9:1 And 1 as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth.
(1) Sin is even the beginning of all bodily diseases, and yet it does not follow that in punishing, even very severely, that God is punishing because of sin. 9:3 Jesus answered, a Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
(a) Christ reasons here as his disciples thought, who presupposed that no diseases came except for the reason of sins: as a result of this he answers that there was another cause of this mans blindness, and that was in order that Gods work might be seen. 9:4 2 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is b day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
(2) The works of Christ are is it were a light, which enlighten the darkness of the world. 9:6 3 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
(b) By "day" is meant the light, that is, the enlightening doctrine of the heavenly truth: and by night is meant the darkness which comes by the obscurity of the same doctrine.
(3) Christ healing the man born blind by taking the symbol of clay, and afterward the symbol of the fountain of Siloam (which signifies "sent") shows that as he at the beginning made man, so does he again restore both his body and soul: and yet in such a way that he himself comes first of his own accord to heal us. 9:8 4 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
(4) A true image of all men, who as they are naturally blind do not themselves receive the light that is offered unto them, nor endure it in another, and yet make a great fuss among themselves. 9:10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes c opened?
(c) This is a Hebrew idiom, for they call a mans eyes shut when they cannot receive any light: and therefore blind men who are made to see are said to have their eyes opened. 9:16 5 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, 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? And there was a division among them.
(5) Religion is assaulted most by the pretence of religion: but the more it is pressed down, the more it rises up. 9:24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, d Give God the praise: we know that this man is a e sinner.
9:28 6 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses disciples.
(d) A solemn order, by which men were put under oath in ancient time to acknowledge their fault before God, as if it was said to them, "Consider that you are before God, who knows the entire matter, and therefore be sure that you revere his majesty, and do him this honour and confess the whole matter openly rather than to lie before him"; ( Joshua 7:19 ; 1 Samuel 6:5 ).
(e) He is called a sinner in the Hebrew language, who is a wicked man, and someone who makes an art of sinning.
(6) Eventually, proud wickedness must necessarily break forth, which lies vainly hidden under a zeal of godliness. 9:34 They answered and said unto him, f Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
(f) You are wicked even from your cradle, and as we used to say, there is nothing in you but sin. 9:35 7 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?
(7) Most happy is their state who are cast furthest out of the Church of the wicked (who themselves proudly boast to be of the Church) so that Christ may come nearer to them. 9:39 8 And Jesus said, For g judgment I am come into this world, that they h which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
(8) Christ enlightens all those by the preaching of the Gospel who acknowledge their own darkness, but those who seem to themselves to see clearly enough, those he altogether blinds: and these latter ones are often those who have the highest place in the Church.
(g) With great power and authority, to do what is righteous and just: as if he said, "These men take upon themselves to govern the people of God after their own desire, as though they saw all things, and no one else did: but I will rule much differently than these men do: for those whom they consider as blind men, them will I enlighten, and those who take themselves to be wisest, them will I drown in most abundant darkness of ignorance.
(h) In these words of seeing and not seeing there is a secret taunting and rebuff to the Pharisees: for they thought all men to be blind but themselves.