Verse of the Day Devotion: John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Over the next week we will be looking at seven miraculous signs performed by Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John. These signs show that Jesus was not just some ordinary man but was truly the Son of God. Today we will look at the sixth sign which is Jesus healing a man blind from birth.
After Jesus walked out of the temple in Jerusalem to avoid being stoned, He was walking and saw a man who had been blind from birth. The disciple asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” John 9:2. Most Palestinian Jews at this time believed sin and suffering were closely connected. Theologian D. A. Carson expands on this idea. “In this instance, the disciples presuppose the tightest possible connection. This specific individual is suffering from blindness; therefore, some specific, individual sin must have been the antecedent cause. Because he was born blind, it must be that either he sinned in the womb (certainly regarded as possible by some Jews), or his parent sinned in some way that implicated him.” However, Jesus states this is not the case. “Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3. Jesus essentially tells them he was blind in order that God’s work might be displayed. And this is so that the world can see who He is.
And this work must continue. “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5. The reality of God and His mercy, as well as Jesus being His Son, must be displayed as much as possible, for there is a time coming when He will no longer be there. After making this statement. He proceeded to heal Him. “When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). And so, he went away and washed, and came back seeing.” John 9:5-7.
After the man came back seeing, the neighbors who knew he was blind and was a beggar said, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” John 9:8. They was also questioning whether this was the blind man. “Others were saying, this is he, still others were saying, no, but he is like him. He kept saying, I am the one.” John 9:9. They asked where Jesus was, however the formerly blind man did not know. Therefore, they brought him to the Pharisees on the Sabbath, and they also asked him how he received his sight. The man gave them the specifics regarding applying clay to his eyes and when he washed off the clay, he could see. But because this was done on the Sabbath, some of the Pharisees said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs? And there was a division among them.” John 9:16b. They then asked the man about Jesus. He responded by saying He is a prophet.
The Jews decided they did not believe the man had been blind, so they called his parents in asking, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” John 9:19. And they answered clearly, saying “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age he shall speak for himself.” John 9:20-21. When they finally spoke with him, they then kicked him out saying, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” John 9:34b.
Then Jesus, hearing he had been kicked out found him and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” John 9:25b. “He answered and said, And who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” John 9:36. And here we come to the crux of the matter. “Jesus said to him, You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped Him,” John 9:37-38. And finally, He addresses the Pharisees that were there. “And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind. Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, We are not blind too, are we? Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” John 9:39-41. They saw Him but refused to believe.
Instead of faith in the Lord, the Pharisees demonstrated the futility of faith in themselves. The Pharisees asked what they thought was a rhetorical question: Are we blind too? Jesus being the light declared them guilty of rejecting relief from their blindness. Every person who realizes his or her spiritual blindness becomes a candidate for seeing; those who refuse to recognize their spiritual blindness place themselves beyond help. We might paraphrase Jesus’ final words like this: “If you would only admit your blindness, you would not be guilty of sin because I would forgive it; but because you claim your own self-righteousness, your guilt remains.
The sign I see here is showing those who see the light and those who refuse to. Many were seeing that Jesus was the Son of God, and that He was not just an ordinary man. He did miraculous things that proved He was the promised one, the Messiah, with the healing of this blind from birth man being the latest. Those who were blind and now see the Christ will be saved, however, those who see and refuse to acknowledge the Christ will be lost. This is what Jesus was getting across.
And in closing, I want to put this statement from Kenneth O. Gangel where he said, “How many people enter church Sunday after Sunday thinking they must be good enough in God’s eyes since they assess themselves as righteous. Yet they desperately need the light of God’s truth to shine on their own wickedness so the light of the world can open their eyes and help them see his truth.”
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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