[SW286] 06/09/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
“Jesus, the Eye-Opener”
Text: John 9:1-17, 24-41
This is an account of several kinds of blindness, and of Jesus Christ, the Eye-Opener, for everyone who will receive Him. We will see the blind, and the formerly blind. And we will see those who blind themselves by shutting up their eyes.
First, I need to explain that the rabbinical writings say that, if a child is born with a birth defect, he either sinned in his mother’s womb or his parents sinned, resulting in the defect (per Exodus 20:5 and 34:7).
Just prior to John 9, Jesus had just left the Temple, having shed HIs light on the hearts of the scribes and Pharisees. They had railed against him, especially when Jesus told them He was the I AM, always existent, even before Abraham. They had tried to stone Him, but He was hidden (concealed) from them, and went out of the Temple.
Verses 1-2 — As He walked out, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples mused about who committed sin. They were blind to His need, and instead, had their eyes on the rabbinical teachings they had heard. So they asked Jesus, Who sinned? The man in his mother’s womb, or his parents, that he would be born blind.
PRAISE BREAK! Blind from birth! Beloved, it is the condition of us all, spiritually! We are all blind to the things of God, when we are born. But Jesus is the Eye-Opener, who opens our blind eyes so we can see Him! In Luke 4:18, Jesus proclaims that Isaiah’s prophecy from Isaiah 61 is fulfilled, for He came for “recovery of sight to the blind!”
Verse 3 — Jesus immediately corrected His disciples. Their blindness was caused by their lack of understanding, and the rabbinical teachings. (That would change at Pentecost!)
He said this man’s blindness was neither from his sin nor from his parents’ sin. He was born in that condition so that the works of God could be displayed in him.
Do you see that Jesus already knew what was going to happen? Glory to God! He always knows, even now! Will you trust Him?
And beloved, God has also prepared works in advance for us to do — works of God (see Ephesians 2:10)!
Verses 4-5 — Jesus said we (Jesus, and all who believe) must work God’s works while it is day, because there will be a time when darkness comes and we can no longer work. [NOTE: That will happen when the Restrainer, who is the Holy Spirit, and those whom He indwells, are no longer in the world (see 2Thessalonians 2:7).]
It was a rebuke to His disciples for their blindness to the need of the man born blind. But it is also a rebuke to the church today, for the same reason.
And He repeated that He is the light of the world (see John 8:12), while He is in the world. He was speaking of His life on the earth, but also, His life indwelling the hearts of believers after his death, resurrection, ascension and glorification.
He is the Light of the world. His light makes it possible for us to see things which cannot otherwise be seen (even our own hearts, as in John 8). And for those who see nothing, like this blind man, Jesus Christ brings natural sight, and then much more!
Verses 6-7 — Right after saying, “I am the Light of the world,” He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to the man’s eyes. Then He said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” He did not say, “and you will receive your sight.”
The man obeyed, and came back seeing! The Eye-Opener had opened the eyes of a man born blind! No such thing was ever done in history (see Verse 32)! But the man would soon see even more!
Medically speaking, Jesus had to not only repair the man’s eyes, but also make the proper connection in his brain — immediately — so it could receive and process sight!
Verses 8-14 — Those who knew him and had seen him were perplexed. It’s him! It couldn’t be him! But He said, “I am the one!” They must not have seen Jesus apply the clay to his eyes, because they asked him how his eyes were opened.
He told them — Jesus made clay, anointed his eyes, and told him to wash in the pool, and he received sight. He did not know where Jesus had gone — he did not have his sight until he returned and Jesus had left the scene.
They did not glorify God! They did not rejoice! They were blind to the Eye-Opener! They did not repent, nor did they seek Jesus.
Why? They shut up their eyes! I say that because of what they did next.
What did they do? The people brought the man to the Pharisees. Why? It could be because the man spoke of Jesus, and the Jewish leaders had agreed that whoever spoke of Him would be put out of the synagogue — ostracized, banished, unable to have contact with family and friends, and jobless (see Verse 22)!
Or it could be because it had been a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made clay and opened the eyes of the man born blind (Verse 14). To work by making clay and opening eyes must not be done on the Sabbath!
They blinded themselves! They looked at the Pharisees’ rules and regulations in stead of the Eye-Opener!
Verses 15-17 — Now it was the Pharisees’ turn. Rather than rejoicing that the man born blind was now able to see, which was a miracle never performed in all of history (see Verse 32) , they interrogated him. They did not repent, nor did they seek Jesus, to learn from Him.
They had shut their eyes to the Eye-Opener who had just worked a miracle so that they might stop shutting their eyes and perceive God’s works and glorify God!
They asked the man how he was healed. As he explained, their response was this: Aha! It was a Sabbath, and Jesus both made clay AND healed! He did work on the Sabbath! Sinner! He does not keep the Sabbath. He is not from God! But some of the Pharisees asked how a sinner could perform such signs (see Verse 33).
The blind Pharisees asked the man formerly blind what He thought of Jesus, “since He opened your eyes.” “He is a prophet,” the man said.
There was yet more to see, for the man born blind, because Jesus is much more than a prophet. And the Pharisees continued to reveal their willful blindness, by their actions. (Jesus spoke to them about their blindness in Matthew 23:26.)
I’ll paraphrase Verses 18-23. The Pharisees next called the man’s parents before them. They testified that their son was born blind but was now able to see, but they didn’t want to mention Jesus.
Why? Again, if anyone confessed Jesus to be the Christ, they would be “put out of the synagogue.” They were afraid!
Verse 24 — So they called the man back again. “Give glory to God” was invoked having the same meaning as “swear by God!” They said they knew Jesus was a sinner.
Verse 25-26 — The man said, sinner or not, I don’t know. But I know I was blind, and now I see!
PRAISE BREAK! Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!
Verse 27 — The Pharisees persisted. How did He open your eyes? The man said he had already told them BUT THEY DID NOT LISTEN. He asked them if they wanted to become Jesus’ disciples, too (for this man had become one, though he had never seen Jesus!).
Verse 28-29 — The Pharisees reviled (angrily reproached and disparaged) the man.
You are Jesus’ disciples! Aha! But we are disciples of Moses. We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man (Jesus) is from.
By their own words, they judged themselves. They claimed God was their Father, But if God was their Father, they would have loved Jesus, and would have known He came from His Father (John 8:42).
Verse 30-33 — The man now responded to their charge that Jesus was a sinner (back in Verse 24). Here is an amazing thing! You don’t know where He is from, but He opened my eyes. (They had shut up their eyes, per Matthew 13:15, making themselves blind!)
Then the man began to teach them. God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is God fearing and does His will, God hears him.
The only thing God will hear from a sinner is that very sinner repenting in prayer! But for those who know and love Him, who love His Son, those who have had their past sins removed, and those who have asked to be freed from slavery to sin, and those who have been set free from its slavery? Oh, He hears every word!
So, since the miracle done in this man was never done before in the history of time, and it is something only God can do, then Jesus cannot be a sinner. And Jesus must be from God. Otherwise, Jesus could not do anything!
Verse 34 — How did the Pharisees respond? They cursed him. You were born ENTIRELY in sins! It is a reference to the rabbinical teaching I spoke of at the beginning of this message.
They were offended. How can you, a sinner, teach us! So they banished the man formerly blind.
Verse 35 — Jesus sought the man out, after He heard that they had banished him.
It was so the Eye-Opener could make him REALLY see! There was more, and Jesus sought him out to give it to him!
NOTE: Some of the Pharisees were with Jesus (see Verse 40).
So Jesus asked the man formerly blind, Do you believe in the Son of Man? “Son of Man” is a Messianic title used in the Old Testament.
Verses 36-38 — The man immediately said, Oh, who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him! Jesus told the man that he had both seen the Son of Man (right now, with his natural eyes), and that the Son of Man was talking to him at that very moment!
And the man immediately said, “Lord, I believe!” Then he worshiped (Greek proskuneo) Jesus Christ, bowing down, kissing toward Jesus, crouching and prostrating himself before Him.
Glory to God! This man had been touched by the Eye-Opener, so he was able to see in the natural. But now, the man saw that Jesus was not merely a prophet (Verse 17), but the Messiah, the Christ!
Verse 39 — Jesus’ next statement was aimed at the Pharisees, who had closed (shut up, screwed shut) their own eyes so they did not have to acknowledge that He is the Son of God.
Jesus said it was for judgment that He came into the world. That is, when people encountered Him as He walked the earth, the condition of their hearts was revealed by their actions. Their own actions judged them — either they came into the Light, which is Christ, or hated Him (see John 3:19-20).
Verses 40-41 — The Pharisees asked Him if they were blind, too. Let Jesus’ answer convict your heart —
Jesus said, If you were blind, you would have no sin (physically blind, as this man had been, or spiritually blind, but not intentionally shutting the eyes).
What was their sin? They had rejected the Father’s Son. They had rejected the Eye-Opener who had shed light on their hearts so they may repent. They had refused Him, they had shut their eyes tightly so they would not have to look at His Light. They were blind spiritually, though they thought they had spiritual sight.
Their own actions judged them. If they had received Him, their eyes would have been opened by the Eye-Opener. But by their rejection, they revealed their self-induced blindness.
How true it has been, from the prophet Isaiah even to this day:
Matthew 13:14 “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
15 For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’
The Eye-Opener is looking at you, now!
Do you believe He is who He says He is? Or have you screwed your eyes shut and hated the Light that shines on you and reveals your heart?
Do you not know that what He reveals, He heals?
Are you like the Pharisees, looking for a way to discredit Jesus and those for whom He stretches out His hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders? Or do you believe that He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)?
If you have shut your eyes intentionally, I pray you will be convicted by the Holy Spirit right now! I pray He show you that you have blinded yourself. Ask Jesus Christ, the Eye-Opener, to open them — and your heart! He will gladly do it, if you will turn to Him right now.
If you have discredited Jesus by disbelieving His miracles performed today, then now is the time to repent and ask Him to forgive you.
I tell you the truth, you will stand before Him one day. He and I want Him to be able to respond this way to you — that He knows you, and says to you,“Well done, good and faithful servant! Come, join in the joy of your Master!”