Thu, Sep 14, 2017

John 9

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JOHN

            Please turn in your Bibles this evening to John chapter 9 as we continue our study through the Word of God. In our last study we saw Jesus show us that He is God. In fact, in John 8:58 Jesus said, Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.

            In other words, Jesus is claiming to be Almighty God, something the Jewish religious leaders rejected. In fact, they are so upset with the words that Jesus spoke, they wanted to kill Him, stone Him to death!

            One writer gives us this perspective of what took place. He wrote,

            As chapter 8 concludes, John paints a picture of crisis with the Jews ready to stone Jesus. . . . Those who hated Christ and tried to stone Him in chapter 8 continue their severe opposition to Jesus in chapter 9. Even though it was a Sabbath (9:14) and Jesus was in the temple proper (8:59), still some of these religious leaders were prepared to break their religious laws to destroy Jesus. Their attempt is unsuccessful as Jesus . . . left the temple (8:59).

- Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John, p. 89

 

            What is interesting to me is that these Jewish religious leaders who could clearly see with their physical eyes, were spiritually blind! Think about it. Several hundred years earlier the glory of God, the Shekinah glory that filled the Holy of Holies in the Temple, departed. The glory of God moved out of the Temple and then up and over the Mount of Olives because of the wickedness of the nation. (Ezekiel 10-11)

            But now, after several hundred years the glory of God, the Shekinah glory returned in the person of Jesus Christ and they could not see. Well, let me clarify that. These Jewish religious leaders refused to see who was before them, the Great I AM!

            As spiritually blind as they were, this evening we are going to be introduced to a man who was born blind and not only were his physical eyes opened, but his spiritual eyes also. So, as we go through these verses keep in mind the blindness of the religious leaders as compared to this man born blind. 

            With that as our background, let’s begin reading in John chapter 9 starting in verse 1 and let’s see what the Lord has for us this evening as we study His Word.

 

JOHN 9

VERSES 1-2

            Remember at the close of John chapter 8, as the Jewish religious leaders picked up stones to stone Jesus, that He passed by them. Now, as this chapter opens up we once again see Jesus pass by but this time, as He was walking in the Temple area, He saw this man who was blind by birth.

            And this man sat and was begging for money, for food and as the disciples of Jesus saw this man, they came up with a theological question. I find that interesting. Here is a man in need of help and they want to debate why he is in this condition!

            And their question is an interesting one. They said to Jesus, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind? John 9:2.

            Keep in mind that the disciples of Jesus held onto a tradition that basically said that if you were sick, then you must have some sin in your life. But for this blind man, he was born blind and thus, did his parents sin before he was born or did he sin in the womb that caused him to be blind? What a terrible theology!

            Morris expounds on this by saying, “It was widely held that suffering, and especially such a disaster as blindness, was due to sin. The general principle was laid down by Rabbi Ammi: ‘There is no death without sin, and there is no suffering without iniquity.’”

            Now let me also say this before we dig any farther into this subject. There are times when children do suffer the consequences of their parents’ sinful choices. For instance, a mother who smokes or drinks or does drugs while she is pregnant, her child will suffer the consequences of her actions.

            Also, if the mother has gonorrhea it can affect the baby. You see, as the baby passes through the birth canal of this mother who has gonorrhea it can affect the baby’s eyes and they can become blind if their eyes are not treated medically after birth.

            But, that is not the case here. Yes, what we see in this world with sickness and death is a result of sin being brought into this world, but not every sickness is a result of that person sinning!

            Now today, in the twenty-first century, we would never think like that, would we? You bet we would because that bad theology is still around today. Let me give you this example. There was a woman who was born blind and after she came to Jesus she joined a church that believed she should be healed of her blindness. Then, when she wasn’t she said that the people in this church told her, “something in my life that hindered God’s will, God was held up because of some point of sin or disobedience that He just couldn’t get around until I straightened up.” 

            What a sad theology to have. Yes, as I have said, there are times we do bring sickness upon ourselves due to what we are involved in, but that is not the case all the time! And can you imagine laying this guilt trip on this poor woman. It was like Job’s friends, miserable comforters as they were. Thank God that she came to her senses and saw their error and that it was not her fault she was born blind or that she wasn’t healed!

            Let me give you one more example to show that this is still around today. Fred Price said this regarding people who are sick, have handicaps and you see if this is the heart of God or not. I think he has stepped down from the ministry but he handed his ministry over to his son to continue with this garbage.

            And listen to what he said, “. . . how can you glorify God in your body, when it doesn’t function right? How can you glorify God? How can He get glory when your body doesn’t even work? . . . What makes you think the Holy Ghost wants to live inside a body where He can’t see out through the windows and He can’t hear with the ears? What makes you think the Holy Spirit wants to live inside of a physical body where the limbs and the organs and the cells do not function right? . . . And what makes you think He wants to live in a temple where He can’t see out of the eyes, and He can’t walk with the feet, and He can’t move with the hand? . . . The only eyes that He has that are in the earth realm are the eyes that are in the body. If He can’t see out of them then God’s gonna be limited. . . .”

            Imagine telling people that! Maybe he should read the Scriptures and see that Paul had an eye problem that decreased his ability to see before he condemns and lays all this guilt on people that have a physical handicap!

            Look at the life of Job, he was a righteous man and yet suffered physical problems, not because of some sin in his life! Let the Scriptures set you free from the bondage that so many people try to place you in today!

            Now this is what the disciples of Jesus thought and we have seen what some feel today, but forget about that. People have all kinds of strange ideas that are not true. The bigger issue is what does Jesus say regarding this matter! Let’s read on and see what Jesus has to say regarding this theological question that the disciples of Jesus asked Him!

 

VERSES 3-5

            The theology of the disciples of Jesus was simple, if you are sick you have some sin in your life. But we now see what Jesus has to say about that. He is saying that not all sickness is a direct result of sin. And to make His point, He speaks of this man who was born blind, that it was not a result of sin that brought on this condition of blindness!

            Yes, as I have said, some sickness is a direct result of sin, like sexually transmitted diseases can be a result of sexual promiscuity. But not all sickness is a direct result of sin as the book of Job clearly shows us!

            Now Jesus is going to use this man’s blindness to glorify God, as He heals this man of his blindness. Does that mean that God gave this man this blindness? Not at all. Listen to what F. F. Bruce says regarding this issue. He wrote,

            This does not mean that God deliberately caused the child to be born blind in order that, after many years, his glory should be displayed in the removal of the blindness; to think so would again be an aspersion [slander] on the character of God. It does mean that God overruled the disaster of the child’s blindness so that, when the child grew to manhood, he might, by recovering his sight, see the glory of God in the face of Christ, and others, seeing this work of God, might turn to the true Light of the World.

- F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John, p. 209

           

            Jesus then says, I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:4-5. What is Jesus talking about here?

            I believe Jesus is speaking of His time on earth, that His ministry would come to an end and thus, He was going to do all that He could while He had breath. The Puritan pastor, Richard Baxter wrote, “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men” (cited in I. D. E. Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury, p. 223)

            We all have a limited time do to the work that God has called us to do. May we complete the work, finish the race strong!

            Now let’s deal with illness, tragedies, things that happen in our lives. Make no mistake about it, God allows things to happen so that He might accomplish His work in our lives.

            What happens as these things happen to us is we get upset, we get angry, we get mad at God. The lesson here is instead of complaining or getting angry as you go through these things in your life, see what God is going to do in you and through you as you are going through them.

            Let me share this example with you from Jon Courson. He wrote,

            “The issue is not sin,” said Jesus. “Rather, this man’s misery gives Me opportunity for ministry. I am the Light of the world, and I have only so many hours in which I can work before night falls on the day of My public ministry.”

            Misery always opens the door for ministry.

            As a junior in high school, I had the opportunity to represent our district at the Athletes in Action National Conference. Although the conference began Monday morning, the featured speaker failed to show up for Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s meetings. He was on campus, but the pain he lived with continually prevented him from joining us.

            Maybe you’ve heard his story: During the ’68 - ’69 season, Brian Sternberg was at the West Coast Relays in Fresno, California, pumped, primed, and poised to break the world record in the pole-vault. The day before the meet, he was doing what pole - vaulters often do - working out on the trampoline. But following one particular double flip, he hit the metal railing and broke his neck. It was a tragedy and a shock to the track and field world when Sternberg was told not only that he would never vault again, but that he would be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life.

             Other speakers and athletes filled in for Brian at the AIA Conference. Then came Thursday night. After Brian was wheeled out, he began to share with this group of  young athletes how he had been a nominal, lukewarm Christian for a number of years. Then came the tragedy. And he said, “As I was in the hospital flat on my back, hearing  I would never run, never walk, never even lift my hands again, God started to do a work in my life and gave me a peace I cannot explain. Jesus became so incredibly real  to me at that time and has been real to me since then in a way I could never comprehend or explain.” Then, with tears rolling down his cheeks, this world-class athlete said, “If that was the only way I could have what I have right now in my heart, I would take that jump all over again.”

             When he extended an invitation to make a real commitment to Jesus Christ, virtually the entire audience came forward. We saw revival happen unlike anything I’ve ever seen before or since. But it came through a man who was broken and in pain.

             You who are going through difficulties, you who are experiencing tragedy, sickness, or hard times - watch out that you don’t become introspective and wonder what you’ve done wrong. Jesus would say to you today, “Sin is not the issue. The question is not, “Who caused the misery?” The question is, “Will you allow Me to use it?”

            The Greek language has no punctuation, so I believe a better rendering of this passage would be: “But that the works of God should be made manifest in him, I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day.” In other words, “It’s not a time to speculate philosophically. It’s a time to reach out compassionately.                                                                                               

- Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary, New Testament, pp. 514-515

 

            Let me also say this. As we go through difficult times, we should examine our life and see if there is something we are doing that has brought this upon us. That is a good thing.

            And when Jesus said, the night is coming when no one can workHe understood that opportunities for service and doing good don’t last forever. It is a dark world out there, but don’t let that stop you from ministering to people. Jesus knew that healing this man on the Sabbath would bring greater opposition from the religious leaders who already wanted to silence and kill Him. Yet His compassion for this man drove Him to do it anyway.

            Now notice what Jesus does for this man who was born blind!

 

VERSES 6-7

            Think about this. Here was a man who was born in this hopeless condition, being born blind, with no chance to ever see, and now was healed by Jesus. 

            How does that relate to us? Simply, we too were born in a hopeless condition, it is called sin. There is no way we can cleanse ourselves from it but Jesus can by His cleansing work on the cross of Calvary. 

            Now the spiting on the ground and making the dirt into a clay mixture, placing it into this man’s eyes and then telling him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam seems foolish, doesn’t it?  And yet this man obeyed the Lord and was healed!

            Now this pool of Siloam was built by Hezekiah as a way to get a fresh water supply into the city prior to the invasion of Sennacherib and the Assyrians. This pool is fed by a conduit from the spring of Gihon some 1,780 feet, built through solid rock with workers starting at opposite ends and meeting in the middle with such accuracy they were only a few inches off in meeting dead center! And if you remember, this is the pool where the priest would go to gather the water into the golden pitcher during the Feast of Tabernacles.

            Why did Jesus heal this man this way? I think one of the reasons was that it was the Sabbath. And it was forbidden in their tradition and their interpretation of the Law to make clay on the Sabbath day, that was work. So, Jesus not only healed on the Sabbath day, but made clay and placed it in this blind man’s eyes, and then told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.

            And this man, by faith, obeyed the Lord and he was healed!

            Now I don’t know about you, but I would be like, “Now Jesus, instead of spitting on the ground and making some clay and putting it on my eyes, gross, can you just heal me at a distance?” Right? I mean would you be happy if someone made a huge spit into the dirt and made some clay out of it and put it in your eyes? Of course you would not! And yet, this man allowed Jesus to do that!

            Now you may be thinking that he was blind so he could not see what Jesus was doing. True, but he was not deaf and I am sure he heard what Jesus was doing!

            I think you can clearly see that this was offensive and yet, think about this for a minute.

            Isn’t that true of the Gospel? That it is offensive, it seems foolish to many, even us before we were saved! But it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves us, as foolish as it may seem.

            I hope I don’t offend anyone here but think about this. Look at all the social programs that we see in this country and do they save people? Yes, some may get help but many times more harm is done than good. You see, the Gospel of Jesus can transform our lives, help us to see once again, spiritually speaking as God takes these bodies of clay and pours out His Spirit upon us!

            One more point here. We see Jesus heal many different ways, why? Because I think we would take what He did and turn them into a healing method! Not with Jesus, He heals in many different ways and God continues to do that today!

            As we read on, notice that this man was well-known in town. And he that was born blind could now see! Some could not believe their own eyes and caused doubt about who this man was that is now seeing. Let’s read on and see what takes place here.

 

VERSES 8-12

            I like this. Those that knew this man, lived by this man, couldn’t believe it. He was blind and yet, now he can see! It was so amazing that some were unwilling to believe it was the same man!

              Think about our lives and where we came from. And after we were saved the change in our life and as our family, our friends, those who know us look at our lives, they too can’t believe we are the same person. And I guess, in a sense, we are not. We are a new creation in Christ and those old ways have passed off the scene and we live in this new life we have in Christ. Our lives should be a witness to what God has done!

            Now they are so baffled by all of this, and as this once blind man heard all their doubt, he said, I am he.

            Remember that the disciples wanted to know who sinned, this man in the womb or his parents that caused him to be born blind. Now, with those who knew this man who was blind but can now see, they wanted to know how this happened!

            That is not the issue really. The bigger question is this, “Who performed this miracle? Who opened your eyes?”

            And this man says, A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight. John 9:10.

            What I want you to see here is that all this man knows is that some guy named Jesus healed him, that is all, just a a man. But as we will see as we read on, this once blind man will get a fuller understanding of who this Man really is, the Messiah, the Son of God!

            Keep in mind that the only encounter that this man had with Jesus was when he was blind. By the time he came back from the pool of Siloam seeing, Jesus was already gone! So he never saw him face to face, not yet.

            I also find it interesting that Jesus healed this man and now this man has seemed to have lost Jesus. Unlike this man, there are many today who run to Jesus when they are in trouble or going through difficult times and once they are delivered, God is the farthest thing from their minds, and they don’t want to be bothered by Him anymore and that is very sad. For this man, he just can’t find Jesus but we are going to see that Jesus will find this man!

            Notice what the people do with this man who was blind and now can see!

 

VERSES 13-16

            So as this man who was born blind and now sees is brought before the Pharisees, they too wanted to know how this happened to him. And he tells them, He put clay on my eyes, and I washed and I see.

            Not much more you can add to that. He answered their question and yet, for most of them, they already came to the conclusion that this man who did this was a sinner because He broke the Sabbath Law!

            You see, Jesus not only healed this man on the Sabbath, which was not kosher in their minds, but He also spat on the ground and made clay, which also was not kosher, it was work and forbidden on the Sabbath!

            But there was another group, probably a very small group because we don’t hear of them again, who said that, How can a man who is a sinner do such signs? This could be Nicodemus and Joseph who were part of this group and because of the intense opposition to Jesus, they tried to cover the fact that they believed He was the Messiah!  

            So we see this division amongst the Pharisees regarding Jesus, that He was a sinner and He was not a sinner!

            But they are not going to stop their inquiry about this and I think those who supported Jesus, those Pharisees, grew silent at this point.

VERSE 17

            Once again the Pharisees ask this man about Jesus but this time this man speaks of Jesus being more than just a man, He is a Prophet. You see, his faith is growing! He did not recognize that Jesus is God, not yet but he also understood that the One who gave him sight must be from God!

            Now this is interesting. According to Clarke, “Now, according to a Jewish maxim, a prophet might dispense with the observation of the Sabbath. See Grotius. If they allow that Jesus was a prophet, then, even in their sense, he might break the law of the Sabbath, and be guiltless.”     

            So how were these Jewish religious leaders going to respond to what this man said of Jesus, He is a prophet? Let’s read on and see!

 

VERSES 18-23

            Think about this. Here is this man who was born blind and can now see. Many knew of him as he sat and begged for money and food. But for these religious leaders, it was easier for them to believe that the man was never really blind than to believe that Jesus healed the man. And it as one writer put it, “Unable to explain this unprecedented phenomenon of a man born blind being enabled to see, they will not admit that it has really happened.” (Tasker)

            That is so sad. You see, they had all this evidence before them and they still refused to see, they still refused to believe because their traditions were more important than God’s Word! 

            But I will tell you this; it is hard to argue with the evidence that is before them, although they are going to try. Many people knew this man was born blind but that was not good enough, so they brought the parents in to give them the third degree regarding this situation. 

            Let me ask you this. What is one of the greatest evidences for Christianity today? You and me, those who have come to Christ, born blind but now see, lives transformed by the power of God! They said to these religious leaders, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself. 

            In other words, let his life be a testimony, a witness. It is as Paul said in II Corinthians 3:2-3, You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 

            You see, God’s Word continues on today though us as His living epistles, His living love letters to the world! Thus, when people read you what are they reading? They should see Christ in you, the hope of glory!

            Now his parents were careful in what they said to these religious leaders. Yes, their son was born blind and now he can see, but they stopped there because they were afraid to speak of Jesus healing their son, making Him to be the Messiah because they could be excommunicated from the synagogue, lose their jobs, be outcasts of society. That is what verse 22 says, His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.

            Dods wrote of the practice in the ancient Jewish world: “Of excommunication there were three degrees: the first lasted for thirty days; then followed ‘a second admonition,’ and if impenitent the culprit was punished for thirty days more; and if still impenitent he was laid under the Cherem or ban, which was of indefinite duration, and which entirely cut him off from intercourse with others. He was treated as if he were a leper.”

            Today, this is not an issue too much in the church because, as one writer put it, “In the modern western world the idea of excommunication means little, because it is easy for the excommunicated one to simply go to another church and pretend that nothing happened. More common today is what one might call self-excommunication, where believers separate themselves from church worship and life with no good reason.” (David Guzik)

            So, because of this fear that they had with these Jewish religious leaders, the parents shifted the testimony back to their son. Listen to what we are told.

 

VERSE 24

            So as this man is brought before them again, they say to him, Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.

            There are two ways to look at this and they both do apply. First of all, this is saying that they want this man to tell the truth. That is what Alford says, “The words are a form of adjuration (see Joshua 7:19), to tell the truth, q. d. ‘Remember that you are in God’s presence, and speak as unto Him.’” (Alford)

            And Morris tells us, “The man is being told that he has not been completely frank up till now. He has held back something which would show Jesus to be a sinner.”

            The other way to look at this, and like I have said, I believe both apply, is that they want this man to give God the glory for what was done to him and not this man named Jesus! In fact, they don’t even use His name, Jesus, but call Him this Man. And again, they considered Jesus to be a sinner, He broke the Sabbath day Law in their mind and thus, the things He did were not of God!

            Listen to how this man responds to what they have said, that Jesus is a sinner!

 

VERSES 25-27

            Notice that this man does not know much about Jesus but what he knows he freely speaks even though he could be excommunicated from the synagogue. This man was not going to lie just to satisfy the Pharisees, so he tells them all he knows, that he was born blind and Jesus touched his life and now he sees! 

            How do you argue against that? You can’t! Thus, we too should speak of what God has done in our lives and let the evidence speak for itself!

            Of this dispute between the religious leaders and this man, Morris said, “They take their stand on their preconceived ideas, he on the simple facts that he knows.” That should be our heart, speaking of what we know of God and what He has done in our lives.

            Now, in a sense, the Jewish religious leaders were right. God does not hear sinners. In fact, our sin has separated us from God. Let me explain.

            In Psalm 66:18 David said, If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

            In regard to the Hypocrite, Job 27:8-9 says, For what is the hope of the hypocrite, Though he may gain much, If God takes away his life? Will God hear his cry When trouble comes upon him?

            And, of course, in Isaiah 59:1-2 we are told, Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

            Now keep in mind that God hears everything and thus, what the Scriptures are saying is that sin has broken that relationship with God. And for Christians, we can quench the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives by allowing sin to dominate our lives!

            For these Jewish religious people, they believed this with all their heart and they were right. They also believed that God heard the prayer of the righteous and they saw themselves as righteous. Therefore, Jesus is not righteous and God will not hear His prayer, that is what they believed.

            And these guys don’t give up. They come after this man once again wanting to know how this happened. And I think he had enough and he tells them, I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again?

            And he continues on and I believe he is being sarcastic here because he knew where they stood in regard to Jesus and the work he was doing, and he asks these religious leaders, Do you also want to become His disciples? 

            I think there was a little smile on his face when he said that. But the reality of all of this is staring them right in the face. You see, the evidence is before them, the truth is out there, and yes, they should have received Jesus, but they rejected Him even though He did the impossible, made a man born blind to see!

            And notice their response to this man’s question, Do you also want to become His disciples?

 

VERSES 28-29

            These religious leaders are losing this battle so they turn up the heat by saying “We follow Moses whom God spoke to, but this Jesus, who knows where He is from, surely he is not from God!”

            And these guys are mad. In fact, the Greek word for reviled means “to reproach or scold in a loud and abusive manner.” Hopefully that sheds some light to where this conversation was going and it was not a good place!

            And this is interesting to me. They said regarding Jesus, as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from. Really, these are the religious leaders. Don’t you think they should have known about the Messiah and see that Jesus fulfilled what the Old Testament prophets spoke regarding the Messiah? Of course they should have known, but they were blind to the truth, they closed their eyes to the truth!

            What truth am I speaking of? In Isaiah alone we see the things that the Messiah would do that fulfilled what was done to this man who was blind and now sees.

            In Isaiah 29:18 we are told, In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

            In Isaiah 35:5 we are told, Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

            And in Isaiah 42:7 we are told, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.

            There was no excuse for them not to believe but they closed their eyes because they chose not to believe! People do that all the time today. They hold onto their traditions, what they want to believe and negate the truths of God found in the Word of God and will spend an eternity in Hell because of it!

            Notice the response of this man.

 

VERSES 30-34

            Look at how this man responds to these religious leaders. He tells them, Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet, He has opened my eyes.

            In other words, he is basically telling them, “This is unbelievable. How can you be so ignorant when there is all this evidence that Jesus is the Messiah? He opened my blind eyes and yet, your ignorance is more of a miracle than my cure! How can you not believe?”

            That had to hurt! This man is blasting these religious leaders for their ignorance. They claimed that Jesus was a sinner and yet He opened the eyes of this man born blind, how can that be when God does not hear sinners? Remember, we discussed this and saw what the Scriptures had to say regarding this issue.

            Remember what we read in Isaiah 59:1-2, Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

             And in Isaiah 1:15 we are told, When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. 

            But, on the other side, for those who have come to Him and given their life to Jesus, we are told in Psalm 145:19, He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. 

            And in Proverbs 15:29 we are told, The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. 

            So how in the world could the religious leaders argue against that point? They couldn’t!  They accused Jesus of being a sinner and yet He healed a man who was born blind! If they only listened instead of closing their ears to the truth because of their own prejudices and preconceived ideas!

            And here’s the thing. Throughout the Old Testament not one person who was born blind was made to see! That is what this man is reminding them. And, according to Psalm 146:8 it is the Lord who opens the eyes of the blind. We read The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous. 

            You see, Yahweh alone can open the eyes of the blind. Also, the opening of the eyes of those who are blind is a specific work of the Messiah as we have already seen. 

            Thus, the conclusion that this lay person, not a theologian, has come to is that Jesus must be from God because no man can open the eyes of someone born blind!

            Also, note, that even though he said these things, his faith was still young, and he sees Jesus as not just a man, but a man of God, as his faith continues to grow and it will reach that point where he will see Jesus as the Scriptures say, God and Messiah!

            Now, notice what they did, how they responded to what this man has said. They told him, You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?

            Again, that is what they believed. If you had a physical problem, it was because of some sin in your life. And yet, what does the Scriptures teach us? All they would have had to do is look at the book of Job, who was a righteous man, an upright man before God and yet, not only physical issues came upon him but emotional ones he faced as well. You see, they closed their eyes to the truth, they refused to see, and thus, they remained blind!

            So, these religious leaders lost the battle, they could not refute what this man said, and so they excommunicated him from the synagogue! As Morgan tells us, “The casting out of this man meant his excommunication from his religious rights in Temple and synagogue.”

            Now we read that and we may feel sorry for this man. He is going to lose everything and he did not have much to begin with being born blind. But seeing again, he could have started all over but, since they excommunicated him from the synagogue, it was over!

            Not really. You see, it was exactly what he needed. He couldn’t live in both worlds. It is like a person who gets saved and is going to a church that is dead, there is no life, no truth being spoken and they can’t live in both places at the same time. They can’t live in the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, so they must move on!

            And listen to what happens as this man lost everything, he is going to gain so much more!

 

VERSES 35-38

            I love this. The blind or ex-blind man gets kicked out of the world, its religious system and who comes to find him? Jesus! Yes, the world may reject you, mock you for what you believe, but if Jesus has accepted you, that is all you need.

            And Jesus is drawing out the faith of this man who was blind. Keep in mind that Jesus is always searching, looking for those that are His sheep. 

            In Revelation 3:20 we are told, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 

            We are told in Isaiah 55:1-3, Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you - The sure mercies of David. 

            And lastly, this comforting invitation from Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 where He tells us to, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  

            What a comfort, what rest we find in Jesus. And yes, this man was born physically blind and Jesus opened his eyes, but spiritually speaking he was still blind, he was still dead in his trespasses and sins until his spiritual eyes were opened. He needed to come to that saving faith that only Jesus can give to us.

            And as much as the religious leaders would not let this man worship in the Temple, Jesus allows him to worship right there. And think of it, no Jew would worship a man, but now this man has come to see Jesus who He really is, the Son of God and thus, he begins to worship Jesus.

            How many people today worship everyone and anyone except Jesus. He alone deserves our worship; may we not forget that!

            One more thing before we move on. I want you to notice the progression of this man’s faith as it reached the point that his spiritual eyes were opened. 

            First, he said that Jesus was a man in John 9:11. 

            Then he sees Jesus as a prophet in John 9:17.

            Then he sees Jesus as a man from God in John 9:33.

            And lastly, as he is saved, he sees Jesus as the Son of God who is worthy of worship in John 9:38. 

            It is as Jesus said in John 8:24, Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. 

            As I have said before, the He is not there in the Greek; it was added for clarity, which doesn’t help at all. Jesus is saying that if you don’t believe that He is the great I AM, that He is God, you will die in your sins!

            And listen to how rich, how deep this belief is. Tenney tells us, “The question ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ is a summons to commitment. The Greek pronoun su (‘you’) used with the verb makes the inquiry doubly emphatic. It demanded a personal decision in the face of opposition or rejection.”

 

VERSES 39-41

            What does Jesus mean by this idea of Him coming into this world for judgment? As you look at the context of this chapter He is speaking of those who admit their spiritual blindness, their need for a Savior, that He will open their spiritual eyes so they may see.

            But, on the other hand, for those that don’t see their spiritual blindness, who feel they are just fine the way they are without Jesus, they will remain spiritually blind to the truths of God and they will die in their sins!

            Now this verse seems to contradict what Jesus said in John 3:17, For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Is this a contradiction? Not at all! Jesus came into this world to save us but if we reject Him, if we reject the free gift of life that is found in Him, then judgment is the ultimate result that will occur! 

            Keep in mind that in John chapter 3 you need to read the rest of the chapter to see that judgment is coming upon those who reject Him. You can take parts of a verse or a verse and make it say anything, but in the context of what is written, it is clear what is being said!

            And for these Pharisees, if they could admit their spiritual blindness they then could be forgiven and they could see. But they refused to do that and their sin remains and they are blind! 

            Now it doesn’t come out in the English but in the Greek, they expect a negative response to their question to Jesus, Are we blind also? 

            You see, they thought, why I don’t know, but they did, that Jesus would say something like this, “No, no, you are not blind, you are holy men of God!” That is what they expected but, as we have seen, that is not what Jesus said to them!

            He told them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

            This reminds me of what is said in Proverbs 30:12, There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness.” 

            People today feel they are basically good people, that they will go to heaven but without Christ they are lost in their sins; they are not washed from their filthiness, they are spiritually blind! 

            But that can all change as a person gives their life to Jesus because Jesus alone can heal our blind souls.

            Let me close this evening with these words from Jesus, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3:16-21. 

            Such precious words from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we always treasure His love in us and give it out to others!

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