No Longer Blind Because of Jesus, Part IV, John 9:17-29
Now in the course of Jesusí travels and as he passed by, always being about His Fatherís business, he happened upon a man blind his entire life.
As we know from scripture Jesus was not one to ignore a need in spite of the controversy that his attention to that need would produce.
Matthew tells us in chapter 4 verse 23, And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
And how terrible that was, according to those whose power was threatened by good deeds.
And especially on the Sabbath, a day filled with restrictions and burdens and barriers that religion had imposed upon the people.
God intended the Sabbath to be for manís benefit but religion had made it of benefit only to the religiously powerful.
And acts done by this man Jesus, healing acts, teaching acts, preaching acts, were especially offensive and were to always be opposed as coming from the devil.
So the man born blind, now able to see the accusers of Jesus is brought before them to explain his part in this conspiracy for certainly one who now could see had never been blind.
They were intent on proving Jesus was working in the power of the devil.
John 9:17,18, They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
He hears these words of attack: We don't believe you that you were blind!
You had sight all the time and now are lying to us.
You were not blind.
Tell an unbeliever that you were blind, in other words you were a lost sinner, and they will object.
They will not agree because it calls for them to admit the same thing.
If you are blind and made of the same flesh and blood that they are does that not call for the same conclusion on their part?
So the natural man will not admit blindness.
The natural man sees God in his own way.
The natural man, out of the deceitfulness of his own heart, has created a world in which he sees God.
How can he be blind when he can see God so well, he asks?
Look how religious I am!
Isn't this what unbelief produces?
It produces a whole economy of a vision of God that they have produced to convince them that they are not blind.
It produces a man-made system of salvation that is within the blindness in which they exist.
John 9:19-21, And they asked them, (his parents) saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
The man could not accurately testify that he was blind since birth for no man can testify of things that occurred at his birth.
Being born blind was an important factor to the Jews.
Perhaps if he was blind for a portion of his life due to an accident or a sickness perhaps the healing had taken place which might be used to justify the regaining of his sight.
A logical explanation to refute the miracle was sought.
Isn't that typical of unbelief?
We Jews refuse to believe in a miracle.
So summon the parents and letís get to the bottom of this.
This Jesus must be proved wrong for if he is right we are wrong.
The parents confine their evidence to what they actually knew and did not speculate about by what means (how) or by whom his eyes were opened.
As we see in the next verse the parents were afraid of the authorities and were careful to answer only the questions that were asked.
Yes, he is our son. Yes, we can testify that he was indeed born blind.
We are his parents, valid and trustworthy witnesses of that fact.
To the "how" and to the "who" question ask him, he is of age.
He can speak for himself.
John 9:22,23, These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
The fear of man brings snares.
The parents were trapped in the snare that the Jews had set for the people.
They had made a fine net of religion that entrapped and enslaved.
They had added to the law of God and complicated the simplicity of God's law into a system that was designed to entangle the people.
Much like today.
Law is corrupted and used to entangle.
And the people feared those who used the law against them.
But you cannot fear man and fear God.
The Bible teaches us that the ones who are fearless before men are those who truly fear God.
This verse reveals to us the conspiracy of the Jews to destroy Jesus Christ.
Confessing Jesus Christ was now grounds for excommunication, a fearful thing for a Jew.
The ears of the Jews were stopped.
They made their necks stiff and incapable of turning.
By their decision their necks were hardened.
And instead of the support of his parents, and a testimony of rejoicing before the Pharisees, fear of man caused his parents to throw their son back to the unbelieving crowd to fend for himself. He is of age; ask him.
This reaction of loved ones has been repeated throughout the ages of the church.
We should not be surprised when our salvation does not bring joy or support to our unbelieving loved ones.
John 9:24, Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
In our manner of speech they tell him to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
Give God the praise.
They continue to try to shake the testimony of the man who had received his sight.
They know something unbelievable has happened but because of blindness to their man-made interpretations of the law their reasoning is corrupted.
John gives us a glimpse of how unbelief will corrupt the God given reasoning power of man.
Blindness will corrupt reasoning.
They have not broken down the testimony of the man by inquiring of his parents.
This inquiry did not reveal any discrepancy in the account of the miracle.
So this man is again called in an attempt to break down his will and confess that something else besides Jesus caused him to see.
It appears that the Jews have concluded that a miracle had occurred because they attribute what had happened to him to the power of God.
But since they also have concluded that Jesus is a sinner because he broke the Sabbath law, there must be some other explanation for this miracle.
It cannot be this man Jesus.
We cannot give credit to a sinner.
Again they adopt the wrong premise.
They say Give God the praise!
But they are hypocrites because in order to give God the praise he must give Jesus Christ the praise.
This, they do not have ears to hear!
John 9:25, He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
In the face of fierce opposition and in a public gathering with the probability of being cast out of the temple the man born blind stands firm in his testimony and is counted for Jesus Christ.
He refuses to discuss the question of whether Jesus was a sinner.
He is not equipped to discuss theological questions.
He simply says what all new born Christians should say when testifying.
Once I was blind but now I can see.
How simple a message but how profound!
I could not see God and the things of God.
I did not have the eyes for that.
I was blind to those things but now I can see.
Once I was lost but now I am found.
There is no question about his ability to see.
He is assured that he can see because he knows that he used to be blind.
He knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he can see.
This is a mark of a child of God.
A child of God knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was blind!
And he knows that he can now see!
God gives assurance to his own, does He not?
We know, don't we?
And the man born blind knew it was absolutely nothing that he had done that had earned him his sight.
It was all Jesus Christ and none of him. 100% to 0%!
All grace on God's part and no works on the man's part.
John 9:26,27, Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
The Jews seek to know how.
How this and how that.
Perhaps if we know how we can prove that this man Jesus is a fraud, they think.
If we know what he did we can examine his actions against our traditions and laws.
We may find further lawbreaking on his part.
He not only broke the Sabbath law but perhaps some other law.
He must be a false prophet.
There must be some explanation for this.
He is not with us so he must be an enemy of God.
Faith cannot explain it.
Unbelief asks how. Belief asks who.
How this man's eyes were opened is not important.
How you were saved is unimportant.
What is more important? Your testimony or Christ?
Who saved you, is what is important.
But praise the Lord for this man born blind.
He is advancing in his understanding of Jesus Christ.
He knows that they are trying to trip him up.
He knows that they have no interest in becoming the disciples of Christ.
So he uses a bit of sarcasm in his reply to these unbelievers.
I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
This is an example of Proverbs 26:5, Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
Use sarcasm to show a fool his folly for the population of the Pharisees included a multitude of fools.
So the man born blind exposes the folly and unbelief of these Jews.
John 9:28,29, Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
This was too much to take for the proud Pharisees.
They resort to reproach, to vilification.
They pronounce anathemas against him.
They rail at him.
They abuse him.
They resort to invectives and name calling.
They have no argument to the one who was blind but who now can see.
They have been defeated in debate.
So they call him by a name which is the greatest of compliments to the Christian.
Thou art his disciple!
Isn't that what we desire to be known as?
Isn't that what we want our testimony to broadcast?