I'm doing this post all together today and not splitting it up into the individual sections.
BACKGROUND for The Sixth Sign
148. Jesus heals the man born blind: John 9:1-12
149. Religious leaders question the blind man: John 9:13-34
150. Jesus teaches about spiritual blindness: John 9:35-41
This is the sixth sign that pointed to Him being the Messiah. Can you name the other ones? See the end of this post for the answer!
Jesus had just proclaimed Himself as the "the Light of the world" (John 8:12). Now He backed this up by bringing a man who had always been in physical darkness into the light! He used this sign to illustrate man's spiritual blindness (John 7:39-41; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:1-3). He did this on the Sabbath which upset the religious leaders.
It was a common Jewish belief at that time that all suffering and disabilities were a result of sin, but Jesus reminded them that the man's blindness was for God's glory (as He would later claim about the death of Lazarus in John 11:4). There were different reactions to the healing of the blind man:
1) The general population was divided and skeptical.
2) The Pharisees were divided, showed disbelief, and were upset because healing and the making of clay violated the Sabbath law.
3) The parents were afraid to commit to anything because they did not want to be kicked out of the synagogue by claiming Jesus was the Christ.
4) The blind mind bore bold witness to what had truly happened and progressed from believing Jesus was only a prophet (John 7:17) to believing Him the Son of Man (a title of Messiah - see Daniel 7:13; Mark 2:10)!
Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world" (7:39). Yet Jesus said in John 3:17 that He did not come to judge the world. Although it is the same Greek word root in each verse, "judge/judgment" can mean "condemn" (John 3:17) or "render a decisive judgment" as in a court case (John 9:39). Jesus came to render decisions about the ungodly because the Father had given Him that authority (John 5:22, 27).
Only those who admit they are helpless and ignorant and in the dark can have any possibility of coming towards the Light. Those who think they see but remain stubborn and prideful about their blindness only continue to blind themselves because they turn away from the true Light (2 Corinthians 4:4).
REFLECTION (written in 2010)
As I have written this post, it has been dark; but light is dawning on the horizon. I had stumbled in the darkness of my kitchen to make my tea earlier this morning because I did not want to wake George who is sleeping on the couch due to a a bad cold.
It is the start of a new day, and it reminds me that light has come into this dark world so that we might no longer stumble in the darkness.
Recount the story of how you came from darkness to light. Tell someone your story!
If you are still in spiritual darkness, let's talk!
Lord, I was wretched, miserable, poor, and blind (Revelation 3:17) until I met You. Thank You for dispelling my darkness by the Light of Christ! Amen.
Answer to the question at the beginning of the post
A major part of the Gospel (2:1-12:50) contains seven "Signs" that point to Him as the Messiah:
1) Changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana (2:1-11)
2) Healing the officials son in Capernaum (4:46-54)
3) Healing an invalid at the Pool of Bethesda (5:1-18)
4) Feeding the 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee (6:5-14)
5) Walking on the Sea of Galilee (6:16-21)
6) Healing a blind man in Jerusalem (9:1-7)
One more to go . . .
7) Raising Lazarus from the dead in Bethany (11:1-45)