Christ give sight to one born blind. (Verse 1-7.)
The account given by the blind man. (Verse 8-12.)
The Pharisees question the man that had been blind. (Verse 13-17.)
They ask concerning him. (Verse 18-23.)
They cast him out. (Verse 24-34.)
Christ’s words to the man that had been blind. (Verse 35-38.)
He reproves the Pharisees. (Verse 39-41.)
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
if the man was “born blind,” obviously he could not have sinned in the womb as the disciples suggested in their question. One of the false doctrines that existed in Jesus’ day is still with us today – reincarnation! The whole concept that you existed in a former life and are paying for the sins or enjoying the blessings of a former existence in this life is entirely against the Bible. Hebrews 9:27 clearly states, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
another one of the other false doctrines prevalent in Jesus’ day and still found in our day is the idea that sickness is always the result of sin. Many of the faith-healing groups falsely teach that illnesses are always a result of sin – the same error that Job’s friends made back in the book of Job. Jesus makes it very clear that this man’s blindness was not caused by anyone’s sin.
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
[Prov 4:18, Matt 5:14, John 8:12, John 12:36, Phil 2:15]
6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
the pool of Siloam was a pool of water in southeastern Jerusalem.
8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
it was the sabbath day when Jesus healed the blind man; compare John 5:1-16 and 7:22-23 for a similar reaction
15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
[Matt 12:10, Luke 13:14, Luke 14:3]
“This man is not of God because he keepeth not the sabbath day.” One of the 10 commandments was indeed to honour the sabbath day and keep it holy. However, the Jews had gone beyond the simple teaching of scripture and erected their own definitions of what this commandment meant. According to their traditions and private interpretations Jesus was a sabbath-breaking “sinner” – however, in light of the Bible alone no disobedience had occurred. This same situation exists today where many denominations have promoted their own teachings and doctrines as if they were “Bible truth.” A simple look at the Bible however shows that such manmade doctrines are just that – man-made and not God-made!
In Acts 17:10-11 we read, “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” What marked these folks at Berea was their desire to find and obey the truth of God’s word. They did not even take what the Apostle Paul said for granted, but even checked his words out against their Bible (the Old Testament at that time). The student would do well to always check out everything he learns, at his or her own church, against the infallible words of God. This is the only way to obey Christ’s command, “take heed that no man deceive you.”
17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
[Matt 21:11, Luke 7:16, John 6:14, John 7:40]
18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
“synagogue” – the synagogue was much like the local church. The Jews had one large temple in Jerusalem to which they went to offer their animal sacrifices, etc. Every city however had one or more synagogues of between ten and thirty families where the local populace went on the sabbath to worship. To be “put out of the synagogue” was the ultimate humiliation.
23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.
29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
this blind man has just been healed and become a believer (vs. 38) and exhibits a very bold testimony. After conversion all Christians should immediately begin witnessing for Jesus Christ.
31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.
[world = age]
33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
“dost thou teach us?” – education worshippers accept no truth unless they think of it first and it agrees with their “expert” opinion.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
notice how Jesus is speaking of spiritual sight and spiritual blindness as he never made seeing people physically blind. The first step a man must take in order to be saved is to admit his need – admit that he is a sinner in need of a Saviour – or in other words, admit that he is spiritually blind and needs “sight.” These Jewish leaders refused to admit that they had a need (vs. 41).
40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Of course Jesus was speaking of physical healing of the blind so that they could see physically so that they as a nation could be healed and become a nation of priests to the world during the kingdom.
He also spoke of making the ones who said they could see (those who claimed they had spiritual understanding) to be blinded spiritually.
Commentary by Matthew Henry 1710.
Verse 1-7 – Christ cured many who were blind by disease or accident; here he cured one born blind. Thus he showed his power to help in the most desperate cases, and the work of his grace upon the souls of sinners, which gives sight to those blind by nature. This poor man could not see Christ, but Christ saw him. And if we know or apprehend anything of Christ, it is because we were first known of him. Christ says of uncommon calamities, that they are not always to be looked on as special punishments of sin; sometimes they are for the glory of God, and to manifest his works. Our life is our day, in which it concerns us to do the work of the day. We must be busy, and not waste day-time; it will be time to rest when our day is done, for it is but a day. The approach of death should quicken us to improve all our opportunities of doing and getting good. What good we have an opportunity to do, we should do quickly. And he that will never do a good work till there is nothing to be objected against, will leave many a good work for ever undone, Ecclesiastes 11:4. Christ magnified his power, in making a blind man to see, doing that which one would think more likely to make a seeing man blind. Human reason cannot judge of the Lord’s methods; he uses means and instruments that men despise. Those that would be healed by Christ must be ruled by him. He came back from the pool wondering and wondered at; he came seeing. This represents the benefits in attending on ordinances of Christ’s appointment; souls go weak, and come away strengthened; go doubting, and come away satisfied; go mourning, and come away rejoicing; go blind, and come away seeing.
Verse 8-12 – Those whose eyes are opened, and whose hearts are cleansed by grace, being known to be the same person, but widely different in character, live as monuments to the Redeemer’s glory, and recommend his grace to all who desire the same precious salvation. It is good to observe the way and method of God’s works, and they will appear the more wonderful. Apply this spiritually. In the work of grace wrought upon the soul we see the change, but we see not the hand that makes it: the way of the Spirit is like that of the wind, which thou hearest the sound of, but canst not tell whence it comes, nor whither it goes.
Verse 13-17 – Christ not only worked miracles on the sabbath, but in such a manner as would give offence to the Jews, for he would not seem to yield to the scribes and Pharisees. Their zeal for mere rites consumed the substantial matters of religion; therefore Christ would not give place to them. Also, works of necessity and mercy are allowed, and the sabbath rest is to be kept, in order to the sabbath work. How many blind eyes have been opened by the preaching of the gospel on the Lord’s day! how many impotent souls cured on that day! Much unrighteous and uncharitable judging comes from men’s adding their own fancies to God’s appointments. How perfect in wisdom and holiness was our Redeemer, when his enemies could find nothing against him, but the oft-refuted charge of breaking the sabbath! May we be enabled, by well-doing, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Verse 18-23 – The Pharisees vainly hoped to disprove this notable miracle. They expected a Messiah, but could not bear to think that this Jesus should be he, because his precepts were all contrary to their traditions, and because they expected a Messiah in outward pomp and splendour. The fear of man brings a snare, Proverbs 29:25,. and often makes people deny and disown Christ and his truths and ways, and act against their consciences. The unlearned and poor, who are simple-hearted, readily draw proper inferences from the evidences of the light of the gospel; but those whose desires are another way, though ever learning, never come to the knowledge of the truth.
Verse 24-34 – As Christ’s mercies are most valued by those who have felt the want of them, that have been blind, and now see; so the most powerful and lasting affections to Christ, arise from actual knowledge of him. In the work of grace in the soul, though we cannot tell when, and how, and by what steps the blessed change was wrought, yet we may take the comfort, if we can say, through grace, Whereas I was blind, now I see. I did live a worldly, sensual life, but, thanks be to God, it is now otherwise with me, Ephesians 5:8. The unbelief of those who enjoy the means of knowledge and conviction, is indeed marvellous. All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject him. He argues strongly against them, not only that Jesus was not a sinner, but that he was of God. We may each of us know by this, whether we are of God or not. What do we? What do we for God? What do we for our souls? What do we more than others?
Verse 35-38 – Christ owns those who own him and his truth and ways. There is particular notice taken of such a suffer in the cause of Christ, and for the testimony of a good conscience. Our Lord Jesus graciously reveals himself to the man. Now he was made sensible what an unspeakable mercy it was, to be cured of his blindness, that he might see the Son of God. None but God is to be worshipped; so that in worshipping Jesus, he owned him to be God. All who believe in him, will worship him.
Verse 39-41 – Christ came into the world to give sight to those who were spiritually blind. Also, that those who see might be made blind; that those who have a high conceit of their own wisdom, might be sealed up in ignorance. The preaching of the cross was thought to be folly by such as by carnal wisdom knew not God. Nothing fortifies men’s corrupt hearts against the convictions of the word, more than the high opinion which others have of them; as if all that gained applause with men, must obtain acceptance with God. Christ silenced them. But the sin of the self-conceited and self-confident remains; they reject the gospel of grace, therefore the guilt of their sin remains unpardoned, and the power of their sin remains unbroken.