Through the Bible in One Year

Day 146

John 9:35-41

Yesterday we saw Jesus heal a man who had been born blind and the reaction of the religious leaders to this miraculous event.  And today we are going to finish up John chapter 9 with Jesus’ discussion and teaching on spiritual blindness verses physical blindness.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.—9:35-41

Jesus found the man and questioned him about his faith in the Son of Man.  The man asked, “Who is he?”  Jesus’ acknowledgement that he is the Son of Man was much like his confession to the Samaritan woman that he is the Messiah.  John remains interested in the way Jesus’ coming divided people.  The man made a profound confession of faith, while the Pharisees were confirmed in their spiritual blindness.  The man, now saw both physically and spiritually; however, the Pharisees saw physically but were blind spiritually.  The man’s understanding of Jesus’ identity developed throughout the narrative from Jesus being “a man” to Jesus being the “Lord” who is to be worshiped.  As the light of the world, Jesus drew the man from spiritual blindness to spiritual light.

Now that we understand the basic’s of what is happening here let’s take a deeper look by dividing this last section of John chapter into two parts.  The first part involves the man born blind, who had been healed (vv 35-38), and the second part which deals the Pharisees and the religious leaders (vv 39-41).

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.—9:35-38

This man gained not only physical sight but also spiritual sight as he recognized Jesus first as a prophet, then as his Lord.  When you turn to Christ, you begin to see him differently.  The longer you walk with him, the better you will understand who he is.  Peter tells us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).  If you want to know more about Jesus, keep trusting him in every area of your life.

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.—9:39-41

The Pharisees were shocked that Jesus though they were spiritually blind.  Jesus countered by saying that it was only blindness (stubbornness and stupidity) that could excuse their behavior.  To those who remained open and recognized how sin had truly blinded them from knowing the truth, he gave spiritual understanding and insight.  But he rejected those who had become complacent, self-satisfied and blind.

So what is the big take away from this short little passage at the end of John chapter?  It is very simple this: Jesus’ coming and message would reveal people’s hearts and expose their motives.  In this way, he would bring division, separating those who accept him from those who do not.  People who are humble enough to admit their need for Christ can find new life and healing through faith in him.  But people who proudly think that they can know and experience real life apart from Christ are actually choosing to remain spiritually blind, just as the religious leaders of Jesus’ day chose to remain spiritually blind.  So the question is very simply this: Are you going to allow what you know in your mind to be true to seep into and saturate your heart so that your life can be changed or are you going to keep hardening your heart and run the risk of staying spiritually blind forever?  The choice is yours, but you must choose wisely and you must make a choice.

Tomorrow’s Bible Readings:

2 Samuel 12, John 16, Psalm 119:65-80 and Proverbs 16:4-5

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