John 9

Healing the Man Born Blind

1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.
2 And His disciples asked Him, "1Rabbi, who sinned, 2this man or his 3parents, that he would be born blind?"
3 Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so 4that the works of God might be displayed in him.
4 "We must work the works of Him who sent Me 5as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
5 "While I am in the world, I am 6the Light of the world."
6 When He had said this, He 7spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes,
7 and said to him, "Go, wash in 8the pool of Siloam " (which is translated, Sent ). So he went away and 9washed, and 10came back seeing.
8 Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, "Is not this the one who used to 11sit and beg?"
9 Others were saying, "This is he," still others were saying, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the one."
10 So they were saying to him, "How then were your eyes opened?"
11 He answered, "The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to 12Siloam and wash '; so I went away and washed, and I received sight."
12 They said to him, "Where is He?" He said, "I do not know."

Controversy over the Man

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind.
14 13Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
15 14Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, "He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see."
16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, "This man is not from God, because He 15does not keep the Sabbath." But others were saying, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such 16signs?" And 17there was a division among them.
17 So they said to the blind man 18again, "What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?" And he said, "He is a 19prophet."
18 20The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight,
19 and questioned them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?"
20 His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;
21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself."
22 His parents said this because they 21were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews 22had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, 23he was to be put out of the synagogue.
23 For this reason his parents said, "24He is of age; ask him."
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "25Give glory to God; we know that 26this man is a sinner."
25 He then answered, "Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see."
26 So they said to him, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?"
27 He answered them, "27I told you already and you did not 28listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?"
28 They reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but 29we are disciples of Moses.
29 "We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, 30we do not know where He is from."
30 The man answered and said to them, "Well, here * is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.
31 "We know that 31God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
32 "Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.
33 "32If this man were not from God, He could do nothing *."
34 They answered him, "33You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" So they 34put him out.

Jesus Affirms His Deity

35 Jesus heard that they had 35put him out, and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the 36Son of Man?"
36 He answered, "37Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"
37 Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and 38He is the one who is talking with you."
38 And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he 39worshiped Him.
39 And Jesus said, "40For judgment I came into this world, so that 41those who do not see may see, and that 42those who see may become blind."
40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, "43We are not blind too, are we?"
41 Jesus said to them, "44If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, '45We 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.

Cross References 45

  • 1. Matthew 23:7
  • 2. Luke 13:2; John 9:34; Acts 28:4
  • 3. Exodus 20:5
  • 4. John 11:4
  • 5. John 7:33; John 11:9; John 12:35; Galatians 6:10
  • 6. Matthew 5:14; John 1:4; John 8:12; John 12:46
  • 7. Mark 7:33; Mark 8:23
  • 8. Nehemiah 3:15; Isaiah 8:6; Luke 13:4; John 9:11
  • 9. 2 Kings 5:13
  • 10. Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 35:5; Isaiah 42:7; Matthew 11:5; John 11:37
  • 11. Acts 3:2, 10
  • 12. John 9:7
  • 13. John 5:9
  • 14. John 9:10
  • 15. Matthew 12:2; Luke 13:14; John 5:10; John 7:23
  • 16. John 2:11
  • 17. John 6:52; John 7:12, 43; John 10:19
  • 18. John 9:15
  • 19. Deuteronomy 18:15; Matthew 21:11
  • 20. John 1:19; John 9:22
  • 21. John 7:13
  • 22. John 7:45-52
  • 23. Luke 6:22; John 12:42; John 16:2
  • 24. John 9:21
  • 25. Joshua 7:19; Ezra 10:11; Revelation 11:13
  • 26. John 9:16
  • 27. John 9:15
  • 28. John 5:25
  • 29. John 5:45; Romans 2:17
  • 30. John 8:14
  • 31. Job 27:8; Job 35:13; Psalms 34:15; Psalms 66:18; Psalms 145:19; Proverbs 15:29; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; James 5:16f
  • 32. John 3:2; John 9:16
  • 33. John 9:2
  • 34. John 9:22, 35; 3 John 10
  • 35. John 9:22, 34; 3 John 10
  • 36. Matthew 4:3
  • 37. Romans 10:14
  • 38. John 4:26
  • 39. Matthew 8:2
  • 40. John 3:19; John 5:22, 27
  • 41. Luke 4:18
  • 42. Matthew 13:13; Matthew 15:14
  • 43. Romans 2:19
  • 44. John 15:22, 24
  • 45. Proverbs 26:12

Footnotes 6

John 9 Commentaries

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