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Chapter Nine of John
by Lawrence Walkup 
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Lawrence Walkup

Chapter nine of John is best understood in light of what Jesus said in John 16:8-9: "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin because men do not believe in me." Here Jesus defines for us the world's sin....unbelief in Him.

Verses 1-3: We are all born spiritually blind at birth, so actually the disciples got it right. And indeed he got this spiritual blindness from his parents, who in turn got it from their parents, and it keeps going back to where it all began....Adam. Of course what is being talked about here at the beginning is physical blindness. There is a belief amongst the disciples that physical ailments are the direct result of sin. Again, actually this is right. All of humankind's ailments are a result of the curse of sin that is upon the world, but to attribute a particular sin to a particular defect is not the case as Jesus makes this clear.

As Christians we should have the same view as Jesus. Look at the physical disability, as what God is going to do through it, at what he is going to do because of it. God can heal any physical defect if he chooses. We should be asking God to heal us. After all, he is the one who made us so he certainly can fix us. We certainly can be healed physically, and this is a good thing, but it doesn't do us much good in the long run if we still remain spiritually unhealed. One is a much bigger deal than the other.

Verses 4-7: As far as the disciples are concerned, at this point, they are just along for the ride. I like how Jesus encourages them by including them in this miracle that is about to take place. Jesus' ministry lasted only three years; however after him, the disciples would continue on with the same type of miraculous ministry. They were....and we are now....the light of the world, as Jesus occupies his current body.

I'm sure there is significance to the details of how this man was healed. I just don't know what it is. I'm sure there is a brother or sister out there who could enlighten me, which would be appreciated. However God chooses to heal is not as important as the healing itself. In this process the man had his part. It was only after he went to the pool and washed his eyes, that he would be healed. This was him making that step of faith.

Verses 8-13: Evidently the change in the man was so great that even his own neighbors couldn't recognize him for sure. The guy has been blind since birth and notice all the love for him that is just oozing out of them. Are they glad for the guy? No; all they care about is how it happened. After the man tells them how he was healed, and that he does not know where Jesus is; the neighbors' next step is to do their religious duty and bring the man to the Pharisees.

The Pharisees and Sadducees of the time were such an intimidating force to the people, because they held real power over their lives. The Romans let the Jewish leadership run the Jewish Nation. Unlike our clergy of today who have no real power other than within their own church or denomination....one could actually compare the Jewish leadership of then....to those who have the real power over us now....The United States Congress. Isn't it remarkable when you hear all the time, how far man has come from what he used to be. You know, he has evolved. But if man was created, like the Bible says, wouldn't that mean that man would pretty much be the same today as, let's say, four thousand years ago? The truth is; man is not evolving; he is doing the opposite of that. It started at the point when Adam sinned.

There is no progressing taking place; what's taking place is regressing. From the time of Adam till now, the lifespan of man alone, has regressed not just dramatically, but exponentially. The same goes for the brain power of man. Compare a leftist's (who label Christians as domestic terrorists) brain power to that of Adam's. I know, are you kidding me! And when I say comparing Congress to a Pharisee, I don't mean to insult the Pharisee. And also I don't mean to just pick on the Democrats. The other side is just as bad, if not worse, because they don't do anything to stop the cultural disintegration. Just like the Pharisee, Congress will do whatever it takes to maintain job security....cheat, lie, steal, and murder.

Verses 14-17: The man was healed from being blind at birth. That is a big deal! However, what is a bigger deal to the Pharisees, is that the Law was broken. People, if you want love completely destroyed in your life, then become a religious person. In this chapter, the man has to tell his story three times. Notice the more he tells his story, the more he is internalizing it, which is making him more confident.

Verses 18-23: Now the parents come into the act. And they are just as intimidated and afraid as the others. The parents successfully wiggle away from the political statement that the Pharisees wanted them to spout. This lesson in chapter nine, probably more so than any other lesson, is just another example of many examples throughout all the Gospels of how far Jesus is removed from religiosity, of how far the two are at opposite extremes, of how the two are not anywhere near being on the same page. Maybe there are so many examples because it was Jesus' intent that this particular lesson be delivered to the body in the same proportional amount that it was written to the body. But this, we don't see.

Verses 24-34: Here we have the blind man having to tell his story for the third and final time. This is the second time to the Pharisees. He has had enough of them. It's time for them to be put in their place. He knows what has happened to him is real. Instead of being defensive, this time he goes on the offensive.

Notice throughout the Gospels when the Jewish leadership is defending themselves they always revert back to Moses. They revert back to their longstanding tradition....and what a tradition it is. Who can really blame them for being so entrenched. What other group of people has a history like theirs? How could they possibly let go of the fact, that it was God who chose them, to tell the rest of the world about the one true God. We as Christians love the Jews. We love Israel. We are on their side. It's a part of the Holy Spirit residing in us. It boggles our mind that they cannot see Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus said of them that they diligently study the Scriptures, but they miss the meaning of them. They miss the fact that their Scriptures are testifying about Him. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone. And it will be this way until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in (Rom. 11:25).

Verses 35-41: I guess this means he has been put out of the synagogue permanently. He's not allowed to return; but it doesn't really matter because Jesus has something better for him. The man is ripe and ready to believe, for he has had an encounter with God. Jesus came into this world in order for mankind to make a judgment call in regards to believing in him or not believing in him. What call have you made, or what call are you going to make? Has the previous eight chapters of John, from what Jesus has said, and from what Jesus has done, been enough to convince you? For those of you who could not see before....are you making that step of faith now....that is going to enable you to see? And for those of you who think you can see with what you have....are you going to remain there....and thus....remain in your blindness?

The Pharisees with their quick minds, think that Jesus is talking about them. Of course he's talking about them. Remember in the beginning, Jesus defined for us what sin is....unbelief in him. Sin is unbelief. You can make the two words interchangeable. Jesus in essence is saying to them: 'If you were blind like the blind man I just healed, you would not be guilty of unbelief anymore, like he is not guilty of unbelief anymore. But because you say you can see, when you really can't see, obviously your unbelief remains.'


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Member Comments
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Bea Edwards  05 Sep 2014
I find this writer to be knowledgeable and correct in His theology- Especially what he has written about our position in Christ. May I encourage anyone reading this message to go to Lawrence's profile and read some of His other articles.


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