John 9:18-34 THE COST OF LOYALTY TO JESUS
I will not attempt to discuss all of the things which
are involved in being loyal to Jesus. The subject matter is
too big for one sermon --- or even two or three sermons. I
will confine my remarks chiefly to the passage of Scripture
which is before us.
In our text last Sunday we saw that it took a great deal
of courage for a blind man to whom Jesus had given his sight
to take a stand for Jesus. He proved to be loyal to Jesus,
who had given him his eyesight. In our text today, we see
that he had to pay a huge price for his loyalty to Jesus.
I. A look back to our text last Sunday
The man who had received his sight had been brought
before the Jewish court to answer questions about how he had
received his sight on a sabbath day. He testified that a
man called Jesus had anointed his eyes with clay and told
him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. He did and he
received his sight.
The Pharisees stated that Jesus was not from God. They
said that He could not be from God because Jesus had given
the man his sight on the sabbath day. They considered
healing on the sabbath day to be breaking the law of the
sabbath. They considered this act of healing to be work and
the law of Moses forbids work on the sabbath.
Some few of the men within the court itself voiced an
opposing view. They pointed out that it was obviously the
power of God which had performed this miracle and that if
God had been displeased with Jesus anointing the man's eyes
on the sabbath God would not have given sight to the man.
The leaders, who held the majority opinion, then turned
to the man who had been blind and asked his opinion about
Jesus. He replied emphatically that Jesus is a prophet of
God. He did not at this time realize that Jesus is the
Christ, but he did recognize that Jesus is a prophet and he
had the courage to stand up for Jesus even though he knew
that it would bring the anger of the Pharisees upon him.
II. The parents of the blind man called before the court
The leaders of the court did not believe him. They most
certainly did not believe him when he said that Jesus is the
Christ. They did not believe him when he said that his
eyesight had been miraculously given to him by Jesus. They
did not even believe him when he said that he had been
blind. V. 18, "But the Jews did not believe concerning
him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until
they called the parents of him that had received his sight."
They would not believe him until they located his
parents and questioned them. V. 19, "And they asked them,
saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how
then doth he now see?" They fired three questions in one at
the parents. They wanted to know if this man was really
their son. They wanted to know if it was really true that
he had been born blind. And they wanted to know how he had
received his sight.
V. 20, "His parents answered them and said, We know that
this is our son, and that he was born blind..." The parents
verified that this is their son and they verified that he
had been born blind. But they could not testify as to how
he had received his sight. They apparently had heard rumors
that Jesus had given sight to son, but they were not
witnesses and had no firsthand knowledge about it.
Therefore, they could not testify to this question before
the court. V. 21, "But by what means he now seeth, we know
not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not..."
They must have been glad that they did not know. They
were afraid of these men who sat on this court and they did
not want to give them an answer which might anger them. (V.
21), "...he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself."
They were glad that they were eyewitnesses when Jesus
anointed the eyes of their son. They apparently had heard
that Jesus was involved and they knew that the Jewish
leaders were after Jesus to kill Him. So they just did not
want to get involved. They washed their hands of the matter
by telling the court, "He is of age; ask him."
V. 22-23, "These words spake his parents, because they
feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if
any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out
of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age;
ask him." They showed no appreciation to Jesus for giving
sight to their blind son. They showed no concern that their
son might be cast out of the synagogue.
III. The man, himself, called back before the court
V. 24, "Then again called they the man that was
blind..." They had apparently put the man out while his
parents were being questioned. Now they let the parents go
and they call the man back in before the court.
(V. 24), "...and said unto him, Give God the praise: we
know that this man is a sinner." Just listen to those
hypocrites! They call upon the former blind man to tell the
truth before this court, when what they really wanted was
not the truth. They wanted him to tell a lie and tell them
something they could use against Jesus to put Him to death.
And they admonish him in the name of God to do this. They
say that they know for sure that Jesus is a sinner and they
call upon the blind man to verify that He is. They say that
if he will just verify that Jesus is a sinner that this will
be giving God praise.
V. 25, "He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or
no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind,
now I see." This man had already made it clear that he did
not think that Jesus is a man of bad character. He had
already said that he believes Jesus is a prophet of God.
Yet he had no way of knowing that Jesus is totally without
sin. He did not know whether or He was a sinner. The one
thing he did know is that God in heaven had used Jesus to
give him his eyesight. He knew that he had been blind, but
now he could see and it was Jesus who had given him his
V. 26, "Then said they to him again, What did he to
thee? how opened he thine eyes?" They repeat the question
which they had earlier asked him about how he was made to
see. They apparently think he will tell a different story
this time. You can tell by his answer that by this time he
was getting quite impatient with them. V. 27, "He answered
them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear:
wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his
You will note that he implied in his reply to them that
he is now a disciple of Jesus or at least desires to be. He
must have been thinking in terms of being a disciple of
Jesus as a prophet. He is not yet aware that Jesus is the
Christ. But he is now fully convinced that Jesus is a
prophet of God and he would like to sit at the feet of this
prophet of God and learn from him.
He was being sarcastic when he asked the Pharisees if
they, too, were desirous of becoming His disciple. He knew
full well that they did not want to be a disciple of Jesus.
He was just asking that question sarcastically to vent his
own displeasure at them for trying to get him to say
something they could use to press charges against Jesus.
V. 28, "Then they reviled him..." That is, they rebuked
him. They belittled him. (V. 28), "...and said, Thou art
his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples."
V. 29, "We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this
fellow, we know not from whence he is."
V. 30, "The man answered and said unto them, Why herein
is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is,
and yet he hath opened mine eyes." This man is astounded at
the Pharisees. He cannot believe that they are so stupid.
And in fact, they were not that stupid. They were just
bull-headedly stubborn. They just stubbornly refused to
believe that Jesus was sent from God and that He is a
prophet of God or maybe even the Christ of God! They were
not just ignorant. They were willingly ignorant. They were
deliberately ignorant. They were just too stubborn to
believe what was so obvious to this man who had received his
sight. The Jews repeat with emphasis what they had already
said that Jesus is a sinner. And they were not talking
about a prophet of God who just happened not to be perfect.
They were talking about the very worst kind of sinner --- a
complete reprobate --- a scandalous person.
V. 31, "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if
any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he
heareth." Let me paraphrase. He was saying that if Jesus
were the kind of scandalous sinner that the Pharisees seemed
to think He is that God would not have heard and answered
His prayers and given him his sight.
V. 32, "Since the world began was it not heard that any
man opened the eyes of one that was born blind." He said
that since the world began there was never any record of any
man giving sight to one who was born blind. Again let me
paraphrase. He said, "You talk about being disciples of
Moses. When did Moses ever do such a miracle as this? When
did any of God's prophets since the world began do such a
miracle as this? How is it that you fellows cannot see that
this man is from God? V. 33, "If this man were not of God,
he could do nothing."
Once again the Pharisees rebuke him. V. 34, "They
answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in
sins, and dost thou teach us?..." The Pharisees thought
this man had been altogether born in sin. That is, they,
like the disciples of Jesus, thought that it was either his
sins or the sins of his parents which had caused him to be
born blind. On the other hand, they thought of themselves
as being the very finest examples of godliness. They could
just not imagine a sinner like this man presuming to try to
teach such fine godly men as themselves .... as if they had
not been born in sin.
IV. The man cast out of the synagogue
(V. 34), "...And they cast him out." In these words we
see what it cost this man to be loyal to Jesus. They cast
him out. They did not just cast him out of the building.
They cast him out in the sense that is spoken of in the
latter part of verse 22. They cast him out of the Jewish
synagogue. They excommunicated him from the synagogue.
This meant that he could not enter a Jewish synagogue at
any time during the next month. He will not be allowed to
come near his family members nor friends.
If at the end of that month he has not changed his mind
about Jesus, then he will be banished forever from the
synagogue. He will never be allowed to enter into any
Jewish synagogue anywhere. He will never be allowed to come
near his family again. He will never be allowed to visit
with any of his friends nor buy nor sell. None of his
family nor friends will be allowed to provide food, clothing
nor shelter. They will not even be allowed to have
conversation with him. He will be totally cut off from the
Jewish society. What a terrible cost for loyalty to Jesus!
V. The price which Christians suffer for Jesus
This man is by no means the only one to suffer for
Jesus! In the years that followed thousands upon thousands
of Christians have lost their lives because of their loyalty
to Jesus. During the Dark Ages Christian were fed to the
lions just for entertainment. Many were burned at the
stake. Many died in prisons. In every generation
Christians have suffered some kind of persecution because of
their loyalty to Jesus.
I suppose that there is less persecution for Christians
in our present day than in any period of time since
Christianity began. Yet this still does not mean that
Christians are totally free from persecution even now.
Sometimes Christians on the job feel the sting of
persecution. Sometimes Christians within a family feel the
pressure of persecution from non-Christian family members.
Sometimes Christians in a neighborhood feel persecution from
non-Christians in the neighborhood. Sometimes Christian
young people at school feel the persecution at school.
Every Christian in every generation in every part of the
world will suffer in some way for Jesus if he is loyal to
the Lord. II Timothy 3:12 reads, "Yea, and all that will
live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." They
may not be killed as those in the dark ages. They may not
be excommunicated from the synagogue or excluded from the
society, but they will be frowned upon and looked down upon
at the very least. They will be persecuted in some way.
VI. The question I would like to ask that man
I would like to be able to call that man before you here
today and ask him a few questions myself. I would like to
ask him, "Sir, do you have any regrets? If you had it to do
all over again, would you still be loyal to Jesus?
I think I know what his answer would be. I do not know
the words he would use, but I think I do know basically what
he would say. I think he would say, "I have no regrets. I
would gladly do it all over again. Meeting Jesus is the
best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life."
The reason I am so sure of what his answer would be is
that this is the way I feel about Jesus. Meeting Jesus is
the best thing that could ever happen to any human being.
It is better than having one's eyesight. It is better than
material wealth. It is better than houses or lands or cars
or boats or planes. It is better than any other human
Let me call upon you who are unsaved to get to know
Jesus as your Savior. You will be glad that you did. You
will never have any regrets.
Let me call upon you who are saved to be loyal to Jesus.
You will be glad you did. If necessary ---- suffer for
Jesus. You will be glad you did. You will never regret
if. Give your life in service to Jesus. You will be glad
you did. You will never regret it.