The Man Born Blind
John 9 (READ verses 1-3)
In this true story, we will see how that physical blindness is a type of spiritual blindness, and how that we are healed of our spiritual blindness that we all were born with.
We see in verses 1-3 that this manís blindness was not a direct result of any particular sin, like the disciples supposed. Generally speaking, all physical infirmities are caused by the curse of sin, but not necessarily because of any particular sin. We need to be careful how we judge people who have afflictions and infirmities! Their afflictions may be the result of some particular sin, but just as likely they are not. Often times we are like the disciples, and we assume that a personís sin caused their troubles and trials, and infirmities. This is not for us to judge.
We also need to understand that Jesus wasnít saying that this blind man was without sin. He was lost in his sins, just like any other man born into this world. He needed to be saved just like everyone else needs to be saved. That is why Jesus came to him.
This morning we want to see this manís blindness, and then we want to see his healing.
1. First, we want to see the blindness of the man that was born blind.
This blind man was blind in more ways than one. He was physically blind of course. He was also spiritually blind. He was spiritually blind to the providence and purpose of God. He was spiritually blind to saving faith in Jesus. He was spiritually blind to who Jesus really was.
1) First, he was physically blind from his birth, or from before his birth.
This man was physically blind from his birth. It is impossible for us to appreciate what it would be like to be born blind, and never see anything in Godís wonderful creation. He never saw the light of the sun, or the moon, or the stars. He didnít know what a tree or a flower, or a bird looked like. He never saw a mountain or a river. He never saw the sunset on the Sea of Galilee. He never gazed upon the fishing boats as they faded into the misty dusk. He didnít know what animals, or what people looked like. He never saw his mother or father. He never saw himself in a mirror.
The sad state of this blind man truly is like the spiritual state of all lost sinners, who are born spiritually blind. We cannot see the evil condition of the world because of the curse of sin, or the condition of our own souls because of our inherent depraved natures. We cannot see our plight of sin, or the judgment that we face beyond this life.
Nor can we see all the good things of the Lord. We canít see all the good and pleasant things of the Lord in this life. We canít see His beauty and magnificent splendor that He displays in creation. The heavenís declare the glory of God, but we are too blind to see God in them. We canít see His holiness, righteousness, and truthfulness declared in His Word. We canít see His mercy, love, and grace toward unworthy sinners.
Neither can we see the splendor of heaven, and all the beautiful, holy angels of God singing praises around His glorious throne. And we cannot see God, because we cannot look upon Him in our sins and live.
And so, we were all born spiritually blind to our sinful condition and to the glory of God.
2) Secondly, he was blind to the purpose and providence of God.
The blind man wasnít seeking Jesus that day, was he? He was there at the temple perhaps to beg, or maybe even in hopes of receiving a miracle from God. But in the context, he clearly wasnít aware of Jesusí presence, neither did he know who Jesus was when Jesus approached him. It would seem that he just happened to be in the right place, and that Jesus just happened to pass by at the right time.
Now, we know better than that, donít we? We know that Jesus was fulfilling the purpose and providence of God. But no natural man could have perceived Godís purpose in this event. When the Lord first began to deal with us and convict us, we didnít know it was the Lord who was coming to us at His appointed time to save us.
When we had our first encounter with Jesus, we didnít understand all the deep things of God and His providence, and His sovereign plan of salvation. We learned about all that later as we began to study His Word, and as we were taught in His church. But at the time, meeting up with Jesus might have seemed to be by mere chance.
Just like the blind man, we werenít looking for Jesus either. We didnít have spiritual eyes or spiritual understandings. We didnít set out to find Jesus in hopes that we might be saved. Like this blind man, we didnít know who Jesus was. And we certainly didnít know that He was seeking for us. Our depraved natures couldnít see Godís power and providence at work in our lives to save our miserable souls.
So then, like this blind man, we were all born into this world blind to the purpose and providence of God in the salvation of sinners.
Yet, clearly this entire event in John 9 was the work of Godís purpose and providence. (Notice verses 3-5). It was Godís plan from all eternity for Jesus to pass that way to seek and save that blind man. This blind man was in total darkness, but Jesus came to be his light of salvation. In like manner, it was Godís plan from all eternity to save each and every one of His elect in His appointed time and place. Salvation isnít by chance, but by Godís purpose, and in His providential time.
3) Thirdly, he was blind to faith in Jesus (verse 6-7).
We notice here that faith was not a condition of his healing. Unlike other cases where the Lord healed men, He didnít make faith a requirement for this blind manís healing. There was only one condition given in our text, and that was obedience. We need to bear in mind that this man didnít know who Jesus was at this time. Yet we see that he obeyed Jesus and washed in the pool of Siloam. As a result of his obedience the blind man received his sight. Notwithstanding, he was still blind to salvation through faith in Jesus.
The Lord certainly does heal lost people physically. In fact, all healing is from the Lord. But we hope that the result of physical healing will be for them to believe and be saved. What does it prophet if people gain the whole world, including their health, but lose their souls?
What about those that we pray for, for their physical healing? It is our hopes that through a miracle of physical healing that Jesus would grant a miracle of spiritual healing.
4) Fourthly, he was blind to who Jesus really was (verses 8-12).
This just goes to show how blind natural men are. Even after this man received such a great miracle, he still couldnít tell for sure who Jesus was. He knew it was a man named Jesus who healed him, yet he still didnít know that Jesus was the Son of God, and the Saviour of men.
He supposed that Jesus was a prophet (read verses 15-17). He no doubt had heard about the mighty works of the prophets Elijah, and Elisha, and other prophets, and he probably thought that Jesus was just another great prophet.
We see a little later that he wasnít sure whether or not Jesus was a sinner (verses 24-25). Once again, he showed that he really wasnít a believer at this time.
From this example we see that people can receive the miracles of God, and still not know who Jesus is. Beloved, we donít trust in outward signs, but in the person of Jesus and His work on the cross.
2. Secondly, we want to consider the healing of the blind man.
1) First we want to see his physical healing (verses 6-7).
What do you suppose that doctors today would say about this procedure of using spit and clay to heal blindness. No doubt they would say that Jesus was a witchdoctor.
But the fact is, Jesus can use a procedure that might otherwise cause blindness, to heal a man of his blindness! In very truth, the foolishness of God is wiser than men! Beloved, Godís thoughts are not manís thoughts, nor are His ways manís ways.
Some believe that the clay represented the body of Christ and the gospel, while washing in the pool of Siloam represented regeneration by the Holy Spirit. This is reasonable because the gospel of Jesus and the Holy Spirit are required to open menís spiritual eyes and to receive spiritual sight in salvation.
We want to observe two more things about this manís physical healing:
First, we see that he readily admitted that he was the man who was healed (verses 8-9). Those who receive healing from Jesus arenít ashamed of what they once were. He wasnít ashamed to admit that he was a poor, blind beggar. He also wasnít ashamed to admit that Jesus was the One who healed him. Likewise beloved, we who are saved shouldnít be ashamed to admit that we are only sinners who were saved by the wonderful grace of Jesus.
Secondly, we want to hear the blind manís case to uphold Jesus, and to justify his healing (vs.24-25). He was saying; ďI doubt that what you are saying about Jesus being a sinner is true, but one thing I do know, once I was blind, but now I can see.Ē What a grand argument, beloved! ďOnce I had no eyes to see the world, but now I have perfect 20/20 vision. And it is all because of this man Jesus. ďThis man you call a sinner, did for me what no other man on earth could do.Ē
Beloved, people can say what they will about our Jesus and about our faith, but they canít take the miracle of salvation out of our souls. ďSay what you will about my Jesus, in whom my soul trusteth, but you canít take Jesus out of my heart.Ē Say or do what they will to Godís children, but they canít take our salvation and our eternal life away from us.
Certainly Jesus must have been from God to perform this miracle. (verses 30-34).
ďGod heareth not sinners.Ē That is, God does not grant defiant sinners their requests. God will not answer the petitions of sinners who deliberately break His holy law. Anyone who knows the Word of God certainly knows this! Therefore, because God heard Jesus and gave sight to this blind man, then Jesus must not be a sinner like the Pharisees said. Instead, Jesus must be a true worshipper and a doer of Godís will, because God heard Him and healed the blind man. Beloved, this man was born blind, but he understood the Word of God better than his teachers.
To make this miracle even more pronounced, this was the first time known in the history of the world that a man gave sight to one who was born blind. That makes this a very unique and exclusive miracle to Jesus. And this blind man knew this historic fact. Itís amazing what blind people hear. When you teach and preach, never underestimate what people hear.
The blind man concluded that if Jesus was not of God then He could have done nothing; at least nothing of any good or real lasting value. Therefore, this man born blind, like a good attorney, deduced by Scriptural reasoning that Jesus must have been sent of God.
2) Secondly, we want to see his spiritual healing (verses 35-38).
Withal this man had been through that day, he still didnít know that Jesus was the Son of God, and the Redeemer of Israel.
We must assume by this manís knowledge of the Scriptures that he knew what Jesus meant by ďthe Son of GodĒ, and all that was implied by this title.
He knew what this meant, although He didnít yet know that Jesus was the very One. He no doubt heard that Messiah would come. He no doubt heard that Messiah would be the virgin born Son of God. He heard that He would come as a sacrificial Lamb to take away sins. He no doubt heard of Isaiahís Lamb, and the suffering Sacrifice of Psalm 22. But he had not yet believed that Jesus was that Messiah, the Son of God.
It is one thing to hear about Jesus, and all the great miracles that He did. It is one thing to hear about all that Jesus did on the cross for sinners. It is one thing to hear about His death, burial, and resurrection for sinners. But it is quite another thing to believe that Jesus did all that for your sins!
But now, upon hearing from the very lips of his healer, that Jesus is in truth the Son of God, he eagerly believed on Jesus, and embraced Him as His Lord and Saviour.
In conclusion, from this message we can see the natural blindness of all men. We are all born spiritually blind to our sinful condition, and to the ultimate truth of God. We are born blind to the purpose and providence of God. We canít see His work in our lives, and how that He leads His people to repentance by His goodness and grace. We are all blind to saving faith in Jesus, and to who Jesus really is. We perhaps have heard of Jesus, and of all His mighty works and miracles, and about what he did on the cross, yet we are blind to the truth that He is the Son of God, who came into the world to save His people from their sins.
Have you received spiritual sight morning? Have you heard the gospel, and has the Holy Spirit made the gospel real to you? Have you believed that Jesus is the Son of God, the one who was sent into the world to save His people from their sins, and give them the gift of eternal life? Do you believe that Jesus died for you, and that He was buried and rose again from the dead the third day? If you want spiritual healing this morning, you must believe in Jesus as your Saviour.
Believe in Jesus, and heíll heal you right this very moment!