20 Jesus’ Encounter with the Man Born Blind


John 9:1-2
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

  • From this question that the disciples asked Jesus, how did the people generally view suffering? They viewed it as a punishment from God. That person must have done something wrong in order for such a terrible thing to happen to them – in this case it was being born blind.
  • Example we find in the Bible? Job. Friends accused him of having done something wrong. That’s why we faced so many bad things in such a short time!
  • But in the book of Job we also get the answer, that suffering is not from God, it is from the devil. And sometimes even the most righteous and blessed people face calamities as well.

John 9:3
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

  • It isn’t always personal sin, or our parents’ sin that cause certain situations.
  • Of course, sin in the world has caused disease and suffering. But sometimes it’s not our own doing.

John 9:6-7
6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

  • So interesting. How come didn’t just speak the word or just touch him? Why put clay and make the guy to go and wash? It obviously worked of course. But there wasn’t any healing power in the clay or the water with which he used to wash his eyes. The healing was dependent on whether he believed the word of Jesus and followed His instructions.
  • Here is an important lesson. There is a part for us to play in being healed. And what we do will determine our healing and our own salvation.
  • Examples in the Bible:
    • Namaan – having to go wash 7 times in the river Jordan.
    • Jesus healing the cripple man by the pool of Bethesda – He asked him to stand up and walk! The man had to try!
  • There is an important part for us to trust God and follow His instruction. Sometimes it may not seem logical or normal. But nonetheless, God tests our faith.
  • Example – keeping the Sabbath seems outdated to many people. Most of the world considers Saturday a working day. To rest seems illogical.

Now this man goes home, encounters the neighbours.

  • John 9:8-12
    8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 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. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
  • They couldn’t believe this amazing story. So what did they do?

John 9:13-16
13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.

  • Now they bring this man before the Pharisees. They question him. They can’t accept that Jesus could do such a thing because they say He broke the Sabbath by healing on that day. But yet, how could He have such power to heal like this? There’s division.
  • It’s as if the people were so zealous over the Sabbath. But they weren’t. They were following forms and ceremonies but they themselves were not walking with God and knowing Him personally.
  • They cared more that Jesus broke the Sabbath than this man who was born blind could now actually see! Their focus was on the wrong thing!

Look, Jesus didn’t actually break the Sabbath or change the Sabbath. It’s just that the Jews had so twisted the understanding of how to keep the Sabbath that Jesus was trying to break them out of that twisted way of thinking. Jesus didn’t come to change the law.

  • Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
  • Jesus was a Sabbath keeper whilst on earth!
    • Luke 4:16
      And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
  • And though He healed on the Sabbath, He wasn’t breaking the Sabbath. He wasn’t working! He wasn’t receiving any wages.
  • When He healed the cripple and asked him to take up his mat and walk and go home, the Pharisees said that Jesus broke the Sabbath because He had asked the man to carry his mat. But now Jesus doesn’t ask this blind man to carry anything but yet they still say that Jesus broke the Sabbath.
  • Can you see how unreasonable they are and how full of hypocrisy and hatred they are? They are so jealous and hateful of Jesus that even when Jesus didn’t do anything wrong – they said that it was wrong.

So what happens next?

  • John 9:17
    They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
  • They question him again and he gives his own opinion. He calls Jesus a prophet. Naturally of course the Pharisees cannot accept this. What? Jesus a prophet? They were just saying that He broke the Sabbath and now this man is declaring Him to be a prophet?

So now they take it a step further. What do they do?

  • John 9:18-22
    18 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. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 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. 22 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.
  • They question the parents. They didn’t want to believe the man himself. But the Pharisees intimidate the parents. If they confess Christ they would be put out of the synagogue. They were ready to kick them out of church.
  • Today that isn’t so serious. You kick me out of one, I’ll just go to a different one. Most likely people in our modern era would just leave church altogether.
  • Why was it such a serious issue in Jesus’ day? You must remember, the Jews all worshipped the same God. They all had the same religion. To be kicked out of the synagogue would to be an outcast. It was a threat to be kicked out of the nation! It would ruin your whole future! So the parents were more scared of their threats than actually telling the truth.
  • How many have sacrificed principle to gain worldly temporal advantage than standing up for what is right! If we have stood before God, we won’t be afraid of what man will do to us!

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.

  • What does it mean when they say to the man – Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner. They’re saying – come now, tell us the truth! We know that you think this man is a sinner right?
  • They just didn’t want to accept the testimony of the man that Jesus was a prophet! But look at what the man says.
  • 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.
  • Call him what you want! Sinner or not! All I know is that I was blind, and now I see! This man healed me!
  • He was just giving his testimony and they just would not believe that he was blind before and that Jesus and really healed him.

John 9:26-27
26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 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?

  • They question the man that had been healed again! Come tell us, how did He really open your eyes? They just can’t accept his answer.
  • Have you ever been in situation like this before? No matter what you say, it’s like the people don’t hear you. Sometimes you talk to people and their mind is made up already. It’s like they are talking to you to just make their point and not really care about what actually happened.
  • This is the attitude of the Pharisees. In their blind hatred of Jesus, it didn’t even matter that this man that was blind could now see! So much evidence that Jesus was sent from heaven, that He was the Messiah, that He was God in the flesh – but yet they refused to see.

We must be careful that we don’t allow our own thoughts or biases of someone to make us blind to the truth around us of that person. The Pharisees hated Jesus so much that He could not do anything right! Even when Jesus performed a miracle, they called Him out saying that He performed miracles by the devil and not by the Spirit of God.

  • The Bible tells us that we will know them by their fruits. Let’s make sure we look at the fruits of the person instead of judging them by what we hear from other people. Let’s go directly to the source and speak to them. But too often we like to form our own opinion of a person because our friend told us and we choose to believe our friend over someone else.

John 9:28-29
28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

  • They accused the man of being the disciple of Jesus and that he was being biased – can you believe that? When in fact, the Pharisees were the ones that were biased and refused to see with their own eyes the situation before them. They put their own sin on this man!

How does this man reply?

  • John 9:30-33
    30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
  • This man gives irrefutable logic! If this man wasn’t of God, how can He heal me who had been born blind?!
  • You can see how the Pharisees get themselves into trouble which would lead them eventually to say that Jesus was doing miracles by the power of the devil because it was obvious that He had been performing miracles!
  • So the only step left for them to take was to say – look it wasn’t God’s power that He was using! It has to be then, whose? Right?

John 9:34
They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

  • If this man was born in sin then every man would be born in sin. But what they are really implying is – he was born blind. He must have had a seriously worse life that the Pharisees. They were looking down on him. And they couldn’t answer his logic anymore, so all they simply did was just cast him out from their presence.

Friends, are you blind to the blessings of God in your life? Have you misunderstood Christ and all that He has done for you? Are you blind to His guidance and blessing in your life? It is one thing to be physically blind. But the Pharisees were spiritually blind. What made them blind?

  • It was their blind hatred for Jesus. No amount of miracles was able to convince them.
  • John 9:39
    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.
  • There is a blindness that is worse than physical blindness.
  • The Laodicean church in Revelation have this problem.
  • Revelation 3:17
    Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
  • That is the condition of many of us today. We think our life is good. We are satisfied. But really, we’re not taking the time to stop and think about our own lives.

John 9:35-37
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

Jesus shows Himself again to the man and he can see Him this time. And right there on the spot, he accepts Jesus as his Saviour. This is called simple faith friends. He that had been healed could recognize the voice of Jesus since he didn’t see Him the first time. But on recognizing that voice, he held on and didn’t let go and worshipping Christ right there. Not only was he able to see in the physical sense, but spiritually he could see as well. And it’s not rocket science. It’s not so complicated that the Pharisees missed it. But they allowed their prejudices of Christ to get in the way of seeing a miracle and just simply believing!

Today, let’s have our eyes open to see the blessings of God in our lives. Let’s ask for the spiritual eyesight so we can discern the movements of God in our lives. He wants to bless us so much, but so many times our focus is wrong and we miss Jesus and all the blessings that He brings with Him. May God help us to see today!

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