John's Account of the Raising of Lazarus, and of the Healing of the Man Born Blind

John 4-9
Mr. Newman objects to John's account of the raising of Lazarus, and of the healing of the man born blind, on the ground of their not being mentioned by the other evangelists, and John's writing long after. Now the miracles Mr. N. objects to were immediately in connection with the subject the Holy Ghost employed John to treat of. One was in demonstration of His Sonship in the direct way of power; and the other, of the light-giving power which accompanied the recognition of His mission, leading to the owning of Him as Son. Now I repeat here what I have already said, that the Holy Ghost must have an object in writing such histories. He is not-could not be-a biographer, to write a life with circumstances which there was no divine reason for communicating. He was revealing Christ under various characters of glory, Son of God, Son of David, Son of man, Emmanuel.
Now let us examine whether there is not such a definite bearing of the two miracles referred to as is to be expected in a history given of God; whether they do not bear the stamp of a divine revelation of Jesus. From chapter 4, John's Gospel had systematically unfolded the new thing in contrast with Judaism. Spiritual worship of the Father instead of at Jerusalem or on Gerizim. (Chap. 4.) Life-giving power, instead of human strength using ordinances; judgment executed to secure Christ's glory in those who rejected Him: here He is the life-giving Son. (Chap. 5.) Next, He is the humbled Son of man instead of King Messiah in Israel, the spiritual food of faith while away, having come down from heaven and been crucified. (Chap. 6.) Then, the time for His glory before the world being not yet come, the Holy Ghost is to be given to believers, witnessing His heavenly glory as Son of man. (Chap. 7.) Then He is the light of the world in contrast with the law; but His word is rejected (chap. 8); as is the evidence of His works (chap. 9), of which hereafter. He will at any rate have and save His sheep. (Chap. 10.) That closes the direct revelation of Christ in the gospel.
From chapter ii we have the public testimony given by God to Him who was rejected:-first, as Son of God, life-giving, resurrection-power was His proper glory; and Lazarus is publicly raised. This sickness was not unto death, but for the glory of God, and that the Son of God should be glorified thereby. Hence all say, "If thou hadst been here, he had not died." They knew His miraculous power of healing; but now close to Jerusalem, the most public testimony possible is given to His life-giving power as Son of God. How truly this is in its place is seen by this, that after this we have His glory as Son of David publicly proclaimed by His entry into Jerusalem, and the time come for His glory as Son of man marked by the Greeks coming up; and then the Lord shows that to this the cross is necessary, and looks in spirit at the coming hour. Thus the peculiar bearing of this remarkable miracle is clearly seen-the public indication of Christ as Son of God who raises the dead.
Now Matthew is employed by the Holy Ghost to present Christ in another way-that of Emmanuel, Messiah. Hence the Spirit does not give what was specially used to prove another point; but He does give with much more detail the riding in as Jehovah, the King Messiah, with all that followed on it-in the judgment of Israel, chief priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians -every class, in a word, and the whole moral position of those who rejected Him; and then shows from Psalm 110 that the Messiah ought to leave them, and to ascend up on high, because He was David's Lord as well as David's Son. That is, he gives in greater detail what was suited to his subject.
Again in the case of the blind man, the same considerations apply. We have the contrast between the blind receiving sight from Him who is the true light of the world, and the judgment of those who set up to be lights, and that by the most ignorant believer who finds his place with the rejected Son of God. And mark the process. First, in the typical act, He puts clay on the man's eyes-a figure (I doubt not, from what the apostle says) of Christ come in the flesh. But this operation in itself produces no effect; but the moment he washes in Siloam (which, says the apostle, signifies "sent"), he sees. That is, the moment he, by the purifying word and Spirit, recognizes that Christ is the sent One, all is clear. In result, the poor man, the subject thus of the delivering power of Christ, honest of heart, bears witness to the power of which he had experienced the effect, knowing Jesus only as a prophet; but, having received in his heart the authority of His word and mission, he immediately receives Him as Son of God, and prostrates himself before Him. The rest are blinded; for the effect of His mission is, that they that see not might see, and that they that see might be made blind.