Rev. Dick is pastor of Grace Protestant Reformed Church in Standale, Michigan.
Earlier Jesus had declared His identity as the light of the world (John 8:12). Now Jesus repeats this declaration (John 9:5) Now as well Jesus shows He is the light of the world in a most remarkable way. He restores the sight of a man born blind. Such a thing was without precedent (v. 32) This could only be a miracle of Messaiah!
Jesus shines saving light. He whom He had healed physically He enlightens in the soul. He gives the man faith to believe in Jesus.
Jesus shines blinding light. The Pharisees refuse to believe that this notable miracle of Jesus proves once more that Jesus is from God. But their blindness is Jesus’ judgment. Jesus says: “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (v. 39).
Jesus the Christ, the Son of God! Savior and Judge!
When the light shines…!
For Study, Meditation, & Discussion
Jesus the Christ, the Son of God!
1. What Jesus demonstrates in all of John 9 is what He declares Himself to be in verse 5: the light of the world. We have considered the significance of this title Jesus’ claims for Himself in our discussion of John 8:12 (cf. the December 15, 1996 Standard Bearer). But it does not hurt to review! What does Scripture teach about Jesus being “light,” and the light “of the world”?
2. Jesus is the light in His working the works of God who sent Him (v. 4). What works are these? 3. Jesus works and shines “while it is day” (v. 4), and as long as He is in the world (v. 5). But there is a night coming “when no man can work” (v. 4)! What is the “night” to which Jesus refers?
4. Jesus no longer is the light shining by His bodily presence among us. But He continues to shine in and through His Church! How does He do this (cf. Matt. 5:14; II Cor. 4:6; I Tim. 3:15)?
5. We see the Light shine in various ways in this chapter:
First, Jesus illuminates the disciples with regard to the cause or reason for the blind man’s blindness (v. 3). The disciples were thinking like Job’s friends. They were surmising that either this man or his parents had sinned. The blindness, they suspected, was a judgment of God upon him or them for some specific sin. Jesus teaches: sin is not the explanation. Rather, God had brought this blindness about in order that the works .of God might be manifest in the man! But this brings up an interesting question: are sicknesses, diseases, or any trials ever to be regarded as coming upon us or anyone because of some particular sin? What other reasons might there be (cf. Gen. 3:17-19; Rom. 5:12-21; Ex. 20:5; Ezek. 18:2-4; Deut. 28:15-68; John 5:14; I Cor. 11:30)? Understanding that there are various reasons why God sends trials our way, what should be our reaction to trials – our own and others? What comfort should we take and give in a time of trial! What does Jesus’ explanation of this blindness say of the purposes and sovereignty of God in and through all things, even hardships?
Second, Jesus gives sight to the man born blind (vv. 6, 7). It is striking just how Jesus heals the man: He spits on the ground, makes clay of the spittle, and rubs it in the eyes of the blind man. Then He tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam! Concerning the question why Jesus used dirt and spittle to heal the man, various answers have, been given. Some think Jesus was taking advantage of the healing qualities of the mud. Some think He was symbolizing the creation of man from the dust, and so at this time “creating eyes” for the man. Others think the anointing with mud and the command to wash in the pool were a test of the man’s faith, similar to Naaman’s test (II Kings 5:10). Is there an answer? Is Jesus teaching a lesson about Himself and His healing when He, sends the man to the pool of Siloam? (Hint: look up in a good Bible dictionary the history of this pool; confer Isaiah 8:6; John 4:10, 7:37; note the name of the pool: “Sent.”)
Third, Jesus comes to the man whose sight has been restored, and works faith in the man’s soul (vv. 35-38). It is a crucial time in the man’s life. He has just been cast out of the fellowship of the Jews (v. 34; cf. v. 22). This would make the man a social outcast and would also most likely mean economic hardship. How does Jesus at this time show that He is the Light who is the Good Shepherd of His sheep? (Hint: one way this is seen is in Jesus searching out the man in his distress. He graciously initiates the contact!)
Fourth, Jesus teaches that He is come as the light of the world to blind those who remain obstinate in their unbelief (vv. 39-41; cf. Is. 6:10; Mark 4:12). How does Jesus’ statement, “For judgment I am come into this world,” harmonize with His teaching in John 3:17ff: and John 12:47 that He is come not to condemn, but to save? Who are those who “see” today? What evidence do we have of Jesus blinding the wicked today?
6. Salvation! Judgment! When the light shines! Today!