The aim of the book of John is to help us know who Jesus is and before we continue, let us do a quick review of the previous chapters:
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is the …
1 – word
2 – temple
3 – true Messiah
4 – living water
5 – son of God
6 – bread of life
7 – living water
8 – light of the world
Lesson: John 9:1-41: Jesus Heals the Man Who was Born Blind
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth (Jn 9:1)
When brownouts happen in the Philippines, some families stay outside the house where it is cooler, but with the risk of exposure to hungry mosquitoes.
Even though it is dark, they can still slowly move inside their house because they have memorized the arrangement of their things and furniture. And when the electricity comes back, everyone rejoices.
This blind man (given that he was blind since birth) has no idea of the joy and benefit that light brings. He cannot see everyone and everything around him.
Aside from not seeing his friends’ smiles, this blind man might have also lived in fear knowing that he cannot see the obstacles in front of him or the direction where he is going – he was always dependent.
The blind man was physically blind; and if God hasn’t found us yet, we are still spiritually blind. We cannot see Jesus Christ.
Why? 2 Corinthians 4:4 says “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” and Hebrews 3:15 says “As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
When we were not yet Christians, even though we knew what was right from wrong, we still did what we wanted to do. We were like marionettes when Jesus was not yet the one controlling our lives.
John 9:2 ‘His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”’
Usually, people are having difficulties accepting those unfortunate things (at least in the world’s view) that come from God. That is why they (the world) usually attribute these (unfortunate) things to sin. This is what happened to Jesus’ disciples.
-is the belief that the souls of people from the past transfer to a newborn child. This concept (Transmigration) might be what the disciples were referring to; thus, attributing the man’s blindness to either due to his sinfulness or his parents’.
Why does God allow evil to exist? Why doesn’t He stop it?
The question above is one of the reasons why some people don’t accept God. It is difficult for them to understand why God – who is so loving – allows evil to propagate.
“If God is willing to prevent evil but unable to do so – then He is not all-powerful”
or “If God is able to prevent evil but is not willing to do so – then He is not all-loving.”
and “If God is able to prevent evil and is able to do so – then there should be NO suffering.”
Epicurus – Ancient Greek Philosopher (341 – 270 B. C.)
The quotes above are some of the reasons (or logic) as to why other people question Christians. Why do you still go to church? Why do you still believe in God when He allows bad things to happen? How would you answer that?
There was a time when people would wait for the Lord – there was even a group of people (a country) who would literally stop and wait for the Lord’s instruction.
They waited on the Lord. And by God’s grace, man acquired knowledge and became learned. Because man gained more and more knowledge, he now thinks that he can question God – it seems as if God owes man an explanation. And Jesus replied:
John 9:3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
In the first part of the verse above (Neither this man nor his parents sinned), one might ask “… but why just now?”, “what took you so long?”, and Jesus’ response was clear and concise “so that the works of God might be made visible through him”.
This response may be difficult for most people to understand, but for us who believe in God, who has a relationship with Him, we understand what He means.
We know and can testify that when things happen to us that we cannot understand, we know and we have hope that this event will be made beautiful by God. Take for example the lives of Abraham, Job, and Hannah.
They had to make difficult decisions, go through painful loss, and a long wait. God intentionally leaves us clueless on things to check our faith in Him. Will we still hold on to God even if we don’t understand what is going on?
A Victory Calvary Chapel Pastor said, “things do not happen TO us, they happen FOR us.” There is a reason for everything. We may not understand it right now, but we can always say yes to God for He knows what is best for us.
John 9:6-7 tells us that Jesus made some mud with his saliva and soil and put it in the man’s eyes. The man didn’t resist when the mud was placed in his eyes because he didn’t see how Jesus made it.
Ptra. Noreen encourages us to love this Word because it shows us that while we cannot see, God is doing something for us. And even if we may be in a dark place, let us be hopeful and be excited because God is true to His word.
When we read the Bible, we can find a lot of good things that happened, but it is only God who can create something out of nothing. Transferring us from darkness to light is only God’s work.
What does God Offer?
We may be good people, but we cannot bring ourselves from darkness to light. When we come to church, sing our worship and praise God, let our hearts be filled with thanksgiving because that one thing that only God can do, He did it for you.
The man allowed Jesus to touch him. God is offering salvation to us, but if we do not allow Him to touch our lives, there will be no change in our lives. Allow God to touch your life.
Isaiah 42:6-7 tells us that Jesus came not only to give us freedom but to let the blind man see.
There are healing virtues in everything that belongs to Christ. “Clay made of Christ’s spittle is much more precious than the balm of Gilead.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
When people question why God allows such things to happen, let us be reminded that God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
Decision (to follow and serve Him) John 9:16-17
When you have been taken out of the darkness and allowed Jesus to touch your life, when you decide to follow Jesus, the way you live your life will be changed. And when people notice this, your changes will be questioned.
When the blind man came back after washing in the pool of Siloam and he was able to see, the Pharisees started to question him.
When you received Christ into your life, the people around you will question your decision. Your belief and your faith will be questioned. That is what the Pharisees did to the man who was blind.
People who accepted Jesus and decided to follow Him were questioned. People get persecuted when they decide to follow Jesus. But your weapon against this is your personal encounter with God. When you have this, no one can refute your testimony.
What happens when you have a personal relationship with God?
When you have a personal relationship with God, anything that is not acceptable to God becomes unacceptable to you too. If you truly love Jesus and are changed by Him, your companionship will be questioned.
Your friends will shy away from you. But, if your presence doesn’t affect them and there are no changes to what they usually do even when you are around, they won’t question your companionship with them.
Rather, you have to question yourself regarding your companionship with them. The light of the world should eradicate the darkness in our life. We may experience some ‘brown-outs’, but let us not ignore the cries of our hearts and come back to Jesus.
When Jesus heard that the man was cast out He went to look for him (John 9:35 & 38). To be ‘cast out’ is not simply being ignored. When you confess that you believe in Him, your ties with family, inheritance, and work will be cut off.
To confess your faith will be to give up everything you have in order to follow Jesus. But we need to remember, everyone may leave us, but Jesus will stay. And when Jesus is with us, we can surely reach our destination.
Jesus may not be here physically, but His Spirit is here with us (John 9:4-5). And when we accepted Jesus into our lives, His light shines through us (Matt 5:14).
We came from the darkness, we accepted Jesus and allowed Him to touch our lives, and we have decided to follow Him. Now He is telling us to let this light shine bright in this world full of darkness.
He is counting on us to share this light, to share His Word to the people around us who are still in darkness. Will you accept the call?