Monday, July 7, 2014

John Chapter 9

"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"  Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.  We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva.  Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent).  So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?"  Some said, "It is he."  Others said, "No, but he is like him."  He kept saying, "I am the man."  So they said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?"  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."  They said to him, "Where is he?"  He said, "I do not know."

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.  Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.  So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight.  And he said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see."  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.  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."

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind?  How then does he now see?"  His parents answered, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.  But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes.  Ask him; he is of age.  He will speak for himself."  (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put our of the synagogue.)  Therefore his parents said, "He is of age, ask him."

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give glory to God.  We know that this man is a sinner."  He answered,  "Whether he is a sinner I do not know.  One thing I do know that though I was blind, now I see."  They said to him, "What did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?"  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?"  And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.  We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from."  The man answered, "Why, this is an amazing thing!  You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.  We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.  Never since the world began has it been heard than anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."  They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?"  And they cast him out.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"  He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?"  Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you."  He said, "Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him.  Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."  Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?"  Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."  John 9 (ESV)

Explanation for John 9:1-13; John 9:2; John 9:5 and 6; John 9:13-34; John 9:17; John 9:30; John 9:34, John 9:35-41; John 9:35 and 36; John 9:39; John 9:40; John 9:41.  From The MacArthur Study Bible (ESV) pages1559, 1560, 1561.

"9:1-13 Jesus performed a miracle by recreating the eyes of a man who was born with congential blindness (v.1). Four features highlight this healing:  1) the problem that precipitated the healing (v.1);  2) the purpose for the man's being born blind (vv. 2-5); 3) the power that healed him (vv. 6-7); and 4) the perplexity of the people who saw the healing (vv. 8-13)."

"9:2 who sinned.  While sin may be a cause of suffering, as clearly indicated in Scripture (see 5:14; Num. 12; 1 Cor. 11:30; James 5:15), it is not always the case necessarily (see Job; 2 Cor. 12:7; Gal. 4:13).  The disciples assumed, like most Jews of their day, that sin was the primary, if not exclusive, cause of all suffering.  In this instance, however, Jesus made it clear that personal sin was not the reason for the blindness (see John 9:3)."

"9:5 I am the light of the world.  See note on 8:12; cf. 1:5, 9; 3:19; 12:35, 46.  Not only was Jesus spiritually the light of the world, but he would also provide the means of physical light for this blind man."

"9:6 made mud with saliva.  As he had done when he originally made human beings out of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7), Jesus may have used the clay to fashion a new pair of eyes."

"9:13-34 This section in the story of the healing of the blind man reveals some key characteristics of willful unbelief:  1) unbelief sets false standards; 2) unbelief always wants more evidence but never has enough; 3) unbelief does biased research on a purely subjective basis; 4) unbelief rejects the facts; 5) unbelief is self-centered.  John included this section on the dialogue of the Pharisees with the blind man most likely for two reasons: 1) the dialogue carefully demonstrates the character of willful and fixed unbelief, and 2) the story confirms the first great schism between the synagogue and Christ's new followers.  The blind man was the first known person thrown out of the synagogue because he chose to follow Christ (see 16:1-3)."

"9:17 He is a prophet.  While the blind man saw clearly that Jesus was more than a mere man, the sighted but obstinate Pharisees were spiritually blind to that truth (see v. 39).  Blindness in the Bible is a metaphor for spiritual darkness, i.e., inability to discern God or his truth (2 Cor. 4:3-6; Col. 1:12-14)."

"9:30 The healed man demonstrated more spiritual insight and common sense than all of the religious authorities combined who sat in judgment of Jesus and him.  His penetrating wit focused in on their intractable unbelief.  His logic was that such an extraordinary miracle could only indicate that Jesus was from God, for the Jews believed that God responds in proportion to the righteousness of the one praying (see Job 27:9; 35:13; Ps. 66:18; 109:7; Prov. 15:29; Isa. 1:15; cf. John14:13-14; 16:23-27; 1John 3:21-22).  The greatness of the miracle could only indicate that Jesus was actually from God."

"9:34 would you teach us?  The Pharisees were incensed with the man, and their anger prevented them from seeing the penetrating insight that the uneducated, healed man had demonstrated.  The phrase also revealed their ignorance of Scripture, for the OT indicated that the coming messianic age would be evidenced by restoration of sight to the blind (Isa. 29:18, 35:5; 42:7; cf. Matt. 11:4-5; Luke 4:18-19)."

"9:35-41 While vv. 1-34 dealt with Jesus' restoration of physical sight in the blind man, vv. 35-41 featured Jesus bringing spiritual "sight" to him."

"9:35 Do you believe. . . ?  Jesus invited the man to put his trust in him as the One who revealed God to man.  Jesus placed great emphasis on public acknowledgment of who he was and confession of faith in him. (Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8). Son of Man. Cf. John 1:51; 3:13-14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28."

"9:36 sir.  The word here is the same for "lord," but it should be understood not as an indication that he understood Jesus' deity but as meaning "sir".  See also v. 38.  Since the blind man had never seen Jesus (v.7) nor met him since he went to wash in the pool, he did not recognize Jesus at first as the One who healed him."

"9:39 For judgment.  Not that his purpose was to condemn, but rather to save (12:47); Luke 19:10); saving some, nevertheless, involves condemning others (see notes on John 3:16, 18).  The last part of this verse is taken from Isa. 6:10; 42:19 (cf. Mark 4:12).  those who do not see.  Those people who know they are in spiritual darkness.  Those who see.  Refers in an ironic way to those who think they are in the light, but are not (cf. Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31)."

"9:40 Are we also blind? Apparently Jesus found (v. 35) the man in a public place, where the Pharisees were present listening."

"9:41 your guilt remains.  Jesus had particular reference to the sin of unbelief and rejection of him as Messiah and Son of God.  If they knew their lostness and darkness and cried out for spiritual light, they would no longer be guilty of the sin of unbelief in Christ.  But satisfied that their darkness was light, and continuing in rejection of Christ, their sin remained.  See note on Matt. 6:22-23."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord, I pray for those who are in spiritual darkness, but think they are in the light.  I pray that their eyes would be opened and instead of being spiritually blind that they would see.  I pray that Your words would speak the truth to their heart so that they may find the joy and freedom of salvation in You, Lord Jesus.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.  

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