John 9:1-41 (Believing is Seeing)


Intro: The events of Ch.9 come right on the heals of the events of Ch.8

A)Jesus – women adultery – declaration of being the light of the World.  { Stone him – thru the midst


B) Now he is going to give sight to a man living in darkness!


C)Every 20 minutes in the United States someone goes blind.

1)It must be a horrible experience, but imagine the person who’s never seen at all… not a sunset… not a wave breaking … not a baby’s smile or a child’s giggle.


D)Such was the case with the man in John 9… His world is darkness… until Jesus turns on the lights.


RDV.1 – 2  Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"


Now it was the common belief according to the rabbis that a person could sin in the womb

A)They believed this because of the story of Jacob and Esau Gen 25 – pulling heel. { Struggle


B) It was also believed that sometimes Children were impacted by their parents sin

1)See today- Crack babies / Aids babies


C)Imagine the Condemnation this guy might have lived with thinking – I did something to cause this


D) Imagine the potential for bitterness that was there – thinking – result of his parents sin.


E)Imagine what he carried with him in his heart – his thoughts about God and his fairness

1) Sat there each day at the steps of the temple begging thinking – is there really a god in there who cares


That is the idea that was being put forth by the Church leaders

A)Sad today when Church leaders promote those ideas – Sick lack of faith / didn’t tithe – stupid things


B) It’s revealing that when Jesus first laid eyes on this blind man He thought of alleviating His suffering

1) but His disciples’ first thought was on affixing blame.


D)Jesus thought, “How can I help?” The disciples… “Who’s at fault?”

1) What is your attitude when run across a need?

Well Jesus reveals the fall in that whole type of thinking.   RD V.3-5

Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned,/  but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day;/ the night is coming when no one can work


The great preacher G. Campbell Morgan suggest that there is a punctuation problem here. RD again

A)I agree that I think that it reads better that way. –


B) But either way Jesus reveals here that He is not dealing with the cause of this man’s suffering.


C) But rather He is seizing the opportunity to do something that will bring glory to God.


We live in a fallen world where its residents are subject to its fallout.

A)Birth defects, terminal diseases, calamities of nature – are not tragedies you can pin on a specific sin.


B) Part of the fall – We are all infected – all dying

All handicapped in someway.


Frank Anderson makes this statement, “The Bible explains suffering, not so much in origins as in goals. The purpose of pain is seen, not in its cause, but in its results. The man was born blind so the works of God could be displayed in him.”


C) This man was born blind but the fact of the matter – is we all have our handicaps & defects

1) This man was healed – God was glorified


D) In your case God might be glorified – as His strength is revealed thru your weakness

1) Family at Costa Mesa with the Son who had C/P Amazing family used mightily


E) Our weakness / sickness/ handicap/ hang up can become an awesome opportunity for the work of God to be revealed

1) That was definitely the case here.


Neither he or his parents sinned – Imagine the relief that was to this man’s ears –

A)Question was asked – I am sure he thought oh no not again – I know this tune


B) All the arguments – all the verses – He is tired of this debate – who sinned


C) Neither……. but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day;/ the night is coming when no one can work


D) I am sure he was thinking – who is this man talking - 


5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 


Now this is what He taught in John 8 – He was the light of the world – those who believed …. Darkness … life.

A)He wasn’t the Physical light but He was the spiritual light –


B) This blind man that is going to be healed is a sign of that truth –

1)This is not a random healing


C) This guy has been there a long time and the religious leaders knew him – Jesus is going to use this!

1) Object lesson.


6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.


Now lets notice a few things here: Why did Jesus use spit – Why make mud.

A)I don’t know really-  Many opinions


B) One commentator: - Man is made of clay – Jesus was trying to show the reason for spiritual blindness

1) Our Sinful humanity


C) Some of the early Church Fathers – interpreted this in light of Gen 2:7 – Man from dust or clay

1)Jesus was making new eyes


D) Salvia was used medicinally in Jesus day- thought to have healing powers –

1) Some have suggested- Jesus was putting his stamp of approval on the medical knowledge of the day.


E)Maybe it was done to shake up the religious leaders – Making mud on the Sabbath –

1)Considered a sin


F) To be honest – We don’t know for sure – not told only guess – maybe all those reasons / maybe none


But I do know this: Jesus rarely did anything the same way twice-Only time Mud- 

No formulas { Healing circuit – Mud  Smith Wigglesworth – glasses and Crutches – followers

A)Also note He often gave people something to do in order to exercise their faith – Go wash


B) Go to the pool of the sent one !  You want to be healed – put feet to your faith

1)Believe & follow my word –


C) Always the same with us – the work of God is so often connected to our believing and obeying.


2 things give this guy the incentive to go!

A)One the gracious words – neither …… sinned


B) Necessity – He has mud all over him.


C) So He goes to the pool and washes – eyes are opened


Again Imagine His reaction: WOW! – Yelling

A)Glimmer of light/ -  Never seen water –

1) His own fingers / his reflection in the water

2) Flowers

3) Sparrow – heard – so that’s what looked like


B) I picture this guy cruising down the street looking at everyone – everything

1) Face full of Joy -  That is when his neighbors see him

8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, "Is not this he who sat and begged?"

9 Some said, "This is he." Others said,  "He is like him." [while they are debating]  He said, "I am he."


How Crazy is this – this guy can finally see and no one recognizes him.


Now if you have ever seen those make over shows it is interesting – People ask who is that?

A)Thru all the surgeries they make a person look completely different – not the same person.


B) Like married to someone else – at least on the outside.


Family Like the Beverly Hillbillies – 1st time in a city – Elevator – Dad let out – in walks old lady – out comes a super model- Dad says go get your mama


Man is obsessed with the outside – God inside


So in this guys case – This guy looked the same – but now He is seeing.

A)Good picture of what happens when someone is born again –


B) They look the same on the outside – but now they are seeing/ Life is seen from a whole new perspective

1) How they now see – affects their behavior


C) New Priorities are the result – New passions / pursuits

1) A whole new way of conducting ourselves.


D) So He is seeing – putting faces to voices – so that is what Frank looks like I had better pray for him

10 Therefore they said to him, "How were your eyes opened?"


The Disciples asked Why was the man born blind ?

The crowd asked How did this happen? –

A)Both groups missed the most important question – Who?


B) Now we are going to get closer – V.11


11 He answered and said,"A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed, and I received sight."


Now I want you to notice how this man’s perception of Jesus GROWS in this story.

A)Here he calls Jesus simply a man called Jesus

B) Also interesting to note this man omitted part of the story.

1)He said Jesus made clay but failed to say how He did it. Why?


C)Because, he was blind when Jesus spat in the ground, he didn’t see it.

1)In other words, he didn’t see exactly how the miracle took place. He just knew it did.


D)So, too, we have felt the Lord’s touch on our lives. Exactly how it happened, we are at a loss to explain.

1)We only know that, after walking in darkness from birth, like the blind man, we received sight


12 Then they said to him, "Where is He?" He said, "I do not know."


C) This is again hilarious – I don’t know I was blind when He sent me – don’t know what He looks like


D) Again imagine the questioning – they are throwing all these questions at him

1) He can’t stop looking at them – looking around



13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.


It was against the Sabbath day traditions to make mud. { Spit only on a Rock

A)Remember – Sabbath was made for man – day of rest / reflection/ refreshing


B) Sabbath was made for man – not man for the Sabbath.


C) So once again instead of being excited that a man born blind was healed – the Pharisees are angry that their Sabbath rule was broken.


APP Now it is interesting to me that Jesus keeps doing this – healing on the Sabbath

A)Make note of this: whenever God repeats himself in your life-- Realize He is trying to teach you something


B) Same message from different people.

1) Same trial different person or venue


C) Often what that means is you didn’t get it the first time – and because God is committed to your growth

1) He is going to bring you thru that again.


15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see."

16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, "This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath."

Others said,"How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them.


Hopefully Nic / Joseph of Ari.   But for the majority of them they can’t recognize the work of God because they are blind by the traditions they hold sacred.


This man has received his sight all they can think about is that Jesus made mud on the Sabbath


17 They said to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?"

He said,"He is a prophet." [Growing]


What happens next – is hilariously sad – it is comical and tragic – v.18

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.


Not only do we think that Jesus is not a prophet –we don’t even believe this guy was really born blind.

A)Go and get his parents –


B) Those who are against Jesus – the work of God will do anything to explain away the miraculous

C) Once again I want you to picture the scene – he is seeing his parents for the first time

1) Mom’s touch and voice for decades – now he is seeing her face – his dads


D)Must have been quite emotional – at first they forget all about the Pharisees –

1) Hugs / tears / shouts –


E) The celebration is interrupted when the religious leaders ask


 19 And they asked them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?"

20 His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him.

He will speak for himself." 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. [Excommunicated]


C) Again this is hilarious – Yea this is our son – He is old enough ask him – 

1) What is sad is why they reacted this way: Not so much as to stand up for their son – but because of fear


D)Sad when Men with Power – Cause the people of God to react in fear – so not the Lord


 23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him." 24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him,"Give God the glory! [Putting him under oath here- anathema for lying under oath – this is the idea here]

We know that this Man is a sinner."  25 He answered and said, "Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see." Great so simple – the power of a personal testimony – A CHANGED life!


You have a testimony – Saved out of the pit

Some saved from the pit – A story – Me angry

People can argue theology & interpretations but are speechless when confronted w/the reality of a changed life.


“Live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God didn’t exist!” – Cardinal Suhard


Chuck Swindoll asks, “Is your life a cold monument to religious duty, or is it a living mystery?”



26 Then they said to him again, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?"

27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?"

[Again growing – “also ……a disciple – implying he had decided to become a disciple of Jesus]


He opened my eyes maybe he can open your ears


28 Then they reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from."


The Disciple becomes the teacher!

30 The man answered and said to them,"Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!

[Who cares where He is from]


31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing."


I am blind and I know enough to know that this has never happened before. – Someone opened the eyes of a person who was BORN BLIND!


This is perhaps the greatest miracle the nation has ever seen.

Jesus has to be from God or else He could do nothing.

This is like giving someone a diamond and having them reject it because the Box it came in was plastic


34 They answered and said to him,"You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they cast him out. - Excommunicated


Now this is my Favorite part of this story: 

Jesus finds the man – The man finds the Messiah

V.35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him,


A)The idea here is that Jesus heard that the guy had been cast out – He went looking for Him until He found him.


He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" 

36 He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"

37 And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."  38 Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.


The Old axiom goes, “Seeing is Believing”, but here we read that “Believing is Seeing”!


B) Truth is revealed – he responds in Faith and worship


C) Final mark of His growth – Calls Jesus Lord – believes and Worships –

1)Doesn’t get any better than that!


The Chapter ends in Contrast – On the one hand you have the man born blind – who is now seeing in more ways than one. -  Physically & spiritually


And on the other hand – you have the religious leaders who though seeing physically – they were still blind spiritually.


Here we are given four features of spiritual blindness

1)Spiritual blindness receives Judgment

39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." 


Those who admit their spiritual blindness can find sight in Jesus. But, those who falsely claim to have spiritual sight will be made blind.


2)Spiritual blindness refuses to see it’s condition.

40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?"


Spurgeon “It is not our littleness that hinders Christ; but our bigness. It is not our weakness that hinders Christ; it is our strength. It is not our darkness that hinders Christ; it is our supposed light that holds back His hand.”


These guys were too big and too smart in their own eyes to really see


3)Spiritual blindness rejects spiritual sight.

41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin


Jesus point? –if the Pharisees were to confess that they were really blind they could be set free from their sin.


4)Spiritual Blindness results in doom.

; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains