Of Course! Jesus Heals A Man Born Blind!
Our Lord performed miracles in order to meet human needs. But He also used those miracles as a “launching pad” for a message conveying spiritual truth. Finally, His miracles were His “credentials” to prove that He was indeed the Messiah. “The blind receive their sight” was one such messianic miracle (Matt. 11:5), and we see it demonstrated in this chapter. Jesus used this miracle as the basis for a short sermon on spiritual blindness (John 9:39-41) and a longer sermon on true and false shepherds (John 10:1-18).
The man we meet in this chapter was born blind; he had never seen the beauty of God’s creation or the faces of his loved ones. When Jesus arrived on the scene, everything changed, and the man was made to see. However, the greatest miracle was not the opening of his eyes but the opening of his heart to the Savior. It cost him everything to confess Jesus as the Son of God, but he was willing to do it.
The easiest way to grasp the message of this chapter is to note the stages in this man’s growing understanding of who Jesus is.
|John and many people in his community are Jews. As a son of Abraham, his criticism of certain Jewish leaders is not a criticism of a whole people. He is not stereotyping or making generalizations. “The Jews” he remembers in this passage are a corrupt group of power brokers who conspire against Jesus with the Romans to have Him crucified and who later have John’s own followers expelled from the synagogue. Their behavior may be compared to the behavior of those Israelites condemned by Old Testament prophets. Prophets have the duty—Jeremiah said he had “a fire in his bones” —to speak for God and condemn hypocrisy and unbelief wherever it is found, especially when it’s found close to home. That’s what John’s doing when recalling this event.|
While walking along the road, Jesus saw a man who was blind since his birth.
Disciples: Teacher, who sinned? Who is responsible for this man’s blindness? Did he commit sins that merited this punishment? If not his sins, is it the sins of his parents?
Apparently, there was a common belief that all sickness was caused by someone’s sin. It must have comforted this blind man to hear Jesus say that it wasn’t his or his parents’ sin that caused this blindness. What a relief! Today, many still hold to the belief that all sickness is the direct result of someone’s sin. It is true that sin introduced sickness into the world and that if there was no sin, there would be no sickness. But it is inaccurate to say that an individual’s sin always causes an individual’s sickness.
A misrepresentation of this has caused many people to reject the truths of healing. They know they are not great sinners and therefore feel condemnation when someone tries to tell them they are sick because of some individual sin. They know that condemnation isn’t from the Lord and mistakenly throw the healing out with the condemnation.
We need to be more thorough in our presentation of healing so that we don’t always link sickness with a person’s individual sin. That’s the way Jesus ministered to this blind man.
The disciples asked a question that still puzzles many people today.
Why are some children born with physical defects?
Is it judgment from God upon the parents for some sin, or is it possibly God’s judgment upon the children for sins that God knows they will commit?
Jesus had already told the lame man whom He healed at the pool of Bethesda to “stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you” (John 5:14). Therefore, Jesus Himself had linked sickness with sin. In this instance, however, Jesus said this blindness was not caused by this man’s or his parents’ sins.
This, then, has led many people to interpret the rest of this verse as saying that God made this man blind just so that He could heal him and be glorified thereby. From this thinking, many doctrinal teachings have arisen about how sickness and other problems in our lives are actually blessings from God intended to bring glory to God and correction to us. This reasoning, however, does not line up with the other truths of God’s Word.
Deuteronomy 28 settles forever the question of whether sickness, poverty, and oppression are really blessings in disguise. God said that sickness and poverty are curses, not blessings from God. Christ redeemed us from these curses of the Law (Galatians 3:13) so that now the blessings may come upon us through Christ. God’s curses have been placed on Jesus and removed from those of us who accept Jesus’ sacrifice.
Jesus also taught that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25-26, Mark 3:23-25, and Luke 11:17-18). If God made this man blind, then Jesus would have been going against the judgment of God to make him well. Likewise, if we really believe God makes people sick as a blessing, then we certainly shouldn’t pray for their healing or send them to a doctor or give them medicine, lest they get well. If sickness were a blessing, then we should be laying hands on people and blessing them with blindness or cancer. This, of course, is not what God’s Word tells us to do, and it is certainly not the example that Jesus gave us. Acts 10:38 says, “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” (John 5:19). Jesus never made people sick so that He could heal them; therefore, we can conclude that God the Father doesn’t do that either (John 14:9-10).
Jesus was simply stating that regardless of what caused this infirmity, it was the work of God to heal this man.
This man was not born blind because of any one person’s sins but because sin in general had corrupted the perfect balance that God had created in nature. Therefore, some maladies happen, not as a direct result of an individual’s sins, but as an indirect result of sin in general (Romans 8:22).
Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”
John 9:3-5 (MSG)
Of course, this man and his parents had both sinned (Romans 3:23). Jesus wasn’t saying they were sinless but simply that it wasn’t anyone’s individual sin that had caused this blindness. Through mankind’s sin, corruption entered the world, and that corruption has destroyed the perfect balance God intended. Babies are born with deformities and things such as blindness, not always because of the parents’ sins, but just because of sin in general and the destruction that it brings.
Sin has corrupted the whole human race, causing all types of problems. Many sicknesses are genetic and therefore passed on to the offspring. It could be many generations back that the disease entered, and therefore the child was born with a defect. The parents, however, could be innocent of causing the problem.
Because of the wording of this verse, some have taught that God sovereignly made this man blind so that He could heal him. But that would counter a very clear doctrine of the New Testament that only good and perfect gifts come from above (James 1:17). If taken literally, the wording at the first of this verse could be interpreted to say that this man and his parents were sinless, but that’s ridiculous. We have to use our brains and interpret this in the light of the rest of the Word of God. God did not purposely create this man blind so that He could heal him later on. Jesus was simply saying the blindness wasn’t the result of an individual’s sin, but He would redeem the situation and bring glory to God by healing this man.
Jesus was saying that it was the work of God to heal this man and He must therefore do it. Sickness is the work of the devil, which was unleashed on the world through Adam’s sin, while healing is the work of God.
In the culture of Jesus’ day, people worked during the day and ceased from their work at night. Jesus was simply saying He must take advantage of this opportunity to do God’s will because a time was coming when He would be taken from them.
It is consistent with light to heal. Darkness makes sickness.
Having said this, he spat on the ground and made a sort of clay with the saliva. This he applied to the man’s eyes and said, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” (Siloam means “one who has been sent”.) So the man went off and washed and came home with his sight restored.
John 9:6-7 (PHILLIPS)
This blind man hadn’t taken any step of faith toward Jesus (James 2:20). He was simply begging, and Jesus’ disciples pointed him out to Jesus. There needed to be some action of faith on this man’s part. That’s why Jesus made the clay and anointed this man’s eyes. He was giving him something to do to act on his faith.
This beggar was no different than any of us. If he had not had faith that he was going to be healed, he would have wiped the spit off his eyes and gone back to begging. It was approximately three-quarters of a mile through the busy city streets of Jerusalem to the pool of Siloam. This was a lot of effort and humiliation for this man to be walking through the streets with spit dripping from his eyes. He had to have faith, and the results prove it.
Some people think the Lord did things like this just to throw us off and keep us from establishing any pattern to His miracles. But the God who created such an orderly universe is Himself orderly. There are reasons why He does what He does. The pool of Bethesda was right next to the temple. That would have been the closest place to wash. This was done to cause this man to act in faith. We need to get responses of faith from those we minister to.
What would have happened if this man had not obeyed?
We don’t have to speculate. The Word says that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). He would not have received his healing. God granted the healing, but it was at the pool of Siloam, at the end of obedience. God always provides, but we aren’t always where the miracle is.
Then neighbors and others who knew him were confused to see a man so closely resembling the blind beggar running about.
Townspeople: Isn’t this the man we see every day sitting and begging in the streets?
John 9:8 (VOICE)
What an impact this must have had on those who knew this man, but the next verse shows that not all who knew him believed. Some thought it wasn’t really the same man. This illustrates how people can’t be made to believe when they have no heart to do so.
Others: This is the same man.
Still Others: This cannot be him. But this fellow bears an uncanny resemblance to the blind man.
Formerly Blind Man: I am the same man. It’s me!
John 9:9 (VOICE)
Obviously this was the same man whom everyone knew as the blind beggar at the gate of the temple. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that. But some people just will not believe that miracles happen. Therefore, they deny the obvious and try to come up with some other explanation. This is what is taking place with the theory of evolution. It is so ridiculous that you wonder why an intelligent person would believe such a thing. But people want to believe in evolution. That does away with a God and makes them like an animal, with no accountability to a Creator.
These people had a fundamental belief that blind people can’t be healed. Therefore, when they saw the blind man who had been healed, their belief system wouldn’t let them acknowledge that this was the same man. All their senses told them it was true, but their unbelief (actually belief in the wrong thing) overruled their senses. This is exactly what fanatic believers are criticized for. They say we are ignoring our senses when we believe for something that hasn’t manifested yet. But the world does this all the time. They just will not face any fact that violates what they have already decided to believe. We should do the same.
Formerly Blind Man: A man named Jesus approached me and made mud from the ground and applied it to my eyes. He then said to me, “Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.” I went and washed, and suddenly I could see.
Townspeople: Where is this man who healed you?
Formerly Blind Man: I don’t know.
John 9:11-12 (VOICE)
Jesus provided, the man obeyed, and the miracle happened. That’s how it works.
They were seeking Jesus but not for the right reason. They didn’t want Jesus in order to worship Him or ask Him to help them. They wanted to arrest Him for healing on the Sabbath day. We have to seek God for the right reasons.
DECLARATIONS OF FAITH
The reasons for the ailments in people’s lives are not my chief concern. What I am concerned with is seeing them healed and setting them free.
I am continually about my Father’s business – doing the work of Jesus in this earth. In Jesus, I have become the light of the world and it is both my privilege and my duty to continue His work.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name!