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God's Redemptive Purpose

John 9:1-3

This chapter tells of Jesus healing a blind man: but why did He do it?  It was not just divine compassion, but also a focussed opportunity to teach His disciples the principles of the Gospel, in a way they would never forget (John 9:39-41).  As they walked down the road, on the Sabbath day, they saw a young blind man.  They were thinking, why is he blind, whose fault is it; and if he was blind from birth, was it his parents' fault?  They knew from Genesis 3:14-19 that sin caused illness and death, but who had sinned?  So, they asked Jesus.

Working In The Light

John 9:4-7

Jesus was preparing His chosen disciples to be the leaders of the church (Luke 6:13), after Jesus went back to heaven and the Holy Spirit had come (Acts 1:8).  Jesus had made a blind man see.  It was a powerful demonstration that Jesus had come to illuminate blind human hearts (Isaiah 42:6-7).  Jesus brings light to all who admit that they do not understand God’s truth and want to know; whereas those who boast of their insights but do not submit to Jesus, will face His judgement (John 9:39-41).

Transformation Beyond Belief

John 9:8-12 

When a blind man starts seeing, people start asking questions.  This young man, who Jesus healed, had never seen anything (John 9:1).  He was born blind, and everybody expected that he would always be blind and have to beg for his living.  They assumed that nothing could change.  So, when he walked around in the town unaided, the local people could not believe their eyes.  Who is he?  Is this really the same man?  Can people really change that much?

Resisting God

John 9:13-17

When Jesus healed the young blind man, He stirred a controversy.  Was Jesus really from God or not?  The Pharisees, who were like religious lawyers, prided themselves on being able to resolve any theological question.  So, they interrogated the once-blind man.  Their first question was purely factual: how was he healed?  But it was a ploy to get the man to admit that Jesus had healed him on the Sabbath - which by their rules was 'working' … something they prohibited on the holy day (John 5:9-10).

UnGodly Fear

John 9:18-23

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).  It is right to have an awesome respect for our Maker and for His Word.  Whatever He says is right and true, and all those who submit to Him are blessed.  However, being afraid of people who hate Jesus is not good.  The parents in today's passage had just experienced a life-changing event.  Their son, who had been born blind, could now see.  His joy was not hidden from them.  They knew that Jesus had healed him.

Salvation Brings Boldness

John 9:24-27

When Jesus healed a blind man (John 9:1-7), the disciples would not have imagined how much the religious leaders wanted to ridicule the miracle, the man and Jesus.  This was to be an important lesson for their futures - to stand up for Jesus without fear … the courage of one intimidated person can strengthen the faithful resolve of many others (Philippians 1:14).

Blind To The Obvious

John 9:28-34

Giving sight to a man, who had been born blind, was no ordinary event.  Yet the religious leaders refused to accept that Jesus' miracles were a sign of the presence of God.  They hated Jesus because He exposed them as shallow, money-grabbing, power-hungry and self-glorifying (Luke 16:14-15).  So, the Pharisees twice interrogated the healed man and questioned his parents, trying to find any reason to discredit Jesus.  Eventually, after they had asked many questions, the man provocatively asked if they also wanted to be disciples of Jesus (John 9:27).

Open To The Truth

John 9:35-38

'Banned from worshipping God' - that was the verdict of the Pharisees on the blind man who Jesus had healed.  They were envious of Jesus: His following, His authority and His miraculous signs; they hated Him because He was starting to win the hearts of the people, and they were not.  They claimed to be the gatekeepers of worship but closed the door on those who trusted Jesus (Luke 11:52).  And they could not see who Jesus was because they loved themselves and the admiration of the people (John 12:42-46).

Wilful Blindness

John 9:39-41

An old English expression says, ‘There is none so blind as those who will not see.’  It means that although there is nothing wrong with their eyesight, they ignore the truth they already know; therefore, they cannot see or understand what is in front of them.  The Pharisees did that.  They had already made up their minds that Jesus was a sinner who could not have come from God (John 9:24), preferring to believe lies in order to avoid what was obviously true about Jesus.

Sheep Stealers

John 10:1

When sheep wander, they are at risk of being stolen.  Grazing for most of the daylight hours and covering as much ground as is needed to supply the food, sheep can roam a long way from the flock and be separated, out of sight of the shepherd.  But paradoxically, the risk increases when all the animals are together in the sheep pen because thieves have an easier target.  In this chapter, Jesus introduces Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11): but He starts by speaking about false shepherds who were really thieves.