John 9:1-3 (NIV) 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.
On verses 1-3: When the disciples saw a man blind from birth, the disciples immediately assumed that the man’s blindness was somebody’s fault. The only question for them was “Who is to blame?” But Jesus didn’t play the blame game. Instead, Jesus explains that the reason why this man was born blind was not due to this man’s sins or his parents’ sins, but so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. What can we learn from this? When God allows pain in your life, it is not because God is not there or He doesn’t care, and it’s not necessarily because you have sinned. Rather God allows pain and hardship ultimately because He has plans to display His power and glory through your life in ways that neither you nor others could have foreseen. Pain is a canvas on which God loves to paint His glory.
John 9:4-5 (NIV) 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.”
On verses 4-5: When Jesus says that “night is coming” (v4), what night is he referring to? By “night”, Jesus is referring to his impending death. There were some who believed that when the Messiah came he would stay forever (see for example John 12:34). Yet over and over Jesus would speak about his death. Jesus’ attitude was: as long as I am alive on the earth, I am here to do the work of Him (God the Father) who sent me. May we have the same attitude as well: as long as there is breath in our lungs, may we live to glorify God and to do the work He has for us to do on earth. Just as Jesus was the light of the world while he was in the world, for as long as we are in the world, may we shine the light that God gives us (Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:14-16; Ephesians 5:8).
John 9:6-7 (NIV) 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.
On verses 6-7: Jesus uses a fascinating method to heal the blind man’s eyes, making mud with his spit, placing it on the blind man’s eyes, and telling him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. What can we learn from this?
1. Sometimes God’s way of doing things will not be our way of doing things, and sometimes God’s ways will not make sense to us. But if we want to experience God’s power, we need to trust Him and do as He tells us.
2. John points out that the Pool of Siloam means the “pool of the sent”. Notice that the very place where this blind man received his healing was the same place where he would become a witness about Jesus to others. The place of your healing is the place of your sending.
John 9:8-12 (NIV) 8 His neighbors 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.
On verses 8-12: The once blind man who could now see became a witness for Jesus. Notice as a witness he did not pretend to know the answers to every question. Rather he just shared his experience of the difference Jesus made in his life. In the end that is what witnessing about Jesus to others is all about: it’s sharing how Jesus made a difference in your life. May you not be ashamed to testify about Jesus to those around you, but may you be willing to share with others about the difference Jesus made in your life.
Lord Jesus, thank You that I was blind but because of You I now see. I was once lost but now because of You I am found. For as long as I have breath in my lungs, may I live this life to worship You, to give You glory and to shine the light You have given me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!