Scripture Study: John 9

John 9  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 5
John 9
In this chapter we see something of the education of the soul, and how a man blind from his birth, a beggar, is led on from blindness and beggary to see and know and have the company of the Son of God outside of man’s religion.
Verse 1. As Jesus passed by, escaping from those who rejected Him, and sought to stone Him, He saw a man who was blind from his birth—a picture of the Jew’s and man’s condition.
Verse 3. Jesus answered, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” His case was but the misery and wretchedness of a fallen creation, which manifested the mighty work of God in grace: a fit state in which to display His grace.
Verses 4, 5. The Lord continues, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” And this is how He chose to do it.
Verse 6. He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, but that seemed to make matters worse, as Jesus here in incarnation showed man’s blindness more than before.
Verse 7. Now He says to the man, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent).” He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. And it is when the soul believes on Jesus as the Sent One of the Father that eyesight begins. The Jews, looking on Jesus in humiliation, could see nothing in Him. “A root out of a dry ground, having no form nor comeliness;” “No beauty that we should desire Him,” Isaiah 53:22For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2). It is altogether different when we see Him as sent of the Father. He came seeing; he does not know much, but he has eyesight, and so he has the capacity to learn more.
Verses 8, 9. The neighbors notice the change, and begin to remark, “Is not this he that sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” But he said, “I am he.”
Verses 10-12. Then they want to know, “How were thine eyes opened?” He answered, “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.” It was the simple obedience of faith that brought the blessing, but as yet the Saviour is to him “a man called Jesus,” and when asked, “Where is He?” answers, “I know not.”
Verses 13, 14. They brought Him to the Pharisees, for it was done on the Sabbath Day.
It was setting aside their religion that could go on with sin, and yet glory in their Sabbath Day. The Lord had given them a lesson that it was not Jehovah’s Sabbath (John 5:1717But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. (John 5:17)), but they did not believe Him, they would not take into account that they had already broken it. And this inquisition set themselves to prove the Lord’s guilt.
Verses 15-17. They make the man tell his oft-repeated story, and they say, “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?” So they were divided about it. They ask the man’s opinion about Him, and he boldly answers, “He is a prophet.”
Verses 18-23. They next try the parents, who give evidence to corroborate that he was their son, and that he was born blind, but decline to say more, lest they be put out of the synagogue, for already the Jews had agreed to put out anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ, so they said, “He is of age, ask him.”
Verse 24. Again they call the man who had his eyes opened, and begin very religiously, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.”
Verse 25. He answered, “Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not. One thing know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Blessed fact, he had his eyesight!
Verses 26, 27. Again they ask him, “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?”
Verses 28, 29. Then they reviled him and said, “Thou art His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke unto Moses; as for this fellow, we know not from whence He is.” The man can speak now, he increases in knowledge and strength. He goes “from strength to strength.” He can bear their revilings, and he answers boldly:
Verses 30-34. “Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshiper of God and cloth His will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man hath opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God he could do nothing.” Now he has spoken, his inquisitors can condemn him, but he cares not. They hurl at hind their bitter words, “Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?” And they cast him out, out of their decent society, a God-given religion turned into the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2 and 3). But His Master was also cast out, and will share the outcast place with him.
Verses 35-38. 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?” He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?” Jesus said unto him, “Thou hast both seen Him and it is He that talketh with thee.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. What a change of manner from the bold front he had shown to the enemies of the truth. He is now all humility and gentleness. He stood firm in conscious righteousness for the truth enduring hardness, but in the presence of his Lord He is melted to love, and he worships Him whom He now has found out to be the Son of God.
Verses 39-41. The blind man saw clearly. Those who professed to see remained in their blindness, blinder and harder than ever, in their Christ-rejecting sin.