"Sight For The Blind" - John 9 Sermon

Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, April 16, 2023 with No comments


Author and Title

The title says that the Gospel was written by John, and other evidence identifies this John as the son of Zebedee. The external evidence from the church fathers supports this identification (e.g., Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.1.2).


The theme of John’s Gospel is that Jesus is the promised Messiah and Son of God. By believing in Jesus, people can have eternal life (cf. 20:30–31).


John 9:1-23

English Standard Version 9 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”


We see here that Jesus passes by a man blind from birth. Jesus spits on the ground and makes mud from his saliva. He places this on the man’s eyes, tells him to wash in the pool of Siloam, and then the blind man is able to see. He was then taken to the Pharisees, and interrogated.  They are upset that Jesus healed on a Sabbath day. However, half the Pharisees were divided, because some of them said there was no way a miracle like this could take place unless it was from God. After questioning the man who was healed, the Pharisees question his parents. They deflect and tell the man to speak for himself, because they are afraid of being kicked out of the synagogue. 


8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, aI am.”

59 So bthey picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

I’m not sure we can fully understand the magnitude of this miracle sometimes. This is an astonishing feat. Healing a man born blind? That means that Jesus didn’t repair any eye tissue that was already there. No, Jesus made retinas, lenses, eyelashes, eyelids, all on the spot. The Origin of Species, we read: To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”1

Wow. You even see Darwin here saying that the human eye is too complex to have evolved; it had to be created.  So Jesus created eyes for this man, a miracle that only God in the flesh can do. And why did he spit on the ground and make mud? Jesus can easily heal people just with a word, right? Well, the commentators I read as I prepared for this think that Jesus wanted to point people back to Genesis. Genesis 2:7 English Standard Version 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.  We see that God formed man from the dust of the ground. Very similar to what Jesus does with this man’s eyes, right? Jesus is trying to show people that he is co-creator of the world with God the Father: Colossians 1:15-20

English Standard Version 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

So Christ created everything we see. Could it be that it was Jesus, walking in the Garden in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve? Could it be that it was Jesus himself who formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life? 


John 20:22

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Christ had the power to deliver the Spirit of God to the disciples. He literally breathed the Breath of Life into his followers after his resurrection.  So it’s not a stretch to believe that Jesus created Adam and Eve, and was walking with them in the Garden, because Colossians tells us he made everything we see, and John 1 echoes the same. But why the pool of Siloam? Again, why didn’t Jesus just say the words, and the guy could be healed? I believe that Christ used that washing to illustrate baptism. 


We see at the beginning of creation we have the Word, the Spirit, and the Father.  The Spirit of God is hovering over the waters to create life through the Living Word, who is seated at God’s right hand. We see that Naaman the leper was healed of leprosy after he washed in the Jordan river seven times. We see when Jesus arose from his own baptism, the Spirit descended over the waters of the Jordan in the form of a dove, and the Father spoke in an audible voice to confirm Christ’s identity as the Only Begotten Son of God.  I believe that Christ was showing us the healing and creative power of water when it is combined with his Word.  In baptism, there is the death of the old Adam, and the rising of the last Adam in us:

Another text about baptism illustrates this rising and dying. Romans 6:4 - We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Colossians 2:12 - having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
1 Peter 3:21 - Baptism, which corresponds to this (the flood), now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, So surely, Christ can breathe new life into our situations, if he can resurrect us in baptism, and breathe the Spirit of God onto His disciples.  Surely, Christ can remake, reshape and renew our souls. He can heal damaged relationships, strained marriages, and a host of other circumstances.  Regardless of the reasons for our suffering, Jesus has the power to help us deal with it. When we suffer from a disease, tragedy, or disability, we should not ask, Why did this happen to me? or What did I do wrong? Instead, we should ask God to give us strength for the trial and a clearer perspective on what is happening.  GOD MAY USE OUR SUFFERING How can God be at work in a desperate situation? There may be times when we have done everything possible to solve a problem. After we have explored the options, exhausted our resources, probed our motives, asked for advice, and done what was suggested, we may have found that nothing seems to have changed. We may have persisted in prayer and asked others to pray for us, and yet perceive no answer. The truth is, the solution, resolution, or answer may not ever come in this life. But it is also true that regardless of our difficulty and whether or not our burden is removed, God is still at work. • God may use our experience to help advise and encourage others who pass through the same trials. • God may use our suffering to break through the hardness of another person and bring about change in them. • God may use our unresolved need to motivate others to keep searching for a solution from which others will benefit. • God may use our endurance in suffering rather than the suffering itself to be an encouraging example to other believers.

Bruce B. Barton, John, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993), 193.

Bruce B. Barton, John, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993), 192.

For He is God. Unfortunately, everyone in Jesus’ day didn’t see him as God. Let’s see what else the Pharisees had to say. 


John 9:24-34

English Standard Version

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.


·         Man wasn’t concerned with Jesus’ sin—he was just healed

·         How can he not be from God doing the miracles he does?

·         Never happened since the world began.


This regular guy got it, this layperson got it, when the Pharisees did not. He understood who Jesus was, and where he came from. This gentleman was undaunted by the hypocrisy and arrogance of some of the Pharisees….there were good ones like Paul and Nicodemus around. But these particular Pharisees couldn’t see past their noses to look at the beauty of what happened. They were so fixated on the rules, and following them to the letter, that they missed the move of God. 


Let’s not miss what God is doing because of the packaging!!  Just three years ago, I never would’ve imagined that I’d be Lutheran, preaching at a Lutheran church. But now that I’m here, I can’t understand how I got along for so long without knowing folks like yourselves. What I love so much about the AALC is that it is so Jesus-centered.  And of course, you are too, being “Christ” Lutheran and all. You know what? We may be a small church in a rural town, but we belong to Christ, and he belongs to us. God is with us, and we believe in the Son of Man. Let’s see what happens to this man who gets kicked out of the synagogue after confessing that Jesus is from God. 


John 9:35-41

English Standard Version

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.


  • Jesus found out the man was de-synagogued and asked him if he believed

  • The man worshipped Jesus

  • Jesus said he came to this world for judgment–to make the blind see, and the seeing blind. 

  • Pharisees asked if they were blind; Jesus said YUP.


This formerly blind gentleman was finally kicked out of the synagogue, although we don’t know for how long. Now, before we go further, let’s look at the attitudes of the two parties involved: 

A COLLECTION OF ATTITUDES Contrast the attitude of the Pharisees with the newfound attitude of the blind man. Spiritual Blindness Condemnation Pride Hopelessness No concern for others Insensitivity to sin Anger

Blind Man: Spiritual Insight Humility Compassion for others Forgiveness Hope Desire to repent and change Love

20/20 VISION The longer this man experienced his new life through Christ, the more confident he became in the one who had healed him. He gained not only physical sight but also spiritual sight as he recognized Jesus first as a prophet (9:17), then as his Lord. When you turn to Christ, you begin to see him differently. The longer you walk with him, the better you will understand who he is. Peter tells us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 niv). If you want to know more about Jesus, keep walking with him.

Bruce B. Barton, John, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993), 202.

Bruce B. Barton, John, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993), 201.

 He may have gotten kicked out of the synagogue, but this former blind man experienced true worship. He became a worshiper in Spirit and Truth, like Jesus predicted in John 3.  Jesus was saying listen, I am here. In fact, right before this encounter with the blind man, in chapter 8, Jesus was in the temple with the Jews, and he made his famous I AM statement…before Abraham was, I AM.  Basically, Jesus said it was Him that Moses was talking to in the burning bush in Genesis. Jesus is saying there is no need to go to a particular location to worship God. God can be worshiped anywhere, because He is worshiped by true worshipers in Spirit and in Truth. True worshipers must be people of the truth, that is the Word of God, and people of the Spirit, people whom the Spirit of God works in and through to accomplish God’s purposes on the earth. The Pharisees were blind because they were so focused on truth, they resisted the Holy Spirit, who was working through Jesus to show them that Jesus was the Messiah. Truth with no Spirit leads to dead and dry religion. The Spirit with no truth leads to fanaticism and experiences that don’t point to Christ. I am a former Pentecostal. So I believe in experiencing God. But any experience I have of God should flow to and flow from Jesus Christ. 


The entire point of Jesus healing this blind man was to point people back to Himself. Ultimately, the blind man placed his faith in Christ and believed and worshiped Him.  People have been talking about the revival that recently took place at Asbury Theological Seminary. I think it’s great, as long as people are converted to Christ and lasting change takes place in their lives. But only time will tell if something like that truly happened. I will simply quote the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5: Gamaliel: Acts 5:38-39 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God! 

     You judge a revival by its fruits. You judge a Christian conference by its fruits.  You judge a non-profit ministry or a church, or a Christian leader by their fruits. 


The fruits that I am talking about are the fruits of the Spirit. It’s not about how much they know, but how do they relate to other people? How do they relate to God? When everyone in the world seems to have blinders on, the Spirit of God can give sight to our blind spots. We all have places in our souls and in our actions in which we gloss over, ignore, or avoid confronting, because they are painful. Maybe the pain is caused by things people have done to us. Maybe this pain is guilt that we feel over things that we have done. But Christ gives sight. He shines a light into those dark places within us, not to condemn us, but to heal us. There are memories we have that keep surfacing because Jesus wants to deal with it. He wants to get the junk out of our systems, if we’ll let him. I leave you with this poem by Horatius Bonar

Light of the world, for ever, ever shining, There is no change in thee. True light of life, all joy and health enshrining, Thou canst not fade nor flee. Light of the world, undimming and unsetting, O shine each mist away! Banish the fear, the falsehood and the fretting; Be our unchanging day. Horatius Bonar