24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
John Wants Us To See
I thought N. T. Wright’s words were powerful as I read them on the train this morning. I decided to just pass them on:
John wants us to see … and that is of course what the passage is all about. It isn’t just about a man who is born blind who can now see; it is John’s readers, who are being led towards the light which is Jesus himself (9.5; 1.4-5). As throughout the gospel, we are meant to look at what Jesus is doing and draw the correct conclusion about the presence of God with and in him. It may be surprising; it may upset some cherished assumptions; it may even be shocking. But when blind eyes are being opened there is only one conclusion to be drawn. Just as Moses shocked the magicians of Egypt by doing things they couldn’t copy (Exodus 8.18-19), Jesus is now shocking the world of his day by doing things for which the only explanation is that God is powerfully at work. This prepares the way, as did Moses, for the great new Exodus, and indeed the great new Genesis, the new creation in which God’s people will be set free not only from blindness but from evil and death.
Being a Christian is often confusing. People try to interpret your experience for you, to put you in this category or that category, to label you. Often this is so that they needn’t take you quite seriously. What you must do is stick to what you know. ‘I used to be blind; now I can see.’ It may be costly, but paying that cost is better than the still more costly route of denying what, in Jesus, God truly has done for you.
My physical sight is having issues at the moment, Jesus. I pray that you would heal that. However, more importantly, I pray that our spiritual sight would be sharpened. May you come more clearly into focus as being who you have claimed to be.
- Why did the Pharisees call the man back?
- How do you think the man felt?
- Who ‘won’ the argument? Why?
- What has God done for you?
- Who else knows these things apart from you?
1. They seem to have wanted the man to affirm their pre-conceived beliefs.
2. He seems to have been frustrated; they weren’t looking to understand, but to accuse.
3. The man born blind won – He had an answer to the pharisee’s questions, but they didn’t have answers to his!
4. God has done much for me! He’s provided for my family in so many ways, He’s brought me to a great school, and He’s given me a supportive family and great friends.
5. My family and friends have heard bits and pieces of how God has blessed me in different areas.
When the Pharisees called the man back, he seemed to be confused. He had already told them what had happened, so why are they continuing to ask questions? God has done more for me than I will ever know. I have seen him work in and through my life in amazing ways. He has also provided for my friends and family. When God does an amazing work in my life, I try to share it with as many people as possible.
1) They called him back to try to force him to give glory to God, not to Jesus. They believed that Jesus was a sinner.
2) He probably felt put on the spot and frustrated that they kept questioning and doubting him.
3) The healed man won, because he was faithful in his responses to the Pharisees questions.
4) God has been incredibly faithful in my life. He has given me an amazing family who serves the Lord, along with a great home church. He has blessed me with friends who truly know me and for the opportunity to be here at Moody!
5) Those who are a part of my life know how God has worked in my life. When the opportunity comes, I am also able to share with others.
Oftentimes, I lose sight of Christ. I forget how faithful He is and focus on myself instead of looking to Him. Lord, help me to remember how much You have forgiven me and see how You are working today. Give us the boldness to share what You have done and are doing in our lives with others. Thank You for healing us of our spiritual blindness!
I really enjoyed N.T. Wright’s words as well. And I love the blind man’s words. It reminds me of the song “Amazing Grace.” God has provided for me and my family, met my personal needs, saved me, and just become extremely meaningful for me. I usually tell people especially when it fits well in the conversation :).
1. They wanted him to say that it wasn’t Jesus- they did not want Jesus to get the glory and praise.
2. I think he must have been overjoyed to be healed, but annoyed that they weren’t believing his words.
3. The healed man did because he stayed faithful to Jesus who had healed him and he even preached to the religious leaders.
4. God has done so much for me! He has given me a wonderful Christian family, an amazing husband who loves me and loves the Lord, an amazing education, and every thing we need to live and be students in Chicago.
My family and friends know some of the crazy stories that God has worked through in my life. I should tell more people though, I guess.
The Pharisees called the man back because they wanted more information about the healing, maybe they were waiting for him to say that Jesus was a sorcerer. They probably just wanted to get something out of the man that condemned Jesus. I think that the man felt confused, why him? A lowly beggar who was graced with the blessings of Jesus? He must have felt honored to have been touched by God. The man won the argument because he pointed out he faults in the Pharisees logic. God has done many things for me, showing himself in my life in many aspects. He has given me the strength to conquer many fears, He has changed my life around, and many more things. To be honest, I don’t share that enough.
The Pharisees wanted to continue their interrogation-they were trying to pin the man for claiming that Christ is Lord. I think the man felt like he was getting another opportunity to speak truth. He won the argument. I often seek other people to validate my experiences instead of allowing truth to be evident in itself. God knows my experience and I don’t have to explain myself to him. I take comfort in this.
1. They wanted an explanation for the miracle, perhaps something that could explain it away. They wanted to give him another chance to deny Jesus & the claims He was making.
2. He probably felt quite attacked. Maybe he wondered why they were so adamant about tearing down Christ despite all He was doing.
3. The man doesn’t really care whether he is believed or not. He is confident in Christ and he doesn’t need to understood or backed up in order to continue to put his trust in Christ and Who He is.
As I interacted with this passage in class today, I thought it was interesting the progression that took place with how the blind man referred to Jesus. First he referred to Him simply as a man. Then he referred to Jesus as a prophet. Then later on he acknowledged that Jesus was a man from God, and finally he referred to Jesus as the Son of Man, after which he proclaimed his faith in Jesus. This entire progression happened after Jesus had healed him. So I wonder, why the progression. Surely he knew that Jesus was not just a man when after He had healed him from a life-long affliction. Could it be that as the Pharisees’ opposition grew, the healed man’s faith grew as well? It’s interesting for me to think about.
1. The Pharisees called the man back in an attempt to make him admit God alone had performed the miracle and also deny the divinity of Jesus.
2. Jesus’ miracle was the single greatest event of the blind man’s life. Yet, immediately following his sight, the Pharisees put him and his parents on trial, criticized him and his savior, and told him he was born in sin. He must have been shocked! Sometimes I feel like the strong opposition to Jesus actually increases my faith though. I ask, how could someone be so bitter and bothered by this unless it was actually true!
3. The formerly blind man wins the argument. He gets the Pharisees to admit that they don’t know where Jesus came from, a prophesied characteristic of the messiah, and that no one has ever done such a miracle, so he must be from God.
4. God has blessed me with musical talent and skateboarding too. He has given me a mom and family that loves and looks out for me. He’s has given me the desire for him, the pursuit of ultimate truth in Jesus.
5. My friends, family and church all recognize that God has blessed me, as he does with all his children. Recently, a lady at Kyoto (a stranger before our conversation) began talking to me about my future plans and college (she worked in education). Towards the end of our talk, she asked me “Where does your drive come from?” I told her I think it’s God given. This is true, but I think I should have elaborated a bit. A desire to be in Christ calls you to be the best you can be, in suffering and in success. The way of Jesus thus brings about many blessings but more importantly gives you peace, because that is present even in disaster.
The Pharisees are still calling Jesus the sinner in this passage and demanding the (previously) blind man to give God the glory. He knows that Jesus is from God, otherwise how could he have performed the miracle? That’s why he became Jesus’ disciple. What does it even mean to be born in utter sin anyways? Who do the Pharisees think they are? Seriously. No humility whatsoever. At least the man was quoting Scripture (Isa. 59:2; Psa. 66:17-19). In looking up some of the cross references I came across Psalm 34 and thought it was beautiful so I thought I would include some of the verses here:
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
How do you think the man felt?
“I think the man felt bewildered by how they could not recognize the miracle for what it was. He must have still felt in complete awe and wonder — completely blown away by his new reality. Being solid in what he knows to be true through Jesus’ words and deeds, he clings to them. Solid faith leads to firm words and confident and brave deeds.”
After having spoken with the man’s parents, the Pharisees call him back, this time explicitly pressuring him to renounce Jesus and, ironically, to praise God instead. The man’s response is surprisingly collected and full of conviction, although I have a guess he felt a little more exasperated that his words let on; he was simply attesting to the facts, and he was not going to let the Pharisees’ skepticism affect that.
I would say that the formerly blind man (I wonder what his name is) “won” the argument, by virtue of holding to his statements regarding the miracle Jesus had performed, and even going further to challenge the Pharisees on their unwillingness to even consider that Jesus might be from God.
God has done many, many things for me, many of which I will not even fully understand until I read Heaven, or maybe not even then. Of course, the greatest things that He has done for me, and for all those in His family, are those actions relating to my salvation, sanctification, and future glorification. Most recently, I have been marveling at (and very thankful for) the way He brought my wandering heart back to Him last winter, after six months of prioritizing just about everything over Him. As far as sharing what He has done, I am growing in sharing His wonders with those around me as I continue to learn how to be open and vulnerable with others about ways have struggled, and still do struggle. One very active way in which I do this is to allow the ways He is working in my life to come through on my blog.
1. The Pharisees called back the man because they were intrigued.
2. I think the man who was healed was overcome with gratefulness to Jesus, but was annoyed by the Pharisees. I imagine that he wanted to be joyful and celebrate, but these men were sucking all the fun out of it by asking him so many questions…
3. The blind man won. I think that is clear when he says “Do you also want to become his disciples?”
4. God has taken me from a place of discouragement and confusion to giving me joy.
5. I am quite open, so I have some very good friends who know what God has done and is doing in my life.
1. Why did the Pharisees call the man back?
They ask his parents, but they say to just ask their son, he is of age.
2. How do you think the man felt?
Annoyed. Annoyed that these Pharisees can’t seem to see who Jesus is and why he is able to see. Probably also scared. As seen by how his parents responded, there was clearly a social fear of the Pharisees. Maybe he was scared of telling the truth of what he saw. He doesn’t seem to act scared though.
3. Who ‘won’ the argument? Why?
Well, the Pharisees say basically “who are you to teach us?” and cast him out, but the man’s previous response is pretty awesome “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
4. What has God done for you?
Given me eternal life, first and foremost. He has blessed me with wonderful parents that are faithful followers of the Lord, the most godly man I know for a husband and provision in every way imaginable.
5. Who else knows these things apart from you?
Hopefully my parents, my sister, my husband, my close friends and my coworkers.
1. To say that it wasn’t Jesus but that it was God and that Jesus was just a man and that he was a sinner
2. So angry, when God works something amazing in your life and others try to tear you down that is more upsetting then anything because you can’t believe they don’t see what you do. All you want to do is praise God and the world is trying to take it away from you.
3. The former blind man won and it was because he gave them an answer but not one they were ready to respond to.
4. Way to many things to count, he is always there for me and he has always shown me that He loves me no matter what and that i am nothing without Christ and he is everything.
5. Those I come into contact with and open up to or try to encourage if they are going through something