Passage Big Idea
If you want to walk in the light – true, relational knowledge of God – you must come to Jesus.
9:1-12 – Jesus’ healing of the man born blind
9:13-34 – The Pharisees’ three interrogation
– 9:13-17 – First interrogation of the man born blind
– 9:18-23 – Interrogation of the blind man’s parents
– 9:24-34 – Second interrogation of the man born blind
9:35-41 – Spiritual Blindness
Some things to look out for
Some random facts/ideas
– John picks up in this passage one of his Gospel in this passage: light & darkness.
– Here’s something amazing. John 9 comes between John 8 & 10. John 8 is Jesus discussion with the Pharisees about who he is…but they don’t/won’t see it. John 10 is Jesus talking about those who hear Jesus voice being his. John 9 may well be the events that show us what both groups look like in practice.
– Many consider this miracle to be the sixth “sign” of Jesus, and the final one in the Gospel before the final “sign” pointing to Jesus as the Messiah. That of being lifted up on the cross.
– There are significant parallels between this healing, and the healing in John 5. Both are at pools (5:2 / 9:7) and both take place on the Sabbath (5:9; 9:14)
– This healing is informed by Jesus ‘I am’ statement in John 8:12. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This healing, and his interaction with the Pharisees is going to explain what he means by that.
Old Testament Background
– Restoration of sight was one of the things that the Old Testament promised the Messiah would do, and would signal the ushering in of God’s Kingdom (Isaiah 29:18, 35:5, 42:7).
– The Old Testament usually considers getting saliva on you as a sign of uncleanness (Lev 15:8).
– The problem in Israel – ever seeing, never perceiving (Isaiah 6:9-11)
Some possible areas of application
– It’s worth working through this passage and building a list of what the characteristics of spiritual blindness are (extensive), and what the characteristics of those who can see are (but John 10 is particularly helpful for this one).
– The man born blind’s response to Jesus is phenomenal. He’s not nearly as educated as the Pharisees, and he’s not nearly as “important”…but he knows the light of the world when he encounters him. Do we?
– Some of the things we see about Spiritual blindness in this passage are: a denial of facts, a lack of compassion, pre-determined decision making, false picture of self. Do we see this today?