Published March 1, 2007
John 9:8-10, 20-22, 24-25, 30-33, 35-39
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, March 11
Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. There He had encountered strong opposition from the scribes and Pharisees who had sought to arrest Him on two different occasions.
While still in Jerusalem Jesus encountered a man who was born blind. The disciples of Jesus were curious as to why this man was forced to live with such a malady. Was he being punished for his own sins or the sins of his father?
In Exodus 20:4-6 the Bible says that God may visit the iniquity of a father on his own sons. Jesus responded that neither the sin of the man nor his parents caused him to be born blind. Instead his blindness presented an opportunity for God to be glorified in his life.
Jesus placed mud upon the man’s eyes and told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man returned seeing clearly.
How many times have you encountered adversity or calamity in your own life and wondered why such a thing should happen to you? Perhaps God has allowed such trials to come your way so that He might also show Himself strong and mighty in your own life.
“I’m the One!” - John 9:8-10
The neighbors of the man who was healed took notice of the miraculous transformation. They simply could not believe he was actually the same man they had seen begging on the street. Yet the Bible says the man kept saying over and over again, “I’m the one.”
When a person has an encounter with Jesus Christ many things change. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “... if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” There was more opened in this beggar’s life than just his eyes.
His heart was opened and his entire outlook on life changed. The effect of Jesus on people today is no less radical. How much has your life changed as a result of Jesus opening your own eyes and heart? Have others noticed that change?
“Ask Him; He’s of Age” - John 9:20-22
It didn’t take long for the word of such a miracle to circulate. The man who was healed was carried to the Pharisees and they quizzed him as to how he had received his sight. He described what Jesus had done for him. The Pharisees expressed doubt that the healing was genuine and furthermore they were outraged that Jesus would attempt such a thing on the Sabbath.
The parents of the man were the next to be questioned. They told the Pharisees they didn’t understand how the miracle had occurred or who was responsible for it, but they did know this man was their son He had been born blind, and now he could see. Throughout the process the Pharisees tried to intimidate the parents but they simply replied that their son was an adult and could speak for himself.
There are critics and skeptics of Christianity today who demand an explanation for how salvation works. The fact is the new birth remains a mystery that seems to defy logical explanation. After all, who can write an equation for the atonement? But no one can argue with the fact that when Jesus comes into the life of an individual radical changes occur.
Greedy people become generous. Angry people experience real peace. Addicted people find freedom from their bondage. Jesus changes lives. Just ask anyone who knows Him.
“One Thing I Do Know” - John 9:24-25, 30-33
The Pharisees then turned their attention back to the man who had been healed. They called Jesus a sinner. They challenged His authority and credentials. They questioned His power. And then they demanded the man speak the truth, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”
The implication of the text is that this was an intense and lengthy interrogation. Through it all the man remained courageous and resolute. Nothing the Pharisees said or did was going to change his mind. He replied, “Whether or not He’s a sinner, I don’t know. One thing I do know: I was born blind, and now I can see!”
Then the man went on the offensive and said to the Pharisees, “If this man were not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything.” His logic was impossible to refute so in frustration the Pharisees threw him out.
When people challenge your faith in Christ, how do you respond? Are you a courageous advocate or a reluctant witness?
“I Believe, Lord!” - John 9:35-39
After hearing about the man’s stressful encounter with the Pharisees, Jesus went looking for him.
When Jesus found the man He asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man replied boldly, “Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” It’s good to know that Jesus also loves us enough to come looking for us after we’ve had a bad day.
Jesus replied, “You have both seen Him and He is the one speaking with you.” The man’s response was both immediate and enthusiastic, “I believe, Lord!” And the Bible says “he worshiped Jesus.”
The man who had been born blind actually received two miracles from Christ, physical sight and spiritual sight.
How has Jesus changed the way you see your life and the world around you? The truth is all believers should view everything through the corrective lenses of the gospel. When we do that, problems become opportunities and hardships become blessings.
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