19 The Man born blind

19

 

THE MAN BORN BLIND

 

John 9:1-38 

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth, 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 6 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. 7 "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing, 8 His neighbours and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?" 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, "No, he only looks like him. "But he himself insisted, "I am the man." 10 "How then were your eyes opened?" they demanded. 11 He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see." 12 "Where is this man?" they asked him. "I don't know," he said. 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. "He put mud on my eyes," the man replied, "and I washed, and now I see." 16 Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others asked, "How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?" So they were divided 17 Finally they turned again to the blind man, "What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened." The man replied, "He is a prophet." 18 The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents. 19 "Is this your son?" they asked. "Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?" 20 "We know he is our son," the parents answered, "and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself." 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, "He is of age; ask him." 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. "Give glory to God, " they said. "We know this man is a sinner." 25 He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" 26 Then they asked him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" 27 He answered, "I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?" 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, "You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from." 30 The man answered, "Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."     34 To this they replied, "You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!" And they threw him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 "Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him." 37 Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." 38 Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.

 

 

BASIC QUESTIONS

1. Identify as completely as possible the person in need (e.g., age, ethnic origin, religion, gender, social status).

 

2. What was the immediate, obvious need?

 

3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?

      The person in need?

      Others?   Jesus?

      How was it expressed?

4.     Describe the actions or process leading to the healing; that is, what was said (e.g., questions, requests, commands) and what was done (e.g., approaching, following, touching, publicly/privately), and by whom?

 

5. Did the person in need or someone else verbally express faith? ~. Non-verbally?       Describe how and by whom faith was involved in this healing.

 

6. What were the evidences that the person was healed?

 

7. What were the reactions to the healing?

 

8. What in this narrative led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

 

DIGGING DEEPER

 

1.     What is the cause of, or reason for the man's blindness: as implied in the disciples' question? (see also Exod. 20:5 and 34:7)? as expressed by Jesus? as inferred from the Jews' remarks (see especially v. 34)?

2.     What do you understand to be the relationship between sin and illness (or, specifically, "blindness")? What did Jesus mean by, "neither this man nor his parents sinned?" Were they, in fact, sinless? Aren't we all sinners? Why do "Some of the Pharisees" accuse Jesus of being a sinner? "But others" describe the healing as being what? Does God "not listen to sinners?" If not, where does that put us?

3.     Jesus twice says, "I am the light of the world. "Why introduce the healing with such a statement? What expressions does John use for the restoration of sight?

4.     Is the healing accomplished solely by Jesus? (Note: it was about half a mile from the temple grounds [John 8:59] to the Pool of Siloam [on the southern tip of Jerusalem]- not a simple journey for a blind man with mud in his eyes.) From the blind man's own witness, "now I see" (v. 15), who was involved in the healing? Is this always the case?

5.     In comparison with Jesus' first meeting with the blind man which was more or less accidental ("As he went along, he saw ..."), his second encounter was intentional ("... when he found him ..."). Are there any indication(s) as to why Jesus sought out the formerly blind man?

6.     What lesson(s) have you learned about healing from this account?