John 9:1-7 “A Blind, Blind Man Sees the Light”



I. Taking notice of the blind.

(John 9:1)  And as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth.

            The name “Jesus” is supplied by the translators for it is not found in the Greek.  I believe it may be assumed that this event is so closely tied to that of the attempted stoning of Jesus that it occurred just outside the Temple immediately after that event.  Where you and I might well have run back to Bethany to put some distance between us and the mad crowd Jesus stops and help a blind man.

            In the actions of Jesus we see grace.  That Jesus would take notice of this blind beggar is proof of His grace.  There were many beggars who assembled out side the Temple asking alms of those who were coming and going from the Temple.  This was considered a good spot for surely those who fear God would be the most kind and compassionate people on earth.  These people, having come to worship God would have a keen awareness of how good and gracious God had been to them and they in turn would be good and gracious to their fellow man.  It would be fair to say that some of these infirmed beggars came to the Temple with just one thing on their minds.  They wanted money to help with their physical needs.  The physical needs were all they were concerned about.  We shall see in this chapter that this blind man has spiritual blindness and will be cured of that as well.  Those who come to our church asking for help with their physical needs should go away having received help with their spiritual needs as well.

            This verse teaches us a spiritual lesson.  The blind are the lost and we need to take notice of them.  We should notice the spiritually blind about us and seek to help them to see.  As you go about your daily activities have your eyes open and take notice of the lost and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them all for He truly is the light they need to see.


II. Placing blame for the blindness.

(John 9:2)  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

            These words of the disciples seem inconsiderately and rudely spoken.  Have they no consideration for the feelings of this blind man?  To stand there and accuse him of some dreadful sin or his parents of some dreadful seems cruel.  To give them the benefit of the doubt it might be that the man himself had raised this question.  He may have, as part of his begging shared with them his background that he was born blind and did not know why. 

            It may be correctly assumed that such bad things as blindness come to mankind because of sin.  The sin of Adam made all men sinners.  Death passed upon all men because of the sin of Adam.  It is may correctly be said that there would have been no disease of any kind to plaque mankind if Adam had not sinned. 

            The disciples believe that this man was born blind as punishment for a particular sin or sins.  This too is sometimes the case with men.  God has often caused disease and infirmity upon particular men as punishment for the sin which they commit.  Harod was smitten of worms and died because of sin.  Gehazi was smitten with Leprosy because of his sin.  There are many such examples in scriptures as these.  Some times what we suffer is because of a specific sin which we commit.  The disciples, however, are wrong in their assumption as we shall see.

            The next thing we must observe about this verse is that they even considered the man himself as the one who had sinned.  This raises the question did they think he sinned before he was born?  Is it possible for a person to sin in the womb?  I think surely they did not think this possible.  Did they think that he was being punished in advance for a sin he would commit sometime during his life?  This would be inconsistent with the pattern of God’s dealing with men.  God does not punish in advance.  Could it be that they thought this man had sinned in a previous life?  Some hold to this Idea and believe that our lives reflect punishment or reward for what was done in a previous life.  There is no scriptural basis for such a view. 

            They also considered the possibility that the parents were being punished in this way because of some sin they had committed.  Certainly this would be punishment indeed for it would hurt them more to see their child suffer than if they were suffering themselves.  Our sins do effect our children and they are harmed indeed by our sins.  According to (Numbers 14:18)  The LORD [is] longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing [the guilty], visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation].

            Often is the case that men assume that bad things happen only because someone has sinned and is being punished.  Job’s friends, like these disciples, could see no other possibility but like Job there was indeed another reason for this misfortune.  Let us learn that bad things happen for other reasons than punishment and we should leave it up to God to turn those events to His Glory.


III. Giving sight to the blind glorifies God.

(John 9:3)  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

            Jesus answers their question with all confidence for He knows all things.  The reason for this man’s blindness is not founded in punishment but in glory.  This man is blind and has suffered blindness for these many years for one purpose, that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  God often turns man’s infirmity in His glory.  This man was born blind and was so through no fault of his own.  Was God unjust to have treated him so?  Man does not deserve one good thing from God.  Men are sinners and are born in that state.  From the time of their birth they pursue sin and commit it willingly.  God is not unjust and whatever He chooses to do is right.  This man’s blindness is the best thing that could have happened to him for he will be saved as a result of the events of this day.


IV. Seizing the opportunity to help the blind.

(John 9:4)  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

            Jesus has repeatedly stated that He is here on earth to do the work which His Father has sent Him to do.  He must do these works or He can not redeem men from their sin.  He must do them or we could not be saved.  He must be totally obedient to the Father in order to be the perfect and thus acceptable sacrifice for our sins.

            Jesus must do the work of His Father while it is day.  This is not to say that Jesus did not work after dark but that His work must be done while He is here on the earth.  He can not postpone any of His work until later for now is the fullness of time.

            Jesus speaks, here in this verse, of His impending death.  The Jews have just taken up stones to kill Him and He had escaped but in just a few months they will kill Jesus.  The night spoken of here is death and when men die their work is over.  Their opportunity to serve the Lord is over.  Our rewards are based upon what we do for the Lord here in this life.  When we die our work is over and we will go back to God to receive the treasure we have laid up there.  The night is coming and coming soon to us all so must seize every chance and let no opportunity for serving the Lord escape us.

            Jesus has left us the task of making disciples.  We are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the lost.  This work must begin at home and proceed to the uttermost parts of the earth.  Are you working for the Lord?  Be warned.  The night is coming when no man can work.


V. Showing the light to the blind.

(John 9:5)  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

            How long will Jesus be in the World?  He tells His disciples and this blind man that as long as He is in the world He is the light of the world.  He has referred to His impending death and would be bodily leaving this world.  Jesus has about six more months to do the works of His Father.  The main work of Jesus is to be the light of the world.  He brings light to darkness and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.  Jesus will leave the world and return to His Father, a fact that He had shared with those who wanted to arrest Him earlier.  Will He no longer be the light when He is gone?

            Jesus told his disciples in Matthew chapter five “Ye are the light of the World.”   We as God’s people share the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the World and we let this light shine that men may see our good works and glorify God which is in Heaven.  Men need to see this light and come to this light for salvation.  Like our Lord and Savior we are to shine that light as long as we are in the world.  


VI. Instructing the blind about what they must do to see.

(John 9:6)  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,

(John 9:7)  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

            To receive his sight the man had to follow the instructions of Jesus.  Put yourself, for a moment, in the place of this blind man.  You hear someone spit and then you feel something wet touch your eyes.  What would you think?  This man knows that Jesus has is doing something about his blindness.  With the clay covering his eyes he can not see.  Until this clay is removed he will not see.  Jesus could have instantly healed the man but chose not to.  He needed this man to receive his sight without seeing Him.  This man is about to go through some hard time and will need to do so before seeing Jesus with his eyes.  These events will lead to his salvation.  Jesus knows this and thus send him away. 

            The man did as he was instructed and came seeing.  I suspect he was very vocal after he received his sight.  He told everyone around that he could see.  It was wonderful indeed to be able to see and understand things that he had never understood because he was born blind.  But as wonderful as this experience was it does not compare to the experience he will have when he receive his spiritual sight!