JESUS HEALS A MAN BORN BLIND
John 20:31a, ESV
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God...
JOHN 9:1-7, NIrV
1 As Jesus went along, he saw a man who was blind. He had been blind since he was born. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned? Was this man born blind because he sinned? Or did his parents sin?”
3 “It isn’t because this man sinned,” said Jesus. “It isn’t because his parents sinned. He was born blind so that God’s power could be shown by what’s going to happen. 4 While it is still day, we must do the works of the one who sent me. Night is coming. Then no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After he said this, he spit on the ground. He made some mud with the spit. Then he put the mud on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him. “Wash in the Pool of Siloam.” Siloam means Sent. So the man went and washed. And he came home able to see.
Jesus’ disciples believed this man’s blindness was a punishment for sin, perhaps his sin or the sin of his parents. But Jesus knew the truth. The man had been born blind for a special purpose. His blindness would help the world see Jesus as the miracle-working Son of God! Jesus often healed people simply by speaking, but this time, he used mud made with spit! After rubbing it on the man’s eyes, Jesus sent him to wash in a pool. When the mud was washed away, he could see for the first time ever! Sadly, the blind man didn’t get to see the face of the person who healed him – Jesus was long gone!
+ How long had the man been blind? (vs. 2)
+ What did Jesus use to make the mud? (vs. 6)
JOHN 9:8-12, NIrV
8 His neighbors and people who had seen him earlier begging asked questions. “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” they asked. 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No. He only looks like him.” But the man who had been blind kept saying, “I am the man.”
10 “Then how were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed. Then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.
When he was blind, this man was forced to beg others for food. Now that he could see, he could earn his own money and buy his own meals! This confused people who had seen him beg for food day after day. Why was he walking around like he could see perfectly fine? Even after the blind man told them what Jesus had done, some thought, “That can’t really be the same guy we saw begging!” When they asked the man who had healed his eyes, the blind man said, “I don’t know.” Why? Because that was the truth! He had never actually laid eyes on the miracle man who cured him!
+ Why were the people confused? (vs. 8-9)
+ Why didn’t the blind man know who had healed him?
JOHN 9:13-17, NIrV
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 The day Jesus made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath day. 15 So the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied. “Then I washed. And now I can see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “Jesus has not come from God. He does not keep the Sabbath day.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner do such signs?” So the Pharisees did not agree with one another.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man. “What do you have to say about him?” they asked. “It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
The Pharisees were experts in God’s laws, but they absolutely hated His Son Jesus. After he opened the eyes of a blind beggar, the Pharisees should have praised God. Instead, they tried their best to get Jesus in trouble! When they heard Jesus made mud to heal the man, they thought, “Aha! Now we’ve got him!” You see, Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath, the last day of their week. On that day, God’s people weren’t allowed to work. But Jesus had broken that rule, at least in the eyes of the Pharisees. What “work” was Jesus supposed to be guilty of doing? Making mud with his spit!
+ Who did the Pharisees talk with to try to get Jesus in trouble? (vs. 15)
+ What did the blind man say about Jesus? (vs. 17)
JOHN 9:18-23, NIRV
18 They still did not believe that the man had been blind and now could see. So they sent for his parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered. “And we know he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know how he can now see. And we don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is an adult. He can speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The leaders had already made this decision about Jesus. Anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why the man’s parents said, “He is an adult. Ask him.”
The Pharisees refused to believe the blind man’s story. So they questioned his mom and dad. The blind man’s parents were terrified to give truthful answers. The Pharisees were powerful people. If you made them mad, they could kick you out of the synagogue, the place where Jewish people met to worship God and pray. The blind man’s parents knew the Pharisees hated Jesus. If they told the truth about Jesus’ miracle, it would make the Pharisees furious! To be safe, they simply said, “Yes, he was blind. No, we don’t know who did it. Go ask him yourself. He’s a grown man, not a baby!”
+ Why do you think the Pharisees wouldn’t believe Jesus healed the blind man?
+ Why were the blind man’s parents afraid? (vs. 22)
JOHN 9:24-34, NIRV
24 Again the Pharisees called the man who had been blind to come to them. “Give glory to God by telling the truth!” they said. “We know that the man who healed you is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “I don’t know if he is a sinner or not. I do know one thing. I was blind, but now I can see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have already told you. But you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 Then they began to attack him with their words. “You are this fellow’s disciple!” they said. “We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses. But we don’t even know where this fellow comes from.”
30 The man answered, “That is really surprising! You don’t know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does what he wants them to do. 32 Nobody has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man had not come from God, he could do nothing.”
34 Then the Pharisees replied, “When you were born, you were already deep in sin. How dare you talk like that to us!” And they threw him out of the synagogue.
The Pharisees wouldn’t give up their quest to prove that Jesus had not done a miracle. They wanted the blind man to say what they thought: “Jesus is a sinner!” But the blind man knew nothing about Jesus. He’d never even seen his face! He wasn’t going to call Jesus a sinner. Especially since Jesus had opened his blind-since-birth eyes! Could a “sinner” do such an amazing thing? When this poor man wouldn’t say what they wanted, the Pharisees really let him have it. They said, “You’ve been a sinner since the day you were born!”, then tossed the poor guy right out of the synagogue!
+ What did the Pharisees want the man to say about Jesus? (vs. 24)
+ What question did the blind man ask that made the Pharisees so mad? (vs. 27)
JOHN 9:35-38, NIRV
35 Jesus heard that the Pharisees had thrown the man out of the synagogue. When Jesus found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me, so I can believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.
This week, we’ve read the story of a truly incredible miracle: Jesus healing a man who’d been blind since the day he was born! The blind man himself said, “Nobody has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of a person born blind!” How incredible it would have been, seeing so many things for the very first time!
When you’re born blind, you can’t see anything, not even something standing right in front of your face. That was true of the man who had been born blind. But in a way, it was also true of the Pharisees. Someone very important had been standing right in front of them the whole time, and they completely missed him!
From the very beginning, God had promised to send a man to rescue his people from sin. People who studied the Bible, like the Pharisees, had many special names for God’s promised savior: the Son of Man, the Christ, the Messiah. Like all of God’s people, they were waiting for the day when this amazing savior would finally show up!
You might know the secret already: Jesus was that promised Messiah. He stood in front of the Pharisees dozens of times. Sadly, they didn’t recognize him at all. The Pharisees couldn’t see that Jesus was the Son of Man, the Christ, sent by God to save sinners. They were the real blind men in this story! Their hateful hearts kept them from believing in the miracle-working power of Jesus.
When Jesus healed the blind man’s eyes, it must have been the greatest day of that man’s life! But ever since that amazing miracle, bad things kept happening to him. The crowd wouldn’t believe he was the same blind beggar they’d seen every day. The Pharisees kept pestering him and his parents with questions because they hated Jesus. Then they threw him out of the synagogue. And to top it off, he’d never even had a chance to see the face of the mud-making miracle man who had healed him!
When he learned that the blind man had been kicked out of the synagogue, Jesus quickly went and found him. After all this time, the blind man finally got to see the face of the man who had opened his blind eyes! As they spoke, Jesus let this man know a special secret: “I’m the Son of Man.” Jesus let the man know he was the long-promised Christ, the Messiah, the special savior sent by God to rescue us from our sins!
The Pharisees had eyes that worked perfectly. But when it came to Jesus, they couldn’t see that he was the Messiah. The blind man had spent his whole life seeing nothing, but when he finally got to see Jesus, he believed in him that very instant!
+ How were the Pharisees “blind”?
+ What did the blind man do when Jesus told him who he was? (vs. 38)