Man Born Blind
Did the man born blind sin? What was the reason for his blindness? What did Jesus say about his blindness?
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.
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1. Jesus and the disciples were just walking along and saw a blind man. This man had been blind since birth.
2. “The disciples assumed, like most Jews of their day, that sin was the primary, if not exclusive, cause of all suffering. In this instance, Jesus made it clear that personal sin was not the reason for the blindness.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1387)
“The disciples were sure that the man’s congenital blindness was caused by sin, either is own or his parents’, but Jesus disagreed with them.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 324)
3. “Certainly both the man and his parents had at some time committed sin, but Jesus did not see their sin as the cause of the man’s blindness. Nor did He suggest that God deliberately made the man blind so that, years, later, Jesus could perform a miracle.” (Wiersbe, 324)
“God has His way, and He doesn’t propose to tell us all His reasons. He does ask us to walk with Him by faith through the dark times of our lives.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 423)
4. Day: “Jesus meant as long as He was still on earth with His disciples…the light shone most brightly among men when He was on the earth doing the Father’s will (cf. 8:12).” (MacArthur, 1388)
Night: “The darkness has special reference to the period when Jesus was taken from His disciples during His crucifixion.” (MacArthur, 1388)
5. “Not only was Jesus spiritually the light of the world, but He would also provide the means of physical light for this blind man.” (MacArthur, 1388)
“The symbols of light and darkness, as noted at 1:4-5 and 8:12, were ancient universal religious symbols used to represent themes of good and evil.” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 314)
“The night makes all of mankind blind. No one can see. Christ is the spiritual Light of the World, and without Him everyone is blind.” (McGee, 423)
6. “Our Lord’s method of healing was unique: He put clay on the man’s eyes and told him to go wash.” (Wiersbe, 324)
There were other times when Jesus healed those who were blind. In Matthew 9:27-31, Jesus just touched the eyes of those blind. Mark 8:22-26 also tells us that Jesus healed putting saliva on the persons eyes.
“Though the healing power was the same, our Lord varied His methods least people focus on the manner of healing and miss the message in the healing.” (Wiersbe, 324)
7. “That Jesus sent the blind man to the Pool of Siloam and that healing was either effected or revealed at that point calls to mind the healing Naaman in the Jordon (cf. 2 Kings 5:10-14). The implication in both stories seems to be that the healer demanded the man in need to obey the healer’s instructions.” (Borchert, 315)
I Am He
8-9. “The drastic change in the healed man caused many people to believe that he was not the person born blind.” (MacArthur, 1388)
The man kept saying I am he (the one that was healed)!
10. Simple question; how were you healed?
11. “He didn’t say Jesus took spittle and made clay. In his blindness he didn’t know that. All he knew was that he felt clay rubbed on his eyes.” (McGee, 425)
12. I don’t know where Jesus went or where He is now!
13. The people brought the blind man to the Pharisee most likely because the miracle had happened on the Sabbath (v. 14), and they were aware that the Pharisees reacted negatively to those who violated the Sabbath (cf. 5:1-15). (MacArthur, 1388)
14. “The announcement that ‘it was the Sabbath’ give the effect of sounding a piercing alarm in the story.” (Borchert, 317)
15. The Pharisees “Just don’t know what to do about a man born blind who is now walking around seeing.” (McGee, 425)
16. “Since Jesus violated their interpretation of the Sabbath law, He could not be the promised Prophet of God (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).” (MacArthur, 1388)
17. “While the blind man saw clearly that Jesus was more than a mere man, the sighted but obstinate Pharisee were spiritually blind to that truth. Blindness in the Bible is a metaphor for spiritual darkness, i. e., inability to discern God or His truth (2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Colossians 1:12-14)” (MacArthur, 1388)
“The beggar was not intimidated by the threats of the Pharisees. When asked who he thought Jesus was, the man boldly said, ‘He is a prophet!” (Note John 4:19 for a parallel.)” (Wiersbe, 325)
18. “While neighbors may have been mistaken about the man’s identity, the parents would know if this was their own son. The authorities considered the witness of the healed man worthless.” (MacArthur, 1389)
19. The Jews called the parents in and “asked them two questions (1) ‘Is this your son?’ And (2) ‘If he is, how does he now see?’” (Wiersbe, 326)
20-21. “They answered the first question honestly: he was their son and he had been born blind. They answered the second question evasively: they did not know how he was healed or who healed Him.” (Wiersbe, 326)
“The second question of the Jews they stoutly avoided answering, like persons who refuse to become involved in assisting helpless victims for fear of the consequences to themselves.” (Borchert, 319)
22. “”From my perspective, therefore, the statement as contained in 9:22 would be reflective of the hostile context in the time of Jesus. After all, Jesus was indeed regarded as an enemy by the Jewish authorities” (Borchert, 320).
23. “The parents knew that a miracle had been done. But they were not prepared to explain how the miracle had been done. They did not want to be excommunicated because that would completely ostracize them, and they didn’t want to get into that kind of trouble.” (McGee, 426)
24. “The Jews now go back to their first argument: this Man is a sinner because He broke the Sabbath. Don’t give glory to his Man, the Lord Jesus. Give the glory to God. My, doesn’t that sound nice and pious!” (McGee, 426)
“The statement ‘Give glory to God’ is not a praise statement but the equivalent of a Jewish oath, which the authorities employed to call the man to give an honest witness and confess any sinfulness in his testimony (cf. Joshua 7:19; Jeremiah 13:16, cf. also 2 Chronicles 30:8).” (Borchert, 321)
25. This healed man “was made of sturdier stuff than to be intimidated. He had experienced a miracle, and he was not afraid to tell them what had happened.” (Wiersbe, 326)
“One thing he did know: now he could see. His testimony reminds me of Psalm 27. Read that psalm in the light of this chapter, from the viewpoint of the healed beggar, and see how meaningful it becomes.” (Wiersbe, 326)
“This is the testimony of any sinner who has been saved. Once I was blind but now I see. Once I was in spiritual darkness but now I am in spiritual light. Once I did not know Christ, but now I know Him as my Savior.” (McGee, 426)
He Opened My Eyes
26-27. “This man was a blind beggar—considered the dregs of first-century society. John portrayed him with something of an ‘in-your-face’ attitude when he declared, I have told you already and you did not listen. Then he followed this up with, Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. The man did not understand all the theological implications of the event, but he kept a level head. His newly-found physical sight was rapidly joining forces with spiritual sight.” [Max Anders and Kenneth O. Gangel (2012). HNTC Vol. 04: John. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
28. “Had the Pharisees really understood Moses, they would have known who Jesus was and what He was doing.” (Wiersbe, 326)
29. “The leaders were sure about Moses, but they were not sure about Jesus. They did not know where He came from. He had already told them that He can come from heaven, sent by the Father (John 6:33, 38, 40-42, 50-51).” (Wiersbe, 326)
30. “The beggar then gave the ‘experts’ a lesson in practical theology. Perhaps he had Psalm 66:18 in mind: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.’ [KJV]” (Wiersbe, 327)
31-33. “He added another telling argument: Jesus healed a man born blind. Never, to their knowledge, had this occurred before. So, God not only heard Jesus, but He enabled Him to give the man sight. How, then, could Jesus be a sinner?” (Wiersbe, 327)
“Religious bigots do not want to face either evidence or logic. Their minds are made up. Had the Pharisees honestly considered the facts, they would have seen that Jesus is the Son of God, and they could have trusted Him and been saved.” (Wiersbe,327)
34. “The leaders reviled the man and told him he was born in sin.” (Wiersbe, 327)
Jesus: Man Born Blind
35. “The question that Jesus asked him concerning his believing in the Son of Man probed him to the very core of his being.” (Borchert, 324)
This question about believing in Jesus was an “active commitment of himself to the Son of Man, who brought God’s home and forgiveness to the world.” (Borchert, 324)
Do we have an active commitment to Jesus?
36. “The man’s answer to the probing question of Jesus was a responsive query for identification in order that he might believe.” (Borchert, 324)
“This man is so very open, so honest and sincere. He asks who the Son of God is so that he might believe.” (McGee, 427)
37. “Jesus immediately furnished a self-identification to the man and for the first time the man was enabled to identify (‘see’) his healer.” (Borchert, 325)
38. “The man then responded with a model confession involving both believing and worshiping.” (Borchert, 325)
39. “This seems to be a strange statement. The Lord says that there are those who have eyes and see not. They have physical eyes and physical sight, but they are blind spiritually.” (McGee, 428)
“If a man will admit he is blind and will come to Jesus as a blind man, Jesus will give him spiritual insight.” (McGee, 428)
40. “The listening Pharisees heard what Jesus said and it disturbed them. ‘Are we blind also?’ they asked, expecting a negative answer. Jesus had already called them ‘blind leaders of the blind’ (Matthew 15:14, so they had their answer.” (Wiersbe, 327)
“They were blinded by their pride, their self-righteousness, their tradition, and their false interpretation of the Word of God.” (Wiersbe, 327)
41. “Jesus had particular reference to the sin of unbelief and rejection of Him as Messiah and Son of God. If they knew their lostness and darkness and cried out of spiritual light, they would no longer be guilty of the sin of unbelief in Christ.” (MacArthur, 1390)
“How many people enter church Sunday after Sunday thinking they must be good enough in God’s eyes since they assess themselves as righteous. Yet they desperately need the light of God’s truth to shine on their own wickedness so the light of the world can open their eyes and help them see his truth.” [Max Anders and Kenneth O. Gangel (2012). HNTC Vol. 04: John. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
Amplified Bible (AMP)
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Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
Max Anders and Kenneth O. Gangel (2012). HNTC Vol. 04: John. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004