“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” — Jesus’ disciples, John 9:2
The miracle found in John 9 is not as well-known as the other miracles — like the one we studied two weeks ago in John 6 — but it had a profound effect on the individual who received the healing. Immediately, we learn that this man was born blind (v. 1). He also is a beggar (v. 8). But Jesus makes it clear that the man is blind not because of his sin, or the sin of his parents. Rather, this was an opportunity for God’s works and power to be displayed (v. 3b). Jesus gave this man his sight physically, but there were also spiritual truths he was able to see.
The compassion of Jesus: The blind man never experienced true compassion in life. Even Jesus’ disciples, given an opportunity to extend compassion, ask the question they do in v. 2 right in front of him as they move through the temple complex. But Jesus took the time to make the clay and anoint his eyes. For the first time in his life, the blind man experienced compassion, love and hope.
The blessings of obedience: Quite simply, when one obeys the Lord, blessings will come. Notice the instructions in v. 7. The blind man doesn’t argue with Jesus. He just does what He says. He had the humility and faith to do what the Lord told him to do. Have we, in the Lord’s church, learned this lesson? That blessings come from simply obeying? There are blessings that come from assembling and worshiping, from studying, from growing and from doing good. God’s commandments are not burdensome (I John 5:3).
A price to pay for standing for the truth: After going back and forth with the Pharisees about the miracle of Jesus, the man is cast out (v. 34). He paid the price for standing for the truth, and confessing Jesus fiercely. Are we as courageous as this man? Or, do we cower to our friends, at our workplace or around our family when the name of Jesus is brought up? What would we say?
The progression of faith: The man’s understanding of who Jesus was moves forward throughout the chapter — from a Man, to a prophet, to a Man from God to his Lord who must be worshiped (v. 38). He went from complete blindness to complete sight. Who is Jesus to you? We must have total dependence on Jesus.