|19 And they asked them, saying, "Is this your
son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?"
1. (verse 19) What had caused the Pharisees to treat the parents as if they were on trial?
Notice how the Pharisees are much more interested in disproving the blind mans healing than praising God for the miracle. We see a lot of Christians that treat miracles today the same way. Let us accept healings for what they are miracles from God. Are there other explanations for some healings such as wrong diagnosis or psychosomatic belief? Perhaps in some cases, but why not praise God anyway? He has certainly performed enough miracles in my life for me to realize that he can do it in others. Some people dont want to believe in Gods supernatural power so they try to find excuses.
20 His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;
21 "but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself."
22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."
2. (verses 20-23) Why wouldnt the parents support their son? How do you think this made the son feel? Have you ever felt abandoned by your family?
This is certainly a sad story of parents abandoning their son out of fear. Most parents would do anything for their children. We have a natural protective love that wants us to defend our off-spring. But these parents were more interested in their own concerns than the welfare of their son. This had to be devastating to the blind man. But perhaps he was used to it. After all, he was a family embarrassment. Maybe his parents had given up on him a long time ago. Still, I would think this lack of support from his own parents would have to weigh heavily on this man. There are times when we feel abandoned by our own family. During those times we can take comfort in the fact that Christ will always be there for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, "Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner."
25 He answered and said, "Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see."
3. (verse 24) How could the Pharisees come to this conclusion? How would you feel if someone told you this after receiving your healing?
What a strange thing for the Pharisees to say. Why would anyone want to give God the glory because of a sinner? This just shows how far their hearts were from God that they could make such a flippant remark. They were only using the name of God to further their own purpose. If they had been in the habit of genuinely giving God the glory, then they would have been saddened in their heart over this predicament. But it is obvious they had no real relationship with God.
Imagine the poor blind man. He has just received his healing, and the religious leaders of his day are saying the healing came from a sinner. I think this shows us how we need to be very careful about speaking against other pastors or preachers. We may not agree with their beliefs, and some may even teach things that we think are wrong. But we are all human. None of us have all the answers. As long as a teacher of the word is sound on the essentials of Christianity, we need to be careful that we dont judge or condemn others publicly. We never know. We may be speaking against someone who was instrumental in leading a person in our congregation to Christ.
I have no problem with speaking out against the false teaching. But I do think we need to be careful not to ridicule the teachers who may be used by God. They will answer to their own master.
26 Then they said to him again, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?"
27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?"
4. (verses 26-27) Why do you think the blind man is responding this way? What does this tell you of the mans perception of the motives of the Pharisees?
It seems the blind man is beginning to become frustrated by the lack of faith on the part of the Pharisees. He is beginning to see their wrong motives and their ulterior purpose. He knows what Christ has done for him. He cannot deny the reality of the miracle in his life. And yet here are these arrogant men who wish to continually elicit a negative response out of him. They obviously arent listening to him. Otherwise they would see that this miracle could only come from God. His impatience with their ungodly attitude finally shows forth. He is indignant, and rightly so.
28 Then they reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples.
29 "We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from."
30 The man answered and said to them, "Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!
5. (verses 28-30) Where did this man get his sudden boldness from? Have you ever felt frustrated like this man was?
This man is very frustrated. He knows that God has blessed him, and yet these religious leaders keep trying to convince him otherwise. He probably doesnt want to cause trouble. But he is so frustrated that these leaders cannot see what God has obviously done in his life. Its as if the most precious thing that has ever happened to him is worth nothing. He cannot accept that, and so he speaks out with a boldness that he probably didnt know he had.
31 "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.
32 "Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.
33 "If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing."
6. (verses 31-33) What prompted this man to take a stand? Have you ever been righteously indignant with someone?
It is as though suddenly this man realizes the heart of the Pharisees. It is almost as if God has given him divine insight. These rulers who guard the law of Moses have abrogated their responsibility. His indignation is a righteous indignation. He loves God. He has probably served God to the best of his ability. Perhaps he held the religious leaders in high esteem because of all their training and knowledge of God. But now he sees cold and empty hearts. He perceives that the God that he serves is not in the lives of these men. These men who are supposed to represent Gods interests here in the nation of Israel are shallow and corrupt. He cannot help but point out their hypocrisy.
34 They answered and said to him, "You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they cast him out.
7. (verse 34) What does this tell you about the pride of the Pharisees? How do you think the man felt being cast out of the synagogue? Why did God allow his joy to be turned into such sorrow?
Here we see the reason the Pharisees could not recognize the move of God. They were not willing to be taught. They already thought they knew it all. Are we willing to be taught? It is sometimes the least qualified person, the lowest Christian, the least important one who will teach us our greatest lessons. But our pride always gets in the way.
Imagine how this man must have felt. The greatest time of joy in his life has turned into a time of sorrow. He was cast out of the synagogue which meant he was no longer able to partake of the religious rituals. He was physically separated from the very things that would affirm his participation in Gods family. How lost he must have felt. This man had gone through a roller coaster of emotions. Why did God allow such sorrow? Why does God allow sorrow in our lives?
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"
8. (verse 35) Why did Christ ask this question? When you have been at your lowest, have you ever sensed that Christ was there with you?
Christ asked this question for a purpose. If we recall, in verse 17 the man called Jesus a prophet. In my opinion thats where Christ would have stayed in this mans mind a good man, a prophet whom God used, but just a man. He needed to be brought to the point where he was willing to accept Jesus as the Son of God, not just a prophet. Now that the man is at his lowest despair searching for answers, Christ comes to him with a question Do you believe in the Son of God? He has brought many of us to that same point. When all else had failed us, and we didnt know which way to go, he came to us and asked, Do you believe in the Son of God?
36 He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"
37 And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."
38 Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.
9. (verse 36) What circumstances in the mans life would make him open to ask this question? (verse 38) What do you think is the significance of verse 38? What happened to the man?
Now the man was ready to hear about the Son of God. His whole religious belief system had been stripped away from him. He desperately needed answers. Here standing next to him was a man that God had used to heal him. Maybe Jesus had the answers for him. Notice that as soon as Christ said, "it is he who is talking with you," the man believed. Suddenly his mind understood. This was the Christ, the Messiah who was to come. He was ready to believe and accept Jesus as his Savior. The end of verse 38 says "he worshipped him." The man worshipped Jesus, not as a prophet, but as God.
He had experienced the joy of healing, then the tragedy of excommunication. Now he once again felt the joy of deliverance. But this joy would last for all eternity. The man had become a disciple of Christ. His life would never be the same again.
39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind."
10. (verse 39) What does Jesus mean in verse 39?
The blind man had to receive his sight twice. First, he physically received his eyesight, but then he spiritually received his vision. How well do we think we see things? Are we willing to receive a heavenly vision, or have we been blinded by the things of the world?
40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?"
41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, `We see.' Therefore your sin remains.
11. (verses 40-41) Do you think the Pharisees that asked this question were sincere? Do you think Jesus words in verse 41 were directed at all the Pharisees with him? How would you apply verse 41 to your own life?
Here in verse 40 I think we have a different group of Pharisees than the ones that cast the blind man out of the temple. These men seem to be sincere. Im sure there were many of these Pharisees that took Jesus words to heart and realized the blindness in their soul, and perhaps later came to be followers of Christ. We may think we have all the answers. But what Christ meant is that those who think they see really are only like blind men. Let us admit our blindness so that God can open our eyes to him.
This study on John 9:19-41 © 1998 by David Humpal. All Rights Reserved.
All scripture unless otherwise noted is from the New King James Version © 1984, Thomas Nelson Publishers