for God’s purpose is to conform all His children to His only begotten Son, Jesus!
That's what it’s all about.
Knowing God! Knowing Jesus Christ!
What a friend we have in Jesus should be real to us as we grow in grace.
But this man, now formerly blind, did not go beyond the light that he had.
When it came to a question that he did not know the answer he simply told them that he did not know where Jesus went.
So the neighbors reacted as given in John 9:13,14 and: They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
A religious issue is involved and the Pharisees must be consulted for no doubt that was their law.
Now at last the blind beggar will be noticed by those who before took no notice.
Blindness, they thought was the result of sin and they did not want anything to do with any sinner.
But now a beggar born blind who now could see is brought before them!
The beggar had testified to his neighbors but by being interrogated by the Pharisees he faced a greater test of his faith.
Don't we learn in verse 22 that fear of being put out of the temple for supporting Jesus was common in Jerusalem on this day?
The Pharisees were bent on discrediting Jesus Christ and would welcome one who would testify against him.
They looked for one who would testify that Jesus Christ worked on the Sabbath for this man Jesus was a Sabbath breaker and must be stopped.
But by Christ's example He shows us that works of necessity and works of mercy are allowable works on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath was made for man but the Jews had twisted its beauty and now used it to control man religiously.
Typical tentacles of religion for religion always binds but Christ always frees!
Christ gave no regard to the commandments of men when they conflicted with the works that he must work for the Father.
This should be our example as we do the works of God.
We are not to be in bondage to the rules and regulations of religion when they have no support from the Word of God.
God intends us to be free of the bonds of man-made religious barriers and only be governed by the faithful barriers of the wisdom of the Word of God.
As Gal 5:1, tells us we are to: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
So the Pharisees, who intend to load this blind man with a yoke ask in John 9:15, …….. how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
The minds of the Pharisees are closed.
Their necks are stiff to the word of God.
They are incapable of turning toward truth.
They have so pre-determined that if anyone confess that Jesus is the Christ he should be put out of the synagogue.
They examine the blind beggar to discredit the miracle and to intimidate the one upon whom the miracle was performed.
So they too ask how.
How did this happen?
There must be a logical explanation. How?
The question from the unbelieving.
To the seeing beggar's credit he answers in a straight forward manner and gives an accurate account of the miracle.
He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
Not how but he!