John 9

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

1 As Jesus went along, he saw a man who was blind. He had been blind since he was born.
2 Jesus' disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned? Was this man born blind because he sinned? Or did his parents sin?"
3 "It isn't because this man sinned," said Jesus. "It isn't because his parents sinned. This happened so that God's work could be shown in his life.
4 While it is still day, we must do the work of the One who sent me. Night is coming. Then 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. He made some mud with the spit. Then he put the mud on the man's eyes.
7 "Go," he told him. "Wash in the Pool of Siloam." Siloam means Sent. So the man went and washed. And he came home able to see.
8 His neighbors and those who had earlier seen him begging asked questions. "Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?" they asked.
9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, "No. He only looks like him." But the man who had been blind kept saying, "I am the man."
10 "Then how were your eyes opened?" they asked.
11 He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed. Then I could see."
12 "Where is this man?" they asked him. "I don't know," he said.

The Pharisees Want to Know What Happened

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind.
14 The day Jesus made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath.
15 So the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. "He put mud on my eyes," the man replied. "Then I washed. And now I can see."
16 Some of the Pharisees said, "Jesus has not come from God. He does not keep the Sabbath day." But others asked, "How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?" So the Pharisees did not agree with each other.
17 Finally they turned again to the blind man. "What do you have to say about him?" they asked. "It was your eyes he opened." The man replied, "He is a prophet."
18 The Jews still did not believe that the man had been blind and now could see. So they sent for his parents.
19 "Is this your son?" they asked. "Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?"
20 "We know he is our son," the parents answered. "And we know he was born blind.
21 But we don't know how he can now see. And we don't know who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is an adult. He can speak for himself."
22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews. The Jews had already decided that anyone who said Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.
23 That was why the man's parents said, "He is an adult. Ask him."
24 Again they called the man who had been blind to come to them. "Give glory to God by telling the truth!" they said. "We know that the man who healed you is a sinner."
25 He replied, "I don't know if he is a sinner or not. I do know one thing. I was blind, but now I can see!"
26 Then they asked him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"
27 He answered, "I have already told you. But you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?"
28 Then they began to attack him with their words. "You are this fellow's disciple!" they said. "We are disciples of Moses!
29 We know that God spoke to Moses. But we don't even know where this fellow comes from."
30 The man answered, "That is really surprising! You don't know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.
31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to godly people who do what he wants them to do.
32 Nobody has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of a person born blind.
33 If this man had not come from God, he could do nothing."
34 Then the Pharisees replied, "When you were born, you were already deep in sin. How dare you talk like that to us!" And they threw him out of the synagogue.

The Blind Will See

35 Jesus heard that the Pharisees had thrown the man out. When he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
36 "Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me, so I can believe in him."
37 Jesus said, "You have now seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you."
38 Then the man said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said, "I have come into this world to judge it. I have come so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this. They asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
41 Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you claim you can see, you remain guilty.

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.

John 9 Commentaries