John 9

Jesus heals a blind man

1 As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth.
2 Jesus' disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?"
3 Jesus answered, " Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God's mighty works might be displayed in him.
4 While it's daytime, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work.
5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
6 After he said this, he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smeared the mud on the man's eyes.
7 Jesus said to him, " Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (this word means sent). So the man went away and washed. When he returned, he could see.

Disagreement about the healing

8 The man's neighbors and those who used to see him when he was a beggar said, "Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?"
9 Some said, "It is," and others said, "No, it's someone who looks like him." But the man said, "Yes, it's me!"
10 So they asked him, "How are you now able to see?"
11 He answered, "The man they call Jesus made mud, smeared it on my eyes, and said, ‘Go to the Pool of Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed, and then I could see."
12 They asked, "Where is this man?" He replied, "I don't know."
13 Then they led the man who had been born blind to the Pharisees.
14 Now Jesus made the mud and smeared it on the man's eyes on a Sabbath day.
15 So Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. The man told them, "He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and now I see."
16 Some Pharisees said, "This man isn't from God, because he breaks the Sabbath law." Others said, "How can a sinner do miraculous signs like these?" So they were divided.
17 Some of the Pharisees questioned the man who had been born blind again: "What do you have to say about him, since he healed your eyes?" He replied, "He's a prophet."

Conflict over the healing

18 The Jewish leaders didn't believe the man had been blind and received his sight until they called for his parents.
19 The Jewish leaders asked them, "Is this your son? Are you saying he was born blind? How can he now see?"
20 His parents answered, "We know he is our son. We know he was born blind.
21 But we don't know how he now sees, and we don't know who healed his eyes. Ask him. He's old enough to speak for himself."
22 His parents said this because they feared the Jewish authorities. This is because the Jewish authorities had already decided that whoever confessed Jesus to be the Christ would be expelled from the synagogue.
23 That's why his parents said, "He's old enough. Ask him."
24 Therefore, they called a second time for the man who had been born blind and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know this man is a sinner."
25 The man answered, "I don't know whether he's a sinner. Here's what I do know: I was blind and now I see."
26 They questioned him: "What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?"
27 He replied, "I already told you, and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?"
28 They insulted him: "You are his disciple, but we are Moses' disciples.
29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don't know where this man is from."
30 The man answered, "This is incredible! You don't know where he is from, yet he healed my eyes!
31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners. God listens to anyone who is devout and does God's will.
32 No one has ever heard of a healing of the eyes of someone born blind.
33 If this man wasn't from God, he couldn't do this."
34 They responded, "You were born completely in sin! How is it that you dare to teach us?" Then they expelled him.

Jesus finds the man born blind

35 Jesus heard they had expelled the man born blind. Finding him, Jesus said, " Do you believe in the Human One?"
36 He answered, "Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him."
37 Jesus said, " You have seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you."
38 The man said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshipped Jesus.

Jesus teaches the Pharisees

39 Jesus said, " I have come into the world to exercise judgment so that those who don't see can see and those who see will become blind."
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard what he said and asked, "Surely we aren't blind, are we?"
41 Jesus said to them, " If you were blind, you wouldn't have any sin, but now that you say, ‘We see,' your sin remains.

John 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

Christ give sight to one born blind. (1-7) The account given by the blind man. (8-12) The Pharisees question the man that had been blind. (13-17) They ask concerning him. (18-23) They cast him out. (24-34) Christ's words to the man that had been blind. (35-38) He reproves the Pharisees. (39-41)

Verses 1-7 Christ cured many who were blind by disease or accident; here he cured one born blind. Thus he showed his power to help in the most desperate cases, and the work of his grace upon the souls of sinners, which gives sight to those blind by nature. This poor man could not see Christ, but Christ saw him. And if we know or apprehend anything of Christ, it is because we were first known of him. Christ says of uncommon calamities, that they are not always to be looked on as special punishments of sin; sometimes they are for the glory of God, and to manifest his works. Our life is our day, in which it concerns us to do the work of the day. We must be busy, and not waste day-time; it will be time to rest when our day is done, for it is but a day. The approach of death should quicken us to improve all our opportunities of doing and getting good. What good we have an opportunity to do, we should do quickly. And he that will never do a good work till there is nothing to be objected against, will leave many a good work for ever undone, ( Ecclesiastes 11:4 ) . Christ magnified his power, in making a blind man to see, doing that which one would think more likely to make a seeing man blind. Human reason cannot judge of the Lord's methods; he uses means and instruments that men despise. Those that would be healed by Christ must be ruled by him. He came back from the pool wondering and wondered at; he came seeing. This represents the benefits in attending on ordinances of Christ's appointment; souls go weak, and come away strengthened; go doubting, and come away satisfied; go mourning, and come away rejoicing; go blind, and come away seeing.

Verses 8-12 Those whose eyes are opened, and whose hearts are cleansed by grace, being known to be the same person, but widely different in character, live as monuments to the Redeemer's glory, and recommend his grace to all who desire the same precious salvation. It is good to observe the way and method of God's works, and they will appear the more wonderful. Apply this spiritually. In the work of grace wrought upon the soul we see the change, but we see not the hand that makes it: the way of the Spirit is like that of the wind, which thou hearest the sound of, but canst not tell whence it comes, nor whither it goes.

Verses 13-17 Christ not only worked miracles on the sabbath, but in such a manner as would give offence to the Jews, for he would not seem to yield to the scribes and Pharisees. Their zeal for mere rites consumed the substantial matters of religion; therefore Christ would not give place to them. Also, works of necessity and mercy are allowed, and the sabbath rest is to be kept, in order to the sabbath work. How many blind eyes have been opened by the preaching of the gospel on the Lord's day! how many impotent souls cured on that day! Much unrighteous and uncharitable judging comes from men's adding their own fancies to God's appointments. How perfect in wisdom and holiness was our Redeemer, when his enemies could find nothing against him, but the oft-refuted charge of breaking the sabbath! May we be enabled, by well-doing, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Verses 18-23 The Pharisees vainly hoped to disprove this notable miracle. They expected a Messiah, but could not bear to think that this Jesus should be he, because his precepts were all contrary to their traditions, and because they expected a Messiah in outward pomp and splendour. The fear of man brings a snare, ( Proverbs 29:25 ) , and often makes people deny and disown Christ and his truths and ways, and act against their consciences. The unlearned and poor, who are simple-hearted, readily draw proper inferences from the evidences of the light of the gospel; but those whose desires are another way, though ever learning, never come to the knowledge of the truth.

Verses 24-34 As Christ's mercies are most valued by those who have felt the want of them, that have been blind, and now see; so the most powerful and lasting affections to Christ, arise from actual knowledge of him. In the work of grace in the soul, though we cannot tell when, and how, and by what steps the blessed change was wrought, yet we may take the comfort, if we can say, through grace, Whereas I was blind, now I see. I did live a worldly, sensual life, but, thanks be to God, it is now otherwise with me, ( Ephesians 5:8 ) . The unbelief of those who enjoy the means of knowledge and conviction, is indeed marvellous. All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject him. He argues strongly against them, not only that Jesus was not a sinner, but that he was of God. We may each of us know by this, whether we are of God or not. What do we? What do we for God? What do we for our souls? What do we more than others?

Verses 35-38 Christ owns those who own him and his truth and ways. There is particular notice taken of such a suffer in the cause of Christ, and for the testimony of a good conscience. Our Lord Jesus graciously reveals himself to the man. Now he was made sensible what an unspeakable mercy it was, to be cured of his blindness, that he might see the Son of God. None but God is to be worshipped; so that in worshipping Jesus, he owned him to be God. All who believe in him, will worship him.

Verses 39-41 Christ came into the world to give sight to those who were spiritually blind. Also, that those who see might be made blind; that those who have a high conceit of their own wisdom, might be sealed up in ignorance. The preaching of the cross was thought to be folly by such as by carnal wisdom knew not God. Nothing fortifies men's corrupt hearts against the convictions of the word, more than the high opinion which others have of them; as if all that gained applause with men, must obtain acceptance with God. Christ silenced them. But the sin of the self-conceited and self-confident remains; they reject the gospel of grace, therefore the guilt of their sin remains unpardoned, and the power of their sin remains unbroken.

Footnotes 3

John 9 Commentaries