About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Jesus Heals A Man Born Blind (ch. 9:1-12)


The last verse of chapter 8 tells us that Jesus slipped away from those wanting to stone Him as He left the temple.  Here, in chapter 9, verse 1, Jesus is somewhere outside of the temple and meets up with a man that has been blind since birth.  In verse 2 His disciples ask Him who sinned, this man or his parents.  Obviously they thought that sickness was related to particular sins, as some think today.


Jewish leaders often taught that certain sickness was a result of sin on the part of a parent. When God says in the Old Testament that the curse of sin will be visited onto children of the third and fourth generation, they interpreted that to mean people were sick because of parental sin. See Exodus 20:5.  This idea still exists today, but I believe is a misinterpretation of what God was saying in Old Testament times.  That being said, the sin of parents, say drug abuse, can create physical illness in their children, but I don't think this is what the disciples were talking about here.   


It made no sense that this manís blindness was a result of sin he committed since he was blind from birth.  It was possible in the eyes of the disciples that his parents sinned. Now I'm not discounting the notion that sin cannot lead to illness in a life.  Some suggest that Jesus alluded to the idea that sin can cause sickness in John 5:14.  James 5:14 might also suggest this.  Sickness might well be a method of God disciplining us.   


In verse 3 Jesus clearly points out that sin is not responsible for this manís blindness and therefore the disciples should not think in such terms.  The thing to think about is that this blindness can be used to the glory of God as Jesus also says in verse 3.  This is a better way for us all to think.  Instead of being introspective and searching for sin and generational curses, Jesus is simply saying; "Think how God can be glorified in this manís blindness."  In this particular case God was glorified when Jesus healed the man.


In verse 4 Jesus continues by saying that "As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent meÖ"  He also says that He "Sis the light of the world."  The reason why this particular time in history is called day by Jesus is because He was the light of the world and He was in the world to light the world. 


Jesus then says that the time will come when it will be night and no one can work.  This statement tells me a couple of things.  One think it tells me is that the world will come to a place in the last days where it will be very dark, so dark that doing the will of God will be impossible.  People will be so darkened in their sin that they will not accept the gospel.  Jesus might well have had the end times in mind as He spoke these words.  Also, this statement tells me that it is quite possible that a person, a people group, can be so dark that the light will not have any affect on them.  For some, it might be too late for the gospel.     


It is interesting to note that Jesus says "we" must do work.  He is including His disciples in the work of the Lord, even at this early stage in His ministry.  The disciples back then had work to do in promoting the Kingdom of God as we have today.


We might think that spitting is a disgusting habit and it probably is, but we see Jesus spitting here in verses 6 and 7 for a purpose.  He spit on the ground.  He mixed His saliva in the dirt and put the mixture of mud on the blind manís eyes and told him to wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam. 


A bit of cultural history is important here.  Among Jewish medical tradition, one's saliva was often mixed with something else to help heal an eye disease.  It appears to me that Jesus was taking a Jewish custom and turning it into a real miracle.  This would have been much more significant for the Jews who saw the miracle than it is for us today.  Again, here is where a bit of cultural history sheds some light on a Biblical passage.   


The blind man came back seeing   Once again, there is no formula to healing.  Jesus healed people in many different ways, of which, this was one of the most different ways.  We must not take this instance and build a doctrine of healing around it.


The pool of Siloan was a spring fed pool that flowed from the temple mount Ė the hill the temple was built on.  The word "siloam" is a Hebrew word that has been translated into Greek by John, meaning "sent".  So this pool is the pool of the sent water.  In Isaiah 8:6 we note that this pool was symbolic of the blessings of God that flowed from the temple, and so it was in this case when the man was healed as he washed his eyes.  King Hezekiah built an underground tunnel that would bring water from a spring just south of Jerusalem into the city.  This pool was part of that water system.  He then covered over the source of the water at the spring to protect it from invading armies.


In verses 8 through 9 we note that people who knew this man saw that he could now see.  Some asked if this was really the blind man that theyíve seen begging for years.  Others said that this could not be him, but only looked like him.  Sometimes we just have a hard time accepting a miracle.


In verse 10 the man who was healed insisted that he was once blind and now he sees.  People then ask who made him see.  He explained the process of Jesus putting mud on his eyes and sending him to the pool where he was healed.  At this point in the life of this man he didn't seem to understand just who Jesus was.  He called Jesus "the man they call Jesus."  Jesus just seemed to be a man to the man born blind.  This is often the case.  Before we accept who Jesus really is; before we can trust our lives with Him, we don't necessarily understand who Jesus really is.   


In verse 12 the people ask the man who was healed where Jesus was.  The man didn't know where Jesus was.  Jesus once again had slipped into the crowd so He would be unnoticed.  His time for His arrest and execution had not yet come.   

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