John Chapter 9

March 30, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of John. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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John Chapter 9 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

John 9:1-41 (NIV)
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the work 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 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they demanded. 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, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” So they were divided. 17 Finally they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s 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 how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and 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 that I may 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, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

In John chapters 7-9 we are looking at light and darkness, particularly expressed in morality. We have seen the morality of the Pharisees (darkness), which produces hatred and judgment, and we have seen the morality of Jesus, a grace morality based in the truth and the light that is Jesus. Jesus as the light of the world is illuminating the grace of God and yet the religious leaders are unable to see it. Enter the story of the man born blind.

John 9:1-12

A very interesting question is asked by the disciples which further reveals the depths of a morality based in darkness. When they come across a man born blind the question they asked is “who sinned, the man or his parents”? What they are asking is, does the man blindness exist as a punishment for sins he will commit, or as a punishment for sins his parents committed.

The very question is based in the Pharisaical morality. They had reduced the “morality of God” to a formula. Those who do right will be rewarded, those who do wrong will be punished. What follows from this thinking is that anyone who is impacted by personal disaster is being punished, while people who are prosperous are being rewarded by God.

Jesus answers the disciples questions by telling them “neither”. He then goes on to say that this man will be a demonstration of the power and love of God. All of our lives on this fallen world ultimately become a backdrop for the ultimate blessing of God in our lives.

Jesus heals the blind man. Everyone is amazed at the process at they bring the man to the Pharisees to see what they have to say about it.

John 9:13-25

Don’t you find it interesting that the Pharisees biggest problem is that this healing happened on the Sabbath. So entrenched in their own way of seeing things they are unable to see the power of God at work. The underlying story here is who is really blind?

What they end up coming up with is, even though the man should give glory to God, Jesus is a sinner. How ironic that those who are the real sinners, call the only one without sin a sinner. Who is really blind?

John 9:26:34

The irony continues as the blind man who had been healed has an ability to see the truth better than those Pharisees who should have been able to see that it was God at work.

The blind man says, “Now that is remarkable! . . . [God] listens to the godly man who does His will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
This statement makes the Pharisees so mad that they kick the guy out and reiterate their dark morality once again, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!”

John 9:35-41

As Jesus encounters the healed blind man again, He reveals to Him that He is the Son of Man, an OT name for the Messiah. The man believes and worships Him. Now his spiritual vision as well as his physical vision are healed. The blind man recognizes Jesus as the light of the world.

The Pharisees still don’t get it and their response, “What? Are we blind too?” gets this reply from Jesus, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
The Pharisees are so blinded by their darkened morality that they are unable to see the clear illumination of the light of the world.

Jesus interaction with sinners reveals the true morality of God. While He never in any way condones sin, Jesus shows us that God reacts to sinners in a far different way than we tend do. The morality that we often express comes from a dark, legalistic interpretation or morality that lends itself to hatred and rejection of those we consider sinners. It leads to judgment and also to the fear of being judged which often keeps us from admitting and ultimately dealing with the sin in our own lives. We become blind to our own condition as sinners which is what happened to the Pharisees.

But the morality of God, illuminated by Jesus, is all about grace. It doesn’t compromise with sin, but it never rejects the sinner. It never rejects the sinner. It never rejects the sinner. The grace of God gives the sinner, love and respect, and demonstrates that they are a person of worth and value. The goal of God’s morality is not to condemn but to rescue the sinner from darkness to bring them into the light, that they might go and sin no more. This morality reminds us that we are not superior in some way to the sinner, but we share the same condition. This realization keeps anyone from ever being able to cast the first stone. This realization, that fact that the only one who actually could throw a stone, Jesus, chose not to, should cause us to follow Him out of darkness and into His light!

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