John 9:35-38 THE NUMBER ONE QUESTION OF A LIFETIME
Jesus had given sight to a man who had been born blind.
He had done this on a sabbath day. The leaders of the
Jewish Sanhedrin Court questioned the man and tried to get
him to testify against Jesus in such a way that they could
formally charge Jesus with breaking the law of the sabbath.
They wanted to use his testimony as an excuse for arresting
Jesus and putting Him to death.
However, instead of speaking against Jesus, the man had
spoken for Him. He testified before the court that he
believed Jesus to be a prophet of God and challenged the
leaders of the court for saying that Jesus is not a prophet
of God. He challenged them for saying Jesus had broken the
law of the sabbath and was an evil man worthy of death. The
result was that the Jewish court excommunicated the man from
the Jewish synagogue.
In our text today Jesus finds the man after he had been
excommunicated and directs a question to him which is the
most important question of a lifetime. It is a question
which every man, woman, boy and girl should ponder.
I. The question as it was directed to the man in our text
Let us first consider the question as it was directed to
the man in the text. V. 35, "Jesus heard that they had cast
him out..." That is, He heard that the Jewish court had
excommunicated him from the synagogue.
John does not tell us how Jesus heard the news, but it
is almost certain that the leaders of the court, themselves
were the first to spread the news. They wanted to make an
example out of this man who spoke so fervently for Jesus.
They wanted to sound a warning to all the people that a
similar penalty would fall upon others if they should speak
openly in favor of Jesus.
We can be equally as certain that it was some of the
disciples of Jesus who heard the sad news and hurried to
Jesus to tell Him about it. It must have saddened their
hearts that the man had been so severely punished for his
defense of Jesus before the court.
Furthermore, we can be sure that Jesus actually knew
about the excommunication even before they came to Him with
the news. But even though He already knew about it, Jesus
waited for them to bring Him the news before He set out to
find the man and lead him to a stronger faith than he
The man already had faith in Jesus to a certain degree,
but he did not have saving faith. He already believed that
Jesus had been used of God the Father to give him his sight.
He knew that Jesus was the one who had anointed his eyes and
told him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. Therefore, he
knew that Jesus gets the credit for giving him his eyesight.
He was already convinced that Jesus was a prophet of
God. He most certainly did not agree with the Jewish
leaders who said that by healing this man's eyes on the
sabbath day, Jesus had proven Himself to be an evil man and
could not be sent from God. To the contrary, he believed
that this proved that Jesus is from God. He said that if
God had not been pleased to heal him at the word of Jesus,
then God would not have healed him. The fact that God
healed him on the sabbath day was all the proof that he need
to be convinced that Jesus was within the will of God and,
indeed, is a God-sent prophet of God.
This is all well and good, but it is not good enough.
He needed to come to a saving knowledge and a saving faith
in Jesus Christ. He still needed to be saved and that was
what Jesus was especially interested in.
(V. 35), "...and when he had found him, he said unto
him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" Upon hearing the
news that the man had been excommunicated from the Jewish
religion He went looking for the man. I am sure that He had
no trouble finding him. When He did find the man Jesus did
not waste any time getting to the point. He asked him, "Do
you believe on the Son of God?" That is, "Do you believe in
the promised Messiah? Do you believe in the promised Christ
In the original language there is an emphasis on the
word "you" which we do not see in the English translations.
Jesus is making the question very personal. He is saying,
in effect, "No matter what the members of the Jewish court
may think, do you personally believe on the Son of God?"
There has been some question in the minds of Bible
students as to whether or not at this point of time the man
recognized Jesus as the man who had anointed his eyes and
told him to wash in the pool. Some are convinced that he
didn't recognize Jesus at this time because he did not
actually see Jesus when Jesus anointed his eyes. Personally
I am convinced that he did recognize Jesus. The reason I
think that he did is because he had heard the voice of Jesus
when Jesus anointed his eyes and he now hears the voice of
Jesus when Jesus asked him this question. Blind people are
exceptionally keen at recognizing voices. Even those of us
who are not blind are able to recognize people by their
voice and blind folks are much better at it than we are.
So now Jesus has asked him this question if he has
believed on the Son of God and the man seems to recognize
that it the man called Jesus who anointed his eyes and gave
him his eyesight. That is, he recognizes that it is the
prophet of God who has given him his eyesight and he very
anxious for this prophet of God to teach him and to inform
him who the Son of God is.
Note his answer to Jesus. V. 36, "He answered and said,
Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?" He did not
yet know that Jesus is the Son of God, but believing Him to
be a prophet of God, he was willing to believe Him and
accept His word, if only He would point out who the Son of
God is. If he had not recognized Jesus as the man who had
healed his eyes, he would not have been so willing to accept
His word on the matter.
Again, Jesus gets right to the point. V. 37, "And Jesus
said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that
talketh with thee." Now the first question that comes to my
mind right here is: What did Jesus mean that the man had
already seen the Son of God? Was Jesus taking about the man
seeing Him already as He approached and asked the question?
This is the first time for him to literally see Jesus with
his eyes. Or, was Jesus using the word "see" in a
figurative sense and was referring to the time when He
anointed his eyes?
I am not sure that I can answer that question at all.
But it makes no real difference. At this point of time the
man has now already seen Jesus and he is hearing the voice
of Jesus. Jesus just clearly tells the man that he has seen
the Son of God and that it is the Son of God who is talking
to him right now. In other words, Jesus as much as said, "I
am the Son of God."
But now this man is put to the test once again. He has
said that he believes that Jesus is a God-sent prophet of
God. He has said that if this prophet of God would tell him
who the Son of God is, then he would accept His word and
believe on that person as the Son of God. Now Jesus has
clearly identified Himself as the Son of God. Will the man
accept the word of Jesus? Will he accept Jesus as the Son
of God as He claims to be?
He does! Without any hesitancy he does! V. 38, "And he
said, Lord, I believe..." Just that quickly he became a
full-fledged believer in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of
(V. 38), "...And he worshipped him." That is, he fell
down before Jesus and worshipped Him. He worshipped Him as
God. He worshipped Him as the very Son of God.
II. The question as it is directed to us
We have examined this question as it was directed to the
man in the text. Let us now examine the question as it is
directed to us.
We were not around when Jesus asked the man if he
believed in the Son of God, but God had this whole incident
recorded in the Bible. God now uses the record which we
have in the Bible to direct this same question to our own
hearts as we read and hear this question.
Each one of us should take this question personally: Do
you believe in the Son of God? This question actually
involves several different things. For instance, it
involves this question? Do you believe in the existence of
God? You would not believe in Jesus as the Son of God if
you did not believe in the existence of God. So let me
direct that question to you: Do you believe in the
existence of God?
Let me tell you that I do. I very firmly believe in the
existence of the God of heaven and earth. I believe that
this world in which we live did not just accidently happen
to evolve into it's present condition. I believe that God
created the Heavens and the earth. I believe that God
created matter, the substances from which the universe is
made. I believe that God created both the material
substances and that He formed the heavens and the earth. I
do not believe that the universe could exist without matter
and I do not believe that matter could have existed unless
God made it. I do not believe that the universe could exist
with all its great and wondrous laws of nature unless an
intelligent and powerful Being brought it into existence.
I do believe in the existence of God and I am persuaded
that most of you, probably all of you, do the same. You do
believe in the existence of God, do you not?
So that part of the question is answered. But that does
not fully answer the original question in its entirety. Do
you believe in the Son of God? In other words, do you
believe that God is a Trinity and that One of the Persons in
the Holy Trinity is the Son of God?
The Bible teaches that God is a Trinity and, therefore,
all who believe that the Bible has been written by the
inspiration of God must believe that God is a Trinity.
There is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy
Spirit. There is no way to accept the Bible as being
inspired of God and reject the Trinity of the Godhead.
I think it is a safe to assume that most of you believe
that the Bible is inspired of God and that you do believe
that the Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, God the
Son and God the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. In fact, I think
it is save to believe that you all believe that.
But even that does not fully answer the original
question. The question still stands: Do you believe in the
Son of God. Now since the Bible teaches that Jesus of
Nazareth is the Son of God, born in human flesh, the
question narrows down to this: Do you believe that Jesus of
Nazareth, the son of Mary, is also the Divine Son of God?
In our text Jesus of Nazareth told the man who had been
born blind and to whom Jesus had given his sight that He is
the Son of God. The man asked, "Who is He?" and Jesus
answered, "It is He that speaketh to thee." Jesus
identified himself to the man as The Son of God. This is
also what the Bible clearly teaches throughout the New
Testament scripture. Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus who was born
to Mary, Jesus who was born into the family of Joseph is
identified by New Testament writers as the Son of God.
But let me carry the question further: Do you believe
that Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God is the Savior of the
world? Let me put it another way: Do you believe that the
only hope of heaven which a lost sinner has in this world is
for him to repent of his sin and place his faith in Jesus to
save his soul and take him to heaven?
Let me again cite you to the Bible. The Bible teaches
that very thing. Jesus said, "No man cometh to the Father,
but by me." That is, no man can go to heaven where God the
Father is without placing his faith in Jesus Christ, the Son
of God. In John 3:18 we read, "He that believeth on the Son
is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned
already." In John 3:16 we read, "For God so loved the world
that He gave His Only Begotten Son that whosoever believeth
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
So a man can believe about Jesus and still be lost and
on his road to everlasting destruction. He can believe
about Jesus without believing on Jesus. But if a man wants
to go to heaven, he must do more than belive about Jesus.
He must believe on Jesus. He must place his personal
trusting faith in Jesus to take care of his soul when he
dies and to carry him to heaven.
There is another aspect of this question that we need to
consider. Jesus did not ask the man if his father believed
on the Son of God. Neither did He ask the man if his mother
believed on the Son of God. He did not ask him if the
scribes and Pharisees believe on the Son of God. He asked
the man: Do you believe on the Son of God?
It is just that personal with each one of us. The
question is not, "Do your parents believe on the Son of
God?" Neither is , "Do you live in a country where people
believe on the Son of God?" Nor is it, "Do you attend a
church which believes on the Son of God?" The question is
very personal. Do you, y-o-u, -- do you believe on the Son
of God? Have you ever trusted Him to be your Savior and to
save you from your sin? Have called upon Him and placed
your eternal destiny in His hands?
Listen! Until you do that you have not believed on the
Son of God. You may believe about Him, but you have not
believed on Him.
But now I want you to fully understand that this
question is not asked just out of idle curiosity. Jesus
asked the man in our text this question because his eternal
destiny hinged on his answer. Earlier I mentioned John
3:18. It says, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned,
but he that believeth not is condemned already."
Now apply that averse of Scripture to you. If you have
believed on Jesus --- if you have believed more than just
about Jesus --- if you have fully believed on Jesus --- then
you are not condemned and you are on your road to heaven.
However, if yoold him that the Son of God was person
talking to him, he believed on Jesus right then. Right at
that very moment he did believe on the Son of God. He
believed that Jesus is the Son of God. He put his faith
fully in Jesus as the Christ, the very Son of the living
I say that to say this. It could be that I am talking to
somebody this morning who up to this point of time had
merely believed about Jesus and you have never believed
fully in Him. Will you this morning call upon Jesus and
place your faith and your trust in Him to be your Savior?
Will you trust in Him to the save your soul so that you will
no longer be condemned and on the road to hell? Will you
trust Jesus as the Son of God to take care of your eternal
destiny and take you to heaven?
If so, would you come forward and profess Jesus
publicly? If there are people here who are already saved
who wish to unite with this church, would you also come
forward at this time?