Study Notes

John 9:1-42

9:1-3 Who Sinned?

Blind from birth. Had his parents been in the church, I can imagine their friends reaction at the hospital: "satan is really attacking you guys." "You should've prayed more against demonic oppression during the pregnancy."

But I call to your remembrance what God said to Moses on the mountain:

Exod. 4:11 ..."Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes {him} dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?"

God has made people dumb, deaf, and blind? How can that be? How could a loving God do something like that? Aren't we much more comfortable blaming these handicaps on the devil?

Oh, but other Christian friends of theirs would certainly be on this already. "The Lord has brought this condemnation upon you because you don't have enough faith." "God's cursed you for disobedience." "You clearly have unconfessed sin in your life."

But Jesus says no.

John 9:3 ..."Neither this man sinned, nor his parents; but in order that the works of God might be displayed in him."

The man was born blind because God loved him. Because God wanted the man's life to glorify Him. He wanted His works to be displayed in the man.

Maybe you still feel like the bad things that are happening to you are curses from God. Remember what we read in Luke chapter 13...

Luke 13:1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

Some guys came to Jesus and told of something that had just happened in Jerusalem - Pilate had sent out a company of soldiers to execute some Galileans who had broken Roman law. When the soldiers arrived, the Galileans were worshipping and offering sacrifices - and the soldiers killed them where they stood. Those reporting this weren't saying it in sorrow, but rather in self-righteous judgment. They told Him with the tone, "These sinful Galileans got their just desserts, didn't they?"

Luke 13:2-5 And He answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, were {worse} culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no..."

We cannot look at the circumstances and incidents of life to determine who God likes and who He doesn't. A righteous Christian farmer can live next door to an evil satanic farmer, but...

Matt. 5:45 ...He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Please - if you're in a place of great trials and tribulations, don't assume that God is angry and judging you. The answer is simply, God wants His grace, His mercy, His love, and His works to be displayed in you.

9:4-5 Day And Light

Day and night - what is Jesus talking about? It was day when Jesus was the light of the world. When He departed from the world, it became night. This is why the apostle Paul write in Romans 13,

Rom. 13:12 The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

While Jesus was on the earth, His sole purpose was to work the works of God.

Let me ask you this morning, "Do you have this perspective on your life?" You have been given a certain number of days on this earth. And every day, you have a choice - work your works, or work God's works. You can choose to work overtime to afford that higher car payment, or you can choose to spend time ministering to others. You can choose to watch a football game on TV or you can choose to read the Word of God.

We need to begin living our lives with an eternal perspective. We've only got a certain number of days to work the works of God. Jesus said,

Luke 10:2 ..."The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few..."

Will you be a laborer - working the works of God?

9:6-7 Healing The Blind Man

Jesus healed people in many ways. With a touch, with an instruction, with a word, etc. It seems like He never healed people the same way twice. Certainly, He could have picked a favorite. But I believe that He used different methods so that we would learn from them.

First lesson: there is no magic way to heal someone. It is based on God's faithfulness, not man's formula.

Second lesson: there are great spiritual teachings in His healing methods. Take for example the method used here. There are several elements: Jesus' spittle, the ground, the clay made from the two, then applied to the man's eyes, then washing in the pool of Siloam. What can we learn from this?

Well, what is the spittle? Water from the mouth of Jesus Christ. This is a picture of the Word of God.

The ground is the earth - dusty and dirty. If Jesus had just taken the earth and put it in the man's eyes, they would have stung and been irritated, would have brought forth tears. That is what the earth is - it causes us tears and irritation.

But when the spittle was mixed with the earth, it became a healing agent. This is what happens when the Word of God is applied to the earth - it becomes a healing agent. When we apply this to our eyes, we will soon be able to see.

Jesus' final instruction was to wash in the pool of Siloam. John explains to us what Siloam means - "sent." When the man was sent, he was healed. Someone who truly views the world through the Word of God will willingly be sent. Remember what Isaiah wrote,

Isa. 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Sending is part of your healing.

Much of the rest of this chapter is really quite funny in some respects. Let's read...

9:8-30 Comedy Central

This would make a great comedy skit. The Pharisees are looking for answers, but only the answers they want to hear. Everything has become so clear to the blind man, that he boldly ridicules their ignorance.

9:31-34 Does God Hear Sinners?

Many people hold to the belief that God does not hear the prayers of sinners. I know of at least one sinner's prayer that God hears: the Sinner's Prayer! But as a general rule, is what this man says true? Isaiah wrote,

Isa. 59:1-2 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden {His} face from you, so that He does not hear.

Peter wrote to husbands, saying, "Live with your wives in an understanding way...

1Pet. 3:7 ...and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."

The Psalmist wrote,

Ps. 66:18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear

Prov. 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Isa. 1:15-17 "So when you spread out your hands {in prayer,} I will hide My eyes from you, Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless; Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow."

So it would seem that, believer or not, unconfessed sin, iniquity in your heart, hinders your prayers, causes God not to listen to them. Oh, how we need to be reminded of 1John 1:9...

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We must make a habit of confessing our sins, that God would hear all of our prayers.

9:35-38 Do You Believe In The Son Of Man?

Jesus found the man and asked if he believed in Him. This is the question Jesus asks all people: "Do you believe?"

The word "believe" used all three times here is "pist-YOO-o." It means "to believe, to trust, be committed to, be persuaded of, to place confidence in." This is what Jesus asks the man, and what He is asking each of us. "Do you believe in Me? Do you trust me completely? Are you committed to Me? Are you persuaded by Me? Have you placed your confidence completely in Me?"

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever BELIEVES in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Do you believe?

He Worshiped Him

And all people who truly believe do what the blind man did: He worshiped Him. The word here is, "pros-koo-NEH-o," which means to kiss or show adoration - like a dog licking his master's hand. Those of you who own dogs know how much a dog worships his master. He desires your affection, wants your attention. Wants to please you, follow you, drive with you, sleep next to you. The dog is a worshipper. Are you a worshipper of God?

9:39-41 You Say We See

The religious leaders who said, "We can see just fine" were the ones who were truly blinded. God will not forcibly forgive any man - it must be asked for. God will not make people worship against their will - it must be willingly done.

in the gospel of Matthew, we read,

Matt. 9:10-13 And it happened that as He was reclining {at the table} in the house, behold many tax-gatherers and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw {this,} they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" But when He heard this, He said, " {It is} not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what {this} means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

These legalists were no more righteous than the tax collectors were. But they were convinced they were righteous, so Christ could do nothing for them. How can you forgive sin when the person won't acknowledge that it is sin.d

Therefore, these Pharisees were blind because they said, "We can see." The blind man could see, for he knew He was blind.

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