[The following scripture passages and questions are here to guide you in your thinking. The questions are not answered. If you are truly seeking, you will sense God guiding you. You will see and understand those things which are most needful for you. And, most importantly, you will know that God cares for you.]
Read John 9.1-41
John 9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
Blind from birth! It is very hard for us to imagine what his life must have been like. Now, a man, he has passed throughout childhood blind but, worse still, with no understanding of what it was to see. It is one thing to lose one’s sight when there still can be mental images for things felt or heard, but to have no such mental images must truly be a terrible thing. Now a man, his only means of livelihood is to beg. There was no cure for a man born blind whose eyes had never developed properly. There was no hope for anything but utter darkness.
Those who are born spiritually blind, have no hope and are without God (Ephesians 2:12). They do not understand what it is like to see spiritually. They do not understand the love of God and a life of faith. They exist, seeking to achieve all they can achieve, but in the end, all is as King Solomon said, “Vanity”—an inability to accomplish the goal of true happiness and peace. There is no earthly cure for spiritual blindness. Occasionally, there are some who are deluded and some who are hucksters who promise a cure, but they are mere blind leaders of the blind.
John 9:5-7 ESV “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (6) Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud (7) and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.”
Question: As the light of the world, Jesus could have healed the blind man with a word. Why the mud and the washing?
Question: Has the Lord ever worked out a problem in your life using means that at first seemed to be unrelated to the problem and its solution?
Having received his sight, the man now grows in understanding and faith:
John 9:10-11 ESV So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” (11) He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”
“The man called Jesus.”
He has had an encounter with Jesus the light of the world not knowing who he was. But placing his faith in him, he obeyed. True faith in Christ is always demonstrated by obedience. The Apostle James said that faith without works is dead, i.e., not true saving faith. Often we, like the blind man, do not comprehend the fullness of Christ: who he is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do. We, like the blind man, should respond to the light he gives us at the moment with faith and obedience. Our way will become brighter and brighter as we grow in our knowledge of him.
Question: If we refuse to believe and obey the little light the Lord gives us now, will he give us greater light later?
Question: Does the passage below help with the above question?
Matthew 25:21 ESV “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”
John 9:16-17 ESV Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. (17) So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
“He is a prophet.”
In this passage we once again encounter the Pharisees. (See Those Who Reject Light) Jesus had made spittle mud, put it on the blind man’s eyes, and commanded him to journey to the pool of Siloam to wash and receive his sight. These actions went against the Pharisees rules about Sabbath activities and were purposely done by Jesus to expose the error of their ways. A quote from Smith’s Bible Dictionary sheds some light on the circumstances:
“While it was the aim of Jesus to call men to the law of God itself as the supreme guide of life, the Pharisees, upon the pretense of maintaining it intact, multiplied minute precepts and distinctions, to such an extent that the whole life of the Israelite was hemmed in, and burdened on every side, by instructions so numerous and trifling, that the law was almost, if not wholly, lost sight of. These ‘traditions’ as they were called, had long been gradually accumulating.”
Question: The man who had been blind was placed under pressure by the enemies of Christ. In that pressure, his understanding of the nature of Christ grew. Have you experienced growth of your spiritual understanding due to the pressure of a bad situation?
Question: True or False: Romans 8:28-29 says that not all things work together for good in the Christian’s life.
John 9:25-27 ESV He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” (26) They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” (27) He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”
In the face of vicious criticism of Jesus Christ, the man bases his faith upon his experience: “this I know…now I see.” Our understanding about Christ grows from our personal experience with him. The blind man’s experience caused him to want to follow Christ as a disciple. Light shows the way to a personal relationship with Christ. Believers are never left to live the best they can on their own. Jesus promised that he would never leave us or forsake us.
Question: Are you a disciple of Christ? If not, why not?
John 9:35-38 ESV Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (36) He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” (37) Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” (38) He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
“…and he worshiped him.”
Jesus asked if he believed in the Son of Man (a title of deity used in the Old Testament in reference to the Messiah and which he applied to himself many times in the Gospels). The blind man’s relationship with Christ had grown into worship. Only God was allowed to be worshiped, yet Jesus allowed himself to be worshiped.
Question: Who or what is Jesus to you? If not Lord, then you do not know or believe in the Biblical Jesus Christ.
In this chapter of John we see the effect of spiritual light on one born blind. The blind man knew he was blind physically but had no idea that he was also blind spiritually. Often the Lord has mercy on us in our physical lives. This is not to just make us feel better. It is to bring us into the light of God. It is a pity when the spiritually blind are ignorant of their blindness.
John 9:39-41 ESV Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” (40) Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” (41) Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains”.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.