Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” — John 9:1-5.
We would do well to read the whole of John 9 to understand what Jesus is teaching here.
Jesus encounters a man born blind. His disciples presume that either the man himself or his parents must have sinned to cause his blindness. In those days, physical challenges/disabilities were attributed to sin on someone’s part!
Jesus dismisses this notion. He says that there is a purpose in his being born blind — that God’s work should be revealed in him! His disability and healing would be to the glory of God! Jesus states that he must do the Father’s work which is to be the light of the world and to open the eyes of those who are sitting in spiritual blindness/darkness so that they may see and live life through the True Light.
Jesus proceeds to provide sight to the blind by making clay, applying it to the eyes of the man and instructing him to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. The man obeys, washes his eyes in the pool, and returns seeing. (verses 6 and 7).
Jesus could have given sight to his eyes by a word! Our compassionate Lord likes to heal people by touch! There is so much comfort in a reassuring/healing touch.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. — John 9:35-38.
The healed man acknowledges to the leaders of the synagogue that Jesus is a Man from God. Furious, they throw him out of the synagogue. When Jesus hears that the healed man has been thrown out of the synagogue, he tracks him down and asks him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” When Jesus reveals Himself to him, his reaction is instant, “Lord, I believe!” he says, and worships Jesus. The realization of who Jesus is should elicit the same instant and spontaneous awe and worship of Him from us!
And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains. — John 9:39-41.
Some of the Pharisees who were with Jesus, resent Jesus’ oblique judgment of them. Jesus tells them the true purpose of his coming into the world, namely, to open the eyes of those of who are spiritually blind. He also says that those who claim to see spiritually and yet refuse to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, would remain blind in their sin of disbelief.
This incident reveals the glory of God in the face/Person of the Christ. He desires to heal our spiritual blindness by touching our hearts/minds. It also teaches us that we can glorify God in spite of our physical challenges / disabilities. We need to have a right view of the Messiah and trust in Him.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.