9:1 As he [Jesus] went along, he saw [Jesus was aware of the needy around Him] a man blind from birth.
9:2 His disciples asked [they asked a theological question; thy wanted to know the cause of the man’s condition] him, “Rabbi [teacher], who sinned [disciples sought to fix blame; Jesus sought to fix problem; disciples interested in past causes; Jesus interested in future possibilities; disciples help to popular belief that certain afflictions were punishment for sin], this man [some rabbis believed that a person could sin in a prenatal state (citing Jacob and Esau in womb; Gen. 25:22-23)] or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Note: What are some birth defects or disabilities that can be attributed to the sinful actions of parents?
9:3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned [does not mean they were sinless, but rather that the man’s blindness was not the result of his sins of those of his parents],” said Jesus, “but this [the man’s blindness] happened [however it came about] so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
9:4 As long as it is day [conveys sense of urgency; time is limited; cf. Ps. 90:12], we [included disciples] must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
Note: How does your life and ministry reflect an urgency to serve God?
9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world [a claim to deity; cf. Jn. 8:12].”
9:6 [Jesus acted to bring light to a man who had spent his entire life in darkness] Having said this, he spit [cf. Mk. 7:32-35; 8:22-25] on the ground, made some mud with the saliva [Jesus was the sole source of the cure], and put it on the man’s eyes.
9:7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam [unlike pool of Bethesda (Jn. 5:2), this pool not known for its healing power; located on the southeastern end of Jerusalem]” (this word means Sent). So [the man demonstrated his faith by obeying Jesus] the man went and washed, and came home seeing [see Matt. 9:27-31; 12:22; 21:14 re: other instances of Jesus’ restoring sight to the blind; OT predicted that the Messiah would open eyes of the blind (cf. Isa. 29:18; 35:5)].
9:8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this [the man walking about like a sighted person] the same man who used to sit and beg [probably his only means of livelihood]?”
9:9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
9:10 “How then were your eyes opened [see verses 15, 19, 26]?” they demanded.
9:11 He replied, “The man [see verse 17] they call Jesus made some mud [an aid to the man’s faith] and put it on my eyes [see John 9:6-7]. He told me to go to Siloam [this word means Sent: see verse 7; the One sent by God (see v. 4) sent the blind man to the pool named Sent] and wash [perhaps a test of faith; cf. story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5:10-14]. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
9:12-16 The man’s neighbors brought him to the Pharisees who investigated the healing. Some of the Pharisees felt Jesus had broken the Sabbath by making and applying the mud ointment and by healing the man born blind.
9:17 Finally they [Pharisees] turned again [hoping to find something in the man’s testimony which they could use to discredit Jesus] to the blind man, “What have you to say about Him? It was your eyes He opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet [the man was growing in his understanding about Jesus; see verses 11 and 38].”
9:18-23 The Pharisees (considered the most conservative religious leaders of their day) summoned and questioned the man’s parents.
9:24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind [before their hostile assembly]. “Give glory to God [a challenge to stop lying and to tell the truth; cf. Joshua 7:19],” they said. “We [stressed the arrogance and spiritual blindness of the religious leaders] know this man is a sinner.”
9:25 He [looking at their angry faces with his new sight] replied [boldly took a stand for Jesus], “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I [personally] do know. I was blind but now I see [these words inspired John Newton to write “Amazing Grace”]!”
Note: Compare the “We know” (9:24) of the Pharisees to the “I do know” of the man. Your personal testimony is a powerful witnessing tool. A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
9:26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
9:27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
9:28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s [used in a derogatory sense] disciple! We are disciples of Moses [cf. John 5:45-47]!
9:29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow [used in a derogatory sense], we don’t even know where he comes from.”
9:30 The man answered [in simple, logical terms], “Now that is remarkable [amazing]! You don’t know where He comes from, yet He opened my eyes [in accordance with Isaiah’s prophecy recorded in Luke 4:16-19].
9:31 We [including the Pharisees] know that God does not listen to [habitual] sinners [see Ps. 66:18]. He listens to the godly man who does His will.
9:32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.
9:33 If this man were not from God [or a sinner as the Pharisees insisted], He could do nothing [the once blind man had greater spiritual sight or insight than the religious leaders].”
9:34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Note: The Pharisees threw the man out of the synagogue. This may mean (1) that they threw the man out of the place where they interrogated him or (2) that they excommunicated him from the synagogue (as feared by his parents in verse 22). Excommunication would mean the man would be ostracized religiously, socially, and economically.
9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out [of the synagogue; persecuted for holding firm to his belief in Jesus], and when He found him, he said, “Do you [personally] believe in the Son of Man [messianic reference Jesus used to refer to Himself]?”
Note: The man had heard Jesus’ voice but had never seen His face.
9:36 “Who is he, sir?” the man [the man had already declared Jesus to be a prophet and a man of God (cf. Jn. 9:17,33)] asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
9:37 Jesus said, “You have now seen [for the first time] Him; in fact, He is the One speaking with you.”
9:38 Then the man said, “Lord [see how the man referred to Jesus in verses 11 and 17], I believe [to place personal faith in Jesus],” and he worshiped [literally means “kissed the hand” or to show reverence by homage or prostration] Him.
Note: The man who had received his physical sight now received his spiritual sight.
9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind [those who realize their need for a Savior] will see and those who see [those self-righteous individuals like the Pharisees] will become blind.”
9:40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
9:41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see [Pharisees had sight but no light; they were spiritually blind], your guilt remains.