apostle John had a strategy when he wrote his gospel. In it, he lists seven miracles,
which he calls “signs.” A sign was more than a miracle; it was a miracle
with a message. Near
the end of his Gospel he says,
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of
his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written that
ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing
ye might have life through His name.
says (paraphrasing), “Jesus did many
other things, but I took these seven miracles and arranged them to be a parade
of miracles. At the conclusion you will see that Jesus is the Christ. I want
you to believe He is the Messiah. And when you believe, you will have
These miracles help confirm Jesus’
position as the Son of God, but He did not come to perform miracles; He came to
save souls. G. Campbell Morgan said, “Every parable Jesus gave
was a miracle of instruction, and every miracle He performed was a parable of
teaching.” The miracles literally happened, but you need to look beyond the
miracles and find the message in the miracle, the significance in the sign.
In the first miracle (John 2), Jesus
turned water into wine. The wines of this world run out. But the joy He gives
is always fresh, full, and free.
is God’s answer to man’s disappointments.
In the second (John 4), He heals
a doubting nobleman’s son.
is God’s answer to man’s doubt.
third miracle (John 5), healing the paralyzed man at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus
asked, “Will you be made whole?”—showing
Jesus is God’s answer to man’s disability.
We, like that man, are completely without strength
until we’re touched by the power of God.
Moving to the fourth miracle,
1. Turn to John chapter 6 and read verses 1-14.
What was the fourth miracle?
our Lord shows that He and He alone is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is God’s answer to man’s desires.
2. The fifth miracle follows immediately upon the
fourth. What is it? (See John 6:15-21.)
are two miracles here, actually. One is that Jesus defies the laws of gravity
and molecular structure by walking upon turbulent waves of the Sea of Galilee.
The other occurs in verse 21. Do you see it?
Jesus is God’s answer to man’s despair.
3. John describes the sixth miracle in chapter 9,
and this is our focus for this study.
See it unfold in verses 1-7. But notice that
“the rest of the story” continues all the way through verse _____.
applies clay to his sightless eyes. The clay represents the same thing to me
that those six water pots represented at the wedding at Cana (the first miracle
in John 2). Earthen water pots, clay, speak of humanity. God made man from the
dust of the earth. It speaks of weakness, failure, inability. To put clay on
his eyes represents that which would seal out the light. That’s what’s wrong
with him. His humanity, his human nature, has caused him to be blind.
our Lord, perhaps with a twinkle in His eye, said, “Go wash in the pool called
Siloam.” Siloam, translated, means “Sent.”
4. a. Turn back one chapter to John 8:12, 26, 29
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, “I am the
Light of the world. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness but shall
have the light of life.”
26 “I have many things to say and to judge of you,
but He that _______ Me is true.”
29 “And He that _______ Me is with Me.”
to chapter 9. In verse 4, Jesus said before he healed the blind man,
must work the works of Him that _________ Me while it is day.”
said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation,
_____.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came _______________.
is the meaning:
is saying, “This pool represents me. I am the One sent from heaven. I am the
One. I am heaven’s answer for man’s
darkness. Your humanity blocks out the light. But I have been sent from
above. I am heaven’s light for earth’s darkness. I am the only One who can take
away this darkness.”
long had this man been blind? (v. 1)
A CLOSER LOOK AT “BLIND FROM BIRTH”
There is actually more than one miracle here. Jesus healed his physical eyes so he could now see light and images and shadows—everything you and I see. But healing also had to take place within the man’s brain. The pathways in the eye that carry the message of sight to the brain and allow us to see had never been used from birth on, and he is now an adult. Jesus had to restore those pathways so that not only the physical eye could see, but the brain could process what the physical eye was seeing!
This event is rich with analogy and meaning. How
many persons do we know who have looked upon the face of Jesus (as revealed in
Scripture), but where you and I see the Son of God, the Messiah, God’s promised
Redeemer, they see nothing special—just an ordinary man some fanatics attempted
to lift to the level of “prophet,” but whose life ended in a Roman crucifixion.
We know many today who do not see beyond that! Think about it. The beggar was
physically blind, but he is an illustration of every human being without the
Lord Jesus Christ. We are by nature spiritually blind. This man needs more than
light; he needs sight. Jesus Christ is the only One who can give that sight.
5. a. Compare with Matthew 13:13
“_____________ they do not ______, and
hearing, they do not hear, nor do they __________________.”
blindness makes beggars of us all.
b. Look at the first chapter of John 1 verse 4: “In
Him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the __________ of man.”
c. Now turn just 2 chapters over to John 3: 3. Jesus
said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again he cannot ______ the kingdom of
to Ephesians 4:18
the _______________ darkened,”[ not their eyes but their understanding darkened],
“being _______________ from the _______ of God through the ignorance that is in
them because of the [here’s the word!] “___________________ of their heart.”
cannot put out the light. So what does he do? He blinds the heart and mind. Spiritually,
we were all born blind. Psalm 51:5 says,
I was shapened in iniquity. In sin did my mother conceive me.”
person in Adam’s lineage has the nature of Adam, and he is without God, without
the Lord, without life, and without light.
When the light went out he was darkened. To be lost, you don’t have to be a
criminal— just be minus God.
e. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
if our gospel be hid, it is hid from them that are lost. In whom the God of
this world hath ______________ the minds of them which believe not, lest the
___________ of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God should
___________ unto them.
dependent upon God to open blinded eyes to the gospel of Jesus Christ. nobody can be argued into the kingdom of
heaven. Nobody can be educated into the kingdom of heaven.
f. When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in
the Garden, He gave Adam and Eve dominion. They were to rule. But man, created
to be a king, a spiritual king, is now a blind beggar.
with Revelation 3:17
thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing and
knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, ________ and __________ and
Jesus restored the man’s physical sight—but an even
greater miracle awaited.
You may have thought the greatest drama occurred in
verses 6 and 7, but the action is intensifying!
6. Look in verse 17 of this chapter. The religious
establishment couldn’t tolerate this healing. It didn’t fit their narrative.
Because of their spiritual blindness—and their greed for power and control of
the people—this miracle must not be allowed to stand. They now grill the poor
hapless chap, hoping he will say something to discredit this usurper, Jesus of Nazareth.
What do they demand of the healed man?
There are many humorous moments in chapter 9 if you
look for them. One can almost see them poking a finger in his chest as they ask,
“What do you say about Him? How do you
analyze this miracle-worker, if indeed it was a ‘miracle’?”
7. Ten minutes ago he had been no more than a blind
beggar on the street—now they demand he be a theologian! His answer wasn’t what
they wanted to hear. What does he muster the courage to answer?
8. More humor occurs when the religious
establishment hauls the poor man’s parents “before the court,” so to speak. You
can’t help but sympathize as they face the Pharisees who—in their irrational
frame of mind—imply their son had not
been blind from birth! (see the words “you say” in v. 19.)
the parents wiggle out of the situation and pass the buck? (v. 21 and 23)
way, we can feel sorry for them—they’ve had a son blind all his life who
suddenly gets healed, and instead of everyone wanting to throw a party, they’re
brought before an inquisition!
9. What punishment would the established rulers
mete out if anyone believed that Jesus was the Messiah? (22)
was serious for the common Jewish citizen then, who could reasonably conclude
if he were excommunicated from the synagogue, he might spend eternity separated
10. Coercing the man’s parents didn’t work, so what’s
the next tactic of the establishment rulers? (v. 24)
rest of their conversation is revealing (vv. 26 and 28). They will resort to
anything but consider they might be wrong and the facts before their eyes might
11. In v. 27b, how does the healed man turn the
tables on them?
got their tunics in a twist. They do what so many do today when presented with
inconvenient truth: name-calling (v. 28 “Then they reviled him…”).
you been in a situation when you spoke the plain truth and were caught
off-guard by an angry response coming back at you?
12. Does the word “reviled” remind you of anything?
a. Jesus prepared His followers for this sort of
reaction. Turn back to Matthew 5:10 and 11 (in the Beatitudes, Jesus’ “Sermon
on the Mount”). What word do you see used both (1) to describe what the
Pharisee did to the healed man in John 9 and (2) what Jesus predicted would
happen to every believer who stands for Him?
b. In the next verse in the Matthew 5 passage (v.
12), what does Jesus tell us to do when we are confronted by genuine “hate
If you or someone you know is suffering
persecution/false accusations because of their faith, be comforted with the
knowledge that if “not a sparrow falls” without the Lord knowing, He is aware
you are enduring hardship for the sake of His Son.
13. Back to John 9:27-29. What truth about the
human heart does this encounter teach us?
14. To not have been a theologian, the healed man
held his own under pressure. In verse 30, what surprises him about the
15. I wonder how many of us, put in a pressure
cooker like this, would have done so well. The religious establishment (many of
whom today misinterpret the clear teaching of Scripture) claim that Jesus is a
sinner; a sinner can’t perform a miracle—therefore there was no miracle. They
are desperate, aren’t they? In your own words, how does our freshly minted
theologian—the healed man—reason with them? See 31-33.
16. The dramatic conclusion, v. 34. It is, of
course, tragic for these blind rulers, although in light of the irony, it’s
almost comical. The clear evidence stands before them and they say, “___________________________________________________!”
often been said, “A Christian with a testimony is never at the mercy of an
unbeliever with an argument, because the Christian has the witness in himself.”
In this case, the witness was right before them, in the beggar’s eyes.
They are the blight of the world. He is the light
of the world.
17. But Jesus is not through with the man whose
sight is now restored. Notice the progression his belief about Jesus.
18. Continue on to verses 35-39. Jesus seeks him
out once more (“when He had found him”—v. 35) and leads him to saving faith.
What does Jesus ask him in v. 35?
response what does the healed man sincerely ask? (v. 36)
back a moment. Others, not so sincere, have demanded of Jesus “Who are you?”
Mark Chapter 15, when Jesus stood before Pilate, notice His response to
2 And Pilate asked
him, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” And He answering said unto them, “Thou
3 And the chief
priests accused Him of many things: but He
4 And Pilate asked
Him again, saying, “Answerest thou
nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee.”
5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate
It all depends on who is doing the asking, doesn’t
it…and how sincere they are.
When the healed man asks our Lord, He lovingly
37 And Jesus said
unto him, “Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.
19. What gift (v. 38) in addition to physical sight
did Our Lord lead this man to?
38 And he said,
Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
man who’s been given sight is now learning to see.
therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith as it is
written the just shall live by faith.”
is the way people come to the Lord Jesus Christ. God has to open their eyes. The
Holy Spirit has to give them insight, spiritual insight, but then they begin to
learn to grow in knowledge until they come to that full-orbed faith.
20. Look at Matthew 5:12 once again. “Great will be
his reward” where?_______ ___________. That morning he had been a sightless
beggar. Now he has his sight and will
spend eternity with Christ. That is some reward.
those who mocked, ridiculed and blasphemed, Jesus’ response was on the order of
“I’ve got nothing for you.” But to the sincere, He reveals Himself.
“…a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt
not despise.” Psalm 51:17.
See also Psalm 34:18 and Isaiah 57:15.
21. But the Establishment doesn’t give up easily,
do they? Obviously, they continued dogging both the healed man and Jesus,
hoping to find some fault, something to rabble-rouse about. Anything would do.
And they found it. Continue on to verse 39. Jesus came to save sinners, yes.
But for what other purpose did He say he had come?
sounds harsh to our 21st century ears. It does NOT mean that Jesus came
to purposefully blind people spiritually who sincerely wanted to know the
truth. The “those who see” in verse 39 were not the sincere followers of God,
looking for their coming Messiah, as Anna and Simeon had been that day in the
Temple when Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus there to be circumcised.
Many sincere, faithful Jews were living for the day when Messiah would
come…hoping for it, longing for it. These are not the ones Jesus refers to in
John 9:39. The “those who see” were the ones who had convinced themselves they
had a monopoly on religious dogma and policies—and it had no room for a Messiah
not of their making.
22. The apostle Paul spoke of people like this. Turn
to 2 Thessalonians 10:13.
And with all ___________________
of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they _______________ ____ the
love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send
them strong ____________, that they should believe
a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure
often heard “None are so blind as those
who will not see.” It’s not a matter of “can” or “cannot.” It is a matter
of the will. The Lord Jesus, born in
a humble household to an unpretentious mother and humble adoptive father, did
not fit their template.
23. Turn to Mark 8:11-12. Can you imagine being
among the group that caused the Lord Jesus Christ—Second Person of the
Trinity—to “sigh deeply in His spirit”?
11 And the Pharisees came forth and began to question with Him, seeking of Him
a sign from heaven, tempting Him.
12 And He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation
seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto
13 And He left them, and entering into the ship again, departed to the
forbid that any of us should be among those who cause Jesus to sigh deeply
within His spirit. The religious/political establishment, gathered to challenge
Jesus, were not those who wanted to see.
in verse 11 of Mark 8. What did the Pharisees seek?
does John give 7 examples of in His Gospel? (see the opening paragraphs of this
24. We have a seeming contradiction here. In the
passage above, Jesus said they were not
going to be given a sign. Yet John’s gospel describes
7 signs. How do you reconcile this? (As you consider, note who Jesus is specifically speaking to in
25. To the humble heart earnestly seeking God, He
will always reveal Himself. Turn to
beautiful passage in Jeremiah: chapter 29, verses 12-14. Many are familiar with
the often-quoted verse 11, but what follows is equally beautiful.
12 Then shall
ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye
shall _______ Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your
14 And I
will be found of you, saith the Lord: and
I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations,
and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and
I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away
a. What is God promising to do for the sincere
With what kind of heart are we to seek God?
you see the contrast between this sort of seeker and the religious
establishment of John 9? There is no contradiction for the sincere seeker.
miracle of John 9 demonstrates that
God’s answer to man’s darkness
physical and spiritual.)
26. In closing, turn back to the 1st
chapter of John. See verse 4.
Him was _______, and the _______ was the ___________ of men.”
We have seen that Jesus is God’s answer to man’s
darkness. There can be no greater sin than to reject the light. Once a man
hears the gospel and his heart is open to the Word of God, if he does not act
upon that light, and go from faith to faith until he believes in Jesus Christ,
his condemnation is doubled. Not only is he judged for the “disease”—sin, he’s
also judged that he refused the cure, salvation in Christ.
As Peter declared,
is there salvation in any other. Acts 4:12.
this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, but men love
darkness rather than light, because the deeds were evil. Everyone that doeth
evil hateth the light neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should be
reproved. John 3:19-20.
When God comes to judge the world, He’s not going
to judge primarily by the sin that was committed, but by the light that was
Jesus is the Light of the world. We are born blind
beggars, but those blind eyes can be opened and will be opened by the grace of
God. It’s not just turning on the light, the heart, the mind has to be opened
and quickened to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. And once the heart, the
mind, is opened and quickened, then we live up to the light that we have, and
we go stepping forward in the light till we come to Jesus.
Man’s greatest need is to admit and confess his
spiritual blindness. When he says, “I see just fine,” he remains blind, but
when he says “God help me, I’m blind,” God opens his eyes and gives him light.
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