The blind (needy) receive their sight and the –“sighted” (prideful) remain blind — John 9
These verses continue the message Jesus gave at the Feast of Tabernacles and the theme and symbol of light. In this context Jesus declares Himself the –“light of the world” and brings light (sight) to the blind man and a message to the proud religious leaders that reveals their spiritual blindness. Lack of intellect is not the reason people reject Jesus but in fact is sometimes actually the cause (intellectual pride). (Matthew 11:25)
A blind person in Jesus’ day was desperate and hopeless for any kind of meaningful life. They did not have the assistance provided today (Braille, seeing-eye dogs, etc.) nor the social/government welfare programs. This is a picture of our desperate condition of spiritual blindness apart from Christ. We are eternally hopeless without His salvation.
Once again we see a growing revelation of the deity of Christ from –“a man called Jesus” (v.11) to –“He’s a prophet” (v.17) to –“a man from God” (v.33) to –“Son of Man” a Messianic title (v. 35) to –“Lord” and he worshiped Him” (v. 38). Jesus Christ is Lord!
Many people wrongly reject the Lord because of an unbiblical understanding of the problem of evil and suffering, especially personal suffering. Suffering is a mystery in God’s hand so we can never make an exact one to one cause and effect from an act of sin to a consequence of suffering, a la Job’s counselors. God is never accountable for evil. He is the Author/Creator of the ones who do evil (fallen angels and fallen man) but never the cause of evil. Without an understanding of the fall in Genesis 3 and the tremendous change in mankind and all of creation (from –“it is good” to sin and death, disease, demons, etc.) people’s view of life is very confusing – as if one is coming in at the tail end of a movie. God in Christ entered into our fallen world and suffered with us and for us and removed the sting of death on the cross. And one day He will triumph over all evil and restore all things to His glory. (Romans 8:18-25) Hold on, He’s coming.
A better translation of verse 3 is: –“Neither this man nor his parents sinned (i.e., to bring about this blindness), said Jesus. But so that the work of God might be displayed, we must do the work of Him who sent Me while it is still day.”
–“Night (Jesus meant His death and this is true for us too — we must serve the Lord while we still have life) is coming when no one can work.” There are two things we won’t be able to do in heaven: lead others to Christ for salvation and help people in need. (See Ephesians 5:15 -17)
The Pharisees once again show their true heart — they love their laws (and thus power) more than they love people. Healing on the Sabbath did not violate the Old Testament Law but only the legalistic additions to the Law by Jewish leaders. They tried their best to either refute the miracle (a case of mistaken identity) or put Jesus down for a violation of the Law of Moses.
We see the fear of the parents (if anyone confessed Jesus as the Christ they would be put out of the synagogue) and the great courage of the blind man in not denying Jesus. (See vv. 24-34) –“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) Jesus, as the only way to God, is still the lightning rod of division even among family members, friends and business associates and even in a –“Christian” nation like America (used to be). Why do we fear the disapproval of people more than the disapproval of God (Who sees everything), to whom we will all have to give an account one day? If we rightly fear the Lord (i.e., trust Him, revere Him and earnestly desire to please Him) we really should fear no one or nothing in life. (See James 5:16)
Then Jesus sought out the blind man (He is always looking for His lost sheep — Luke 15:4; Ezekiel 34:11-16). Later we see the greatest miracle as he received his spiritual sight and worshiped the Lord. No man or angel should receive worship. Worship belongs to God and Him alone.
v. 39 -41 – Jesus’ light of pure white holiness is the judgment He brought into the world. Compared to other –“sinners” we all may look white but compared to Jesus we all have much darkness. (John 3:19-21) And unless we come to the light (Jesus) and receive His pardon and salvation we will, like the Pharisees, –“remain in our sins.”
Have you ever turned away from the Lord in your trials and suffering? How can we help those who do?
–“We must do the work of Him who sent Me while it is still day. Night (Jesus meant His death and this is true for us too — we must serve the Lord while we still have life) is coming when no one can work.” There are two things we won’t be able to do in heaven. Lead others to Christ for salvation and help people in need. How are you spending your days leading others to Jesus and helping those in need? See Ephesians 5:15 -17; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Where do you see Christians (or yourself) who still fear man and seek their approval more than the Lord’s – i.e., at work, among friends, etc? See John 5:44