John 9:8-41 Those Who Believe And Those Who Don’t

by | May 17, 2024 | John, New Testament

The blind man was on a journey of discovering the truth about Jesus.
The religious leaders were on a journey of becoming increasingly more blind.

I. Rationalist Doubters & The Man Vs. 8-13

A. The Rationalist Doubters

1. V. 8 The former blind beggar was a known person in the community.
2. Vs. 8, 9 There was disagreement about his identity.

a. His appearance may have changed considerably after the healing.
b. Others may have been skeptical about miracles happening.
c. They may have been rationalists and needed to have proof that of miracle.

3. Vs. 10, 12 They wanted to know about the process of the miracle; location of Jesus.
4. V. 13 This action by the crowd doesn’t seek to answer the question about Jesus’ whereabouts, but rather, they approach the religious leaders to try to decide about Jesus’ validity and credibility. They are skeptical.

B. The Man

1. V. 9 The man readily identified himself as the former blind beggar, now healed.
2. V. 11 He readily told them as much as he knew about the miracle.

a. The man didn’t know a lot about Jesus, but he spoke of what he did know.
b. This is a good model for every follower of Jesus.
c. We don’t know everything about Jesus, but we can be sure about some things.

II. Unbelievers & The Man Vs. 14-19

A. The Unbelievers

1. They had wrongly reinterpreted the laws concerning the Sabbath, and instead of making it
a day of rest, they even forbade helping someone get well from sickness or injury. They claimed that Jesus spitting on the ground and making mud was “work”.
2. Albert Barnes- They assumed that their views of the Sabbath were correct, and by those views they judged others. It did not occur to them to inquire whether the interpretation which they put on the law might not be erroneous. Men often assume their own interpretations of the Scriptures (or worldview) to be infallible, and then judge and condemn all others by those interpretations.
3. Adam Clarke- Works of necessity and mercy never could be forbidden on that day by him whose name is mercy, and whose nature is love; for the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; were it otherwise, the Sabbath would be rather a curse than a blessing.
4. Notice their methodology-

a. V. 16 Judging according to human traditions & human standards.
b. Vs. 15, 17 Insincere and repeated questions, trying to get agreement on their position.
c. Vs. 18, 19 Denying the facts about the blind man’s previous condition
d. Vs. 18, 19 Ignoring given answers; trying to get parents to agree with them.

B. The Man

1. Vs. 16, 17 In spite of their disapproval of Jesus, this man now called Him a prophet.

a. V.16b The divided opinions he heard were making more sense to him. His faith grew.
b. A Jewish maxim said that Prophets could break the Sabbath. They couldn’t allow this

III. The Fearful Vs. 20-22

Their minds of the religious leaders were already made up regarding Jesus.

A. Now they sought people to punish who disagreed with them.

Consider the outcome if the parents allowed themselves to be scared or manipulated

1. He was only partially blind.

a. If that were the case, then he was a fraud, and should not have been begging.
b. If he was a fraud, then he would be ostracized and hated by any that had helped him.

2. He is not our son.
This would have released the parents from a difficult situation, but broken apart a family.
3. If the parents gave in to the Pharisees, then they would have had a short term relief, but
would live with long term regret.
4. The Jews believed that blindness was a result of sin. The parents had lived with that for
years, saddened that their son was a beggar. If they save themselves, they add more
5. If they support Jesus, then they would be excommunicated from the local synagogue.
6. Even answering as they eventually did, they may have left their son feeling unsupported.

IV. Insincere Demanders & The Man Vs. 24-34

A. Insincere Demanders

1. V. 24 “We know we are right. Jesus is a sinner. Give God glory by agreeing with us.
2. V. 26 They repeated their questions and kept looking for the answers they wanted.
3. V. 28 You are His disciple- They meant this as an insult, but it wasn’t even accurate.

a. A disciple was a follower of a teacher.
b. The blind man had never met Jesus, but only spoke of Him as much as he knew.
c. Opponents of Jesus sometimes broad brush anyone that speaks well of Him.

4. V. 29 Compare this with John 7:27 The opponents of Jesus contradicted themselves.
5. V. 34 JFB- The allusion to his being “born in sins” seems a tacit admission of his being blind from birth—the very thing they had been so unwilling to own. But rage and enmity to truth are seldom consistent in their outbreaks.

B. The Man

1. V. 25 He refuses to be manipulated; he testifies to what he knows about Jesus.
2. V. 27 The man grows stronger in his convictions and even challenges them.
3. Vs. 30-33 The fallacies of their arguments grow to convince the man of the honor of Jesus

V. Jesus Vs. 35-41

A. Jesus & The Man

1. V. 35 Jesus heard of the excommunication and found the man, stirring up his faith

a. Adam Clarke- This was the same with, Dost thou believe on the Messiah? for these two characters
were inseparable; see John 1:34, 49; 10:36; Matthew 16:16; Mark 1:1.
b. Word Studies N.T.– The form of the question indicates a confident expectation of an affirmative
answer: “you surely believe; you who have borne such bold testimony to me that they cast you out”.
c. “Do you believe in the Son of God?”– Do you believe in the promises of God that he wants to save and heal? Are you ready to receive that One should you meet Him?

2. Vs. 36-38 The man expressed his readiness to believe; Jesus revealed Himself to this man.

a. The man had been touched by Jesus, heard the arguments pro and con, and believed.

B. Jesus’ Coming Results In Judgment

1. V. 39 Word Studies N.T. – Not the act of judgment, but its result. His very presence in the world
constitutes a separation, which is the primitive idea of judgment, between those who believe on Him and
those who reject Him. See on 3:17.
2. V. 40 We- emphatic. “You’re not saying WE are spiritually blind, are you”?
3. V. 41`Adam Clarke- If ye were blind—If ye had not had sufficient opportunities to have acquainted
yourselves with my Divine nature, by the unparalleled miracles which I have wrought before you? and the holy doctrine which I have preached, then your rejecting me could not be imputed to you as sin; but because ye say, we see—we are perfectly capable of judging between a true and false prophet, and can from the Scriptures point out the Messiah by his works—on this account you are guilty.