Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: John's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: John 9
Passage: John 9:1-5
A. Find Out:
1. Who did Jesus see? v.1
2. What did his disciples ask? v.2
3. Who did Jesus say had sinned? v.3a
4. What reason did he give therefore for this blindness? v.3b
5. When did he say they must work? v.4
6. What did he say he was? v.5
First, observe a common wrong assumption: that all sickness is caused by sin. Now the truth is that some sickness is caused by sin but we shouldn't always assume that it is. Sickness comes because we live in a fallen world and in that sense it is sin that has brought all sickness, but that is different from assuming that every sickness is because of our sin. Every cold is not a judgement of God!
Second, note Jesus' response to the disciples. Basically he is saying, let's not got bogged down in the ‘why' of this problem, let's just see it as an opportunity to release the love of God and bring glory to God. If more of us were thinking in this manner we would see far more wonderful things happening in the church - and outside it!
Third, observe Jesus' positive approach to service: let's get on with it while we can. While I'm here I'm the light of the world and it is therefore day. A day will come when I'm not here, the light will have gone and it will then be dark, so let's get on and make the most of the “day”; we are here to glorify God so let's do it!
1. We so often want to apportion blame whereas Jesus wants to redeem
and bring healing and restoration.
2. While Jesus is here (by His Spirit) it is day and we should make the most
of it, being available to Him so that he may work and bring glory to the
Father through us.
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jesus do to the man? v.6
2. What did he tell him to do? v.7
3. What was the response of the man's neighbours? v.8,9
4. What did they want to know & what was his reply? v.10,11
5. What did they then ask and what was his answer? v.12
Jesus has just said (v.5 and previously 8:12) that he is the light of the world and so now we have a graphic healing whereby he brings literal light to a man who has been in darkness all his life. There is surely in John's mind, as he records these things, a connection. The picture is so graphic. The man had been blind all his life and now Jesus enables him to see so that he can live a normal life.
It is with this in mind that we can go on to consider why Jesus healed this man in the way that he did. He could have spoken a word and the man would have been able to see; he could have touched the man and enabled him to see but instead he makes the man so uncomfortable (dirt in your eyes, even if you are blind, is unpleasant) that he has to go away and wash, and is then healed. Why? Perhaps it is part of the whole picture that John is painting about salvation and Jesus being the light of the world. We are in darkness from birth and we need Jesus to come and help us “see”. But we need to acknowledge our state and recognise that we are in a state and need washing clean of that which blinds us (our sin). It is as we are obedient and respond to the prompting and directing of the Son that he is able to move upon us and bring us that new sight (new life). Such is the change that even the neighbours will have trouble coping with it!
1. We are born spiritually blind and need to be given sight by Jesus.
2. New sight comes with response to the Gospel from Jesus.
A. Find Out:
1. What was the concern of the Pharisees? v.13-16a
2. Yet what did some feel? v.16b
3. What was the man's verdict about Jesus? v.17
4. Yet what did the Jews feel about this & what did they do? v.18,19
5. What was the reply of the parents? v.20,21
6. Why did they reply like that? v.22
Somebody was looking for trouble, otherwise why did they take this man to the Pharisees! Instead of great rejoicing over this wonderful thing that had happened, these miserable creatures start getting picky over the fact that it was done on the Sabbath! The Sabbath was supposed to be a day of rest and a day of giving glory to God but these pathetic individuals ignore the wonderful work that God has just done and, instead, criticise and judge.
Perhaps the key to all this lies in verse 22 where we are told that the Jewish leadership had decided to censure anyone who sided with Jesus. They were already antagonistic towards him and therefore their antagonism blinded them to the wonder of what had happened to this man. All they wanted to do was prove that it couldn't have happened and if it did happen, it shouldn't have happened on the Sabbath! (Because healing someone might be considered work!!!) Perhaps this is one of the clearest examples of the stupidity and miserliness of self-centred sin in religious people in the Bible. Yet perhaps also, we are all prone to criticise those that we don't understand or those we disagree with. Beware!
1. Self-concern blinds eyes to the truth. Beware!
2. A closed mind cannot see miracles in front of it. Beware!
A. Find Out:
1. What did they tell the man and why? v.24
2. What was his simple testimony? v.25
3. How did he reply to their question? v.26,27
4. What was their response to this? v.28,29
5. How did he respond to that? v.30-32
6. What was their final reaction? v.34
This is an excellent passage! For a second time they interrogate the man who had been healed but the more they provoke him the more he speaks up for the truth. Originally it seemed like he was still happy to be led like he had been when he was blind, but gradually it seems as if he is realising that because he no longer is at the mercy of others, he can stand up for himself.
They demand that he tells the truth and convict Jesus of being a sinner, but he refuses. His testimony is perfect: “All I know is that once I was blind, but now I can see”. For each of us that is really all we need to be able to say, and that is powerful! When they push him to repeat his story it is almost as if he is becoming exasperated by their refusal to believe and his reply manages to get even more religious! Eventually it is as if the underdog becomes top dog as he turns on them and gives them a simple lesson in doctrine: “God only listens to the godly and this was clearly an act of God. Hence this man must be godly. Simple isn't it!” His blunt truth however is falling on deaf and determined ears, so they refuse to listen. He is thrown out.
1. Having a closed mind in a terrifying thing. When God moves, the closed
mind refuses to believe - whatever happens!
2. Jesus still does the impossible, still heals, still performs miracles, but are
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jesus ask the man and what was his response? v.35,36
2. What did Jesus reply to the man and what was his response? v.37,38
3. Why did Jesus say he had come into the world? v.39
4. What did the Pharisees ask? v.40
5. Why did Jesus say they were guilty? v.41
There seems to have come a liberty to this man that is more than just having his natural sight restored. There seems an openness about him that is clearly revealed when questioned by Jesus. Why did Jesus leave him to the neighbours and the Pharisees before coming back to talk to him? Perhaps because he knew the man needed to come to an awareness of himself, come to a place where he didn't just have to accept the bullying of all those around him, but could make his own decisions and arrive at his own conclusions. It is almost like a chrysalis breaking open to reveal a beautiful butterfly inside, this awakening of this man who can now “see”.
As Jesus questions him he reveals his hunger and his quick acceptance of the truth. How wonderful, but then there are the Pharisees who stand in stark contrast. Jesus comments that he has come into the world to judge or make clear the truth of every person's situation and heart and the Pharisees overhear and question. How we each respond to Jesus shows the state of our heart, and in that way we judge ourselves. Those who simply turn away from him show that they are blind. Well, say the Pharisees, are you saying that we are blind too? That's interesting , replies Jesus, you claim to be able to see and yet you refuse me and all I say, which means you do condemn yourselves.
In this third group of 5 studies we have seen :
When a miraculous healing takes place you might expect there to be great rejoicing, but when the spectators have their hearts firmly set against Jesus all you will get his harsh, carping criticism.
That is exactly what we have in this chapter, where the miserable opposition to Jesus reveal the hardness of their hearts and refuse to rejoice and give glory to God for the wonder of what has happened.
1. Jesus is more concerned to restore than to condemn
2. Hard hearts refuse to see good things from Jesus
3. Closed minds are the worst sort
4. Jesus comes to bring spiritual sight to whoever will receive it
5. Jesus deserves our worship.
Thank the Lord that he comes to bring spiritual sight. Ask him to show you if you have any areas of spiritual blindness that hinder him working and moving through you.
PART 4 : "The Shepherd"
In this next and final Part we find Jesus continuing to teach, now using a number of very graphic pictures to convey truths about himself. Watch for what those truth are. Watch also for what follows at the Feast of Dedication where Jesus makes further claims. Watch for the hostile reactions to him there.