John Lesson 13 Day 2
Jesus gives sight to a man born blind.
3. “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” (MSG)
“The blind man was sitting begging (John 9:8), possibly proclaiming the fact of his having been so born; for otherwise the disciples could hardly have asked the following question.” (Alford)
In his commentary, Bruce writes, “In their thinking about divine retribution they had not advanced far beyond the position of Job’s friends.”
“It was widely held that suffering, and especially such a disaster as blindness, was due to sin. The general principle was laid down by Rabbi Ammi: ‘There is no death without sin, and there is no suffering without iniquity.’” (Morris)
After Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, he spoke to him at the temple saying, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” John 5:14 ESV
It’s possible the lame man suffered an injury as a direct result of a theft or some other sin.
The disciples who asked Jesus the question may have been taught that sickness—or in this case, blindness—was one way God passed judgment to the third or fourth generation. (Exodus 34:5-7 ) If so, the teachers forgot to mention Ezekiel 18:20 where God changed that.
Other possibilities for the belief behind their question suggested by Dods:
At that time, some of the Jews believed. . .
- A person’s preexisting soul could sin.
- In a type of reincarnation, and perhaps they thought the man sinned in a previous existence.
- A baby might sin in the womb.
- It could be punishment for a sin the man would later commit.
This time, Jesus clearly said this man’s blindness was not caused by a specific incidence of sin.
Jesus “notes that beyond the tragedy of human defects, which result in a general way from man’s fall and the consequent entry of sin, sickness, affliction, and death into the world, God’s merciful and sovereign grace is available.” (Footnote on John 9:1-12 NKJV Spirit Filled Life Bible copyright 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.)
Jesus made a similar statement concerning Lazarus. “He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.’ This was not an explanation of why Lazarus was sick but was rather Jesus taking something that Satan meant for destruction and working it together for good” (Romans 8:28). Andrew Wommack Living Commentary
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” Ezekiel 18:20
Thank God for Jesus and his amazing grace! “Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].” Romans 8:1 AMP
4. a. Then Jesus spat on the ground and made clay with his saliva.
Was this similar to Genesis 2:7? “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Jesus was close enough to this man to breathe in his face. Even the act of spitting requires breath. In so doing, Jesus recreated this man’s eyes.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He did not do things the same way every time. He did what He saw the Father doing. (John 5:19-20)
Jesus also did not want a method of healing to be the focus. God is the source of healing, not the method.
The use of saliva was not so strange in the ancient world.
“Several commentators note that what seems so strange to us – using saliva as a medicine upon the eyes – was not so strange in the ancient world.
· “Spittle, and especially the spittle of some distinguished persons, was believed to possess certain curative qualities.” (Barclay)
· “The virtue of the fasting saliva, in the cases of disorders of the eye, was well known to antiquity.” (Alford)
iv. Mark recorded two other healings that Jesus performed with the use of His saliva (Mark 7:33 and 8:23).” (EnduringWord.com)
b. Those who always looked at the man born blind with condemnation, now marveled and questioned their own long-held beliefs.
The man’s belief about himself and his parents’ belief about their son must have changed, too.
Suddenly everything changed for this man. No more begging.
I can only imagine discovering colors, the faces of family and friends, depth perception, views of the countryside, buildings, roads, and my own reflection in a pool of water. Imagine the discovery—not as a child—but as an adult.
5. James 1:2-4
Jesus can recreate or heal what is missing or broken in us. He is able to change everything about our lives in an instant.
He can correct our wrong beliefs, too.
As was the case with this man, Jesus doesn’t always repair broken things immediately.
“But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.” James 1:4
My answers to BSF study questions on John Lesson 13 Day 2 ~ John 9:1-12