John 9:8-11 A CHANGE THE NEIGHBORS CAN SEE
In our previous text Jesus gave sight to a man who had
been born blind. Our text today shows that this brought
about a change in the man which even his neighbors could
To be technical, the man did not get saved at the time
that he got his eyesight. But the change which came to him
when he received his eyesight pictures to us the kind of
change that comes in the life of a person when he does get
I. Some changes that came to that man after he received his
V. 8, "The neighbours therefore, and they which before
had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that
sat and begged?" The blind man had been sitting just
outside the main gate of the temple when Jesus anointed his
eyes with a spit and clay salve. Jesus then instructed the
man to go to the Pool of Siloam and wash. It was there at
the Pool of Siloam that he gained his eyesight.
John does not tell us where he went after he received
his sight. But wherever he went, he came in contact with
people who knew him. Perhaps some of them knew him and his
family. These would know him well and be able to recognize
him without any doubt. Others must have known him only
because they saw him frequently at the gate begging. But
many of them had seen him so many times that there was no
doubt in their minds as to his identity. Still others were
in doubt as to whether it was the man they had so frequently
seen at the gate begging. But all who recognized him or
thought they recognized him were greatly surprised to see
him some place other than the gate.
I can just envision two of them walking along together
and one nudges the other and says, "Say, see that man over
there. Isn't that the blind beggar who usually sits outside
They were all pretty much in a state of shock. There
was that man who obviously could see whom they knew -- or
had reason to think they knew -- had been blind from his
birth. Were their own eyes deceiving them or was this
V. 9, "Some said, This is he..." Some of those who saw
him knew instantly that this was he. They knew him well.
They had seen him many times and they had seen him recently.
There was no shadow of a doubt about who he was. They knew
that he had been blind and they knew that he was not blind
now. They had no explanation, but they knew that was the
man and they knew that he was a changed man. This was
definitely the man, but there was a definite change in him
now. He had not only once been blind; he had always been
blind, but now he could see.
I am not sure of all the changes that had so suddenly
come to his life, but I am sure about some of them. I am
sure that there was a new smile on his face, there was a new
expression of joy in his voice, and there was a new energy
in his movements. There was also a renewed interest in
everybody he met especially in people he had previously
known. There was a renewed interest and everything he saw.
There was a whole new outlook on life.
(V. 9), "...others said, He is like him..." There was
such a drastic change in the man that some of the people who
saw him were not certain of his identity. They knew that it
looked like him, but he certainly did not act like him.
They were not accustomed to seeing him any place other than
sitting at the gate or perhaps going to or from the gate.
But now he was not at the gate. He was moving about and he
was not being led. It looked just like the beggar, but they
were not at all certain that he was the beggar, because they
could just not imagine him moving about at will and being
able to see.
He must have seen them staring at him and perhaps he
heard some of them talking about him because he spoke up and
settled the question of his identity. (V. 9), "...but he
said, I am he." "Listen, I am that beggar. I am that blind
beggar that you have seen so many time sitting outside the
gate. I am he." Perhaps he may have added, "I know you
find it hard to believe. I find it hard to believe myself.
But it's true. This is me."
V. 10, "Therefore said they unto him, How were thine
eyes opened?" They wanted to know, "Hey, what's happened to
you man? The last time we saw you you were down at the gate
begging. What has happened to you? How is it that you can
V. 11, "He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus
made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to
the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I
received sight." Can you imagine how happy he was to answer
their question? He was very glad to explain as best he
could what had happened to him. To put it in a nut-shell,
his answer was simply this, "A man that is called Jesus..."
"A man called Jesus" that is the answer. I can see because
a man called Jesus gave me my sight.
He, of course, went into a little more detail. Jesus
anointed his eyes with clay and told him to go to the Pool
of Siloam and wash. He did and now he could see. But even
he could not explain just how Jesus did it. The one thing
he did know was that Jesus did it. Jesus gave him his
sight. He had never been happier than he was at this time.
He was most happy to tell that Jesus had given him his
There would be other changes yet to come. He had been
forced to sit at the gate and beg from the people as they
passed by. Pretty soon he would be looking for a job. He
would have to learn how to work because he had no
experience. But he would learn and he would, no doubt, be
glad to work. He would be happy that he could see how to
work and that he was given opportunity to work.
II. The parallel between what happened to this man and what
happens to one who gets saved.
But now let us see the parallel between what happen to
this man and what happens to a man who trusts in Jesus
Christ and gets saved.
Just as that man had been physically blind all of his
life, even so the unsaved person has been spiritually blind
all of his life. He has been a sinner all of his life. He
has inherited his sin nature from his parents, who inherited
it from their parents and-so-on all the way back to Adam.
The Scripture says that all have sinned and come short of
the glory of God. The lost sinner has never known what it
is to be free from sin. He has always committed sin from
his earliest youth. Some of the things he has done stand
out in his memory as being especially bad. They linger in
his memory day after day. They really get next to him. To
use a figurative expression, "They eat his lunch." He just
cannot shake them.
Just as the blind man sent to the Pool of Silaom to the
waters which were "sent" from a spring outside the walls of
the city, even so the lost sinner must go to the Lord Jesus
Christ in order to be saved. He must go to the One who was
sent from outside this whole world. He must go to One who
was sent from heaven.
Jesus is the Son of God who was sent to earth from
heaven. He as sent to the Cross of Calvary to give His own
life as a sacrifice for lost sinners. He must repent of his
sins and place his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to save
his soul. There simply is no other way in the world for him
to get saved. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the
Life and no man can get to heaven except by Him.
Then when the lost sinner repents of his sin and trusts
in Jesus Christ for salvation there is a great change that
comes in his life. There is a change that takes place down
on the inside of his very being. He is born again. The old
wicked, sinful, depraved spirit is totally gone and there is
a complete new-born spirit which dwells within. The old
spirit constantly desired to sin and do wrong, but the new
spirit which is born within desires to do only that which is
right. The old flesh nature still desires to sin, but the
new-born spirit desires to do right 100% of the time.
This change which takes place down on the inside when
one places his faith in Jesus then produces a change in the
outward conduct. For one thing, he stops going to the old
places that he to which he used to go. He stops going to
the honky-tonks and nightclubs. He stops going to the wild
parties where there is drinking and drugs. Instead of going
to the wild party or honky-tonk on Saturday night he goes to
Sunday school and church on Sunday. He, or she, stops
swigging the booze and smoking pot, popping pills or however
else one uses drugs. He stops looking for ways to get into
fights and trouble. He or she stops shacking up and starts
living a clean decent godly life.
He stops telling the filthy jokes and using God's name
in vain. He stops telling lies and starts telling the
truth. He stops trying to hear and repeat all the gossip
and starts telling good things about others. He stops
taking that which belongs to somebody else and starts seeing
how much he can do to help somebody else. He stops being
cruel and unkind and starts dealing kindly toward others.
I do not mean that these changes come all at once. They
should. They should all come right after the person gets
saved and some of them do come immediately. But some of the
old ways are difficult to overcome and it make take some
time for all these changes to come. But the Holy Spirit,
who indwells the new-born spirit starts working to bring
about all these changes and more the very instant one gets
As time goes by these changes begin to be seen by the
neighbors. There is mighty change that comes in the life of
the saved person. There was a drastic change that came in
the life of Saul of Tarsus, who had persecuted the
Christians at Jerusalem and all Judea. He actually started
to Damascus in a foreign country to persecute Christians
when he got saved and pretty soon he was telling everybody
about Jesus who had saved his soul. This is as it should be
with every person who gets saved. Every saved person should
be very happy to tell others about Jesus Christ who saved
his soul. Just as that blind man was anxious to tell others
that Jesus had given him his eyesight, even so we ought to
be anxious to tell others that Jesus has saved our soul.
I think that you know that there is still room for
improvement in the life of everybody who is saved. There is
in my own life and I am sure there is in your's. What I am
going to ask of you this morning is that you renew your
effort to bring about the changes in your life that you know
you should make. Maybe you have tried before and have
successfully made some of the changes, but you have not yet
been able to make all the changes that you know you should
make and that deep down inside you ought to make. I am
going to ask you who are saved to lean on the Lord to help
you to make the changes that should be made in your life.
III. A special word to the unsaved
But I do not want the unsaved to misunderstand what I am
saying and think that you can get to heaven by making
changes in your life. Salvation is not of works. Ephesians
2:8-9 says that salvation is by the grace of God through
faith. It is not by doing good works. It is received as a
gift of God and by the grace of God when one trusts in Jesus
Christ for salvation.
If you are unsaved, then I am going to ask that you come
and place your faith in Jesus Christ to save your soul.
Just as Jesus gave physical sight to that blind man, He can
give spiritual sight to you who are lost in sin. He can
save your soul and take you to heaven. Won't you come to
Jesus this morning and place your faith in Him to save your
Then after you are saved, you should find it a lot
easier to make some changes in your life that are needed.
You will be able to make changes in your life that you are
totally unable to make as an unsaved person. You will make
changes that will surprise your neighbors and even surprise
you. You will make changes that will bring good to your
life and to the life of those about you. You will make
changes that will bring honor and glory to God.
What unsaved person will come this morning to Jesus and
trust in Him for the salvation of the soul?
What saved person will come this morning and present
yourself for membership in this church and to live for