So tonight we’re gonna be talking about suffering and the symbolism of the gospel in this story with the blind man.
So from the get-go, we have a serious problem that the disciples have just set up a “false dichotomy” about the reason for this man to be blind. It wasn’t because he or his parents sinned. Many 1st century Jews believed, like Job’s friends, that every temporal misfortune was God’s punishment for some sin. According to this view either the parents sinned or the child sinned in the womb. But Jesus offers the 3rd option and dismisses their claim.
Let’s talk about suffering for a minute. So Jesus is about to state that their claim is incorrect. Let\’s make sure we understand a bit on why it\’s wrong.
So, let\’s go over the basics a bit.
Have y’all ever felt that you were suffering because God was punishing you? What made you think that way?
Was that an accurate view of God? If not, what made you change your mind?
If God, why suffering?
Is our suffering punishment for our sin? God is a God of grace and does whatever He pleases. So no. But generally suffering is caused by Sin. Moreover, Jesus was perfect and suffered so clearly not all suffering is going to be a result of our sin/a 1:1 ratio.
Ok. Now let\’s understand the real reason for suffering.
So what\’s the point of our suffering?
The Christian’s sufferings, like the blind man and Job, are for God’s glory through our refinement/sanctification. Tho God’s purpose is not always presently known to us, but we have God’s assurance that His purpose is good because He is good and all He does is good. And because God brings good through our suffering it gives meaning to our suffering and that meaning helps us to endure suffering and the trials of life.
what do y’all think this verse means? Because I had to talk to my grandma to figure this one out a bit.
Jesus and His disciple must do the work of God, preach the good news, while Jesus is still alive/before His crucifixion, for that the meaning of “day” since Jesus is light of the world. And “night” is when the “light” is taken away/when Jesus is dead when the disciples will be scattered.
Ok so here’s where our gospel symbolism starts to come in.
Quick question: Does anyone\’s translation use the word “clay” instead of “mud”? if yes: teach a bit on creator/creation and how the cross re-creates/gives new life.
So Jesus used mud to give this man sight when He could’ve just spoken to him or touched him.
Would anyone like to take a guess at why Jesus might have used mud?
Jesus used the cross, that is something worldly/gross/undesirable, to redeem/save us from God’s wrath because of our sin AND having been saved from God’s wrath we can see God clearly now/no longer distorted by Sin.
In much the same way Jesus gave this man sight: He used worldly/literally of the earth/gross/undesirable to give to this man what he couldn’t do/earn on His own.
No matter how hard he may have tried/wanted he couldn’t have regained his sight. So Jesus acted upon him and gave him his sight. He couldn’t cure his own blindness anymore than the sinner can cure their sin.
Jesus was then, and is now, the only way to be washed/forgiven of our sin.
(Nothing gives man life and sight to us like the dying savior.)
Prior to Jesus, we are poor, needy, blind beggars. But now, by God’s grace, we’re just needy beggars to clinging to the Savior.
Washing not only expresses the man’s faith and completes his physical healing but it also symbolizes spiritual cleansing.
“Sent” John explains the meaning of the pool’s name to help readers who do not know Hebrew to see the connection between this water and Jesus, IE the one sent by God the Father.
As the story develops, the healed man moves forward in the path of faith. Here, he does not know who Jesus is, later he asserts that Jesus is a prophet (v. 17). Later still he raises doubts about the accusation that Jesus is a sinner (v. 25) and finally, after meeting Jesus again he acknowledges that Jesus is the son go God and worships him. These steps of faith illustrate what the author of the gospel wants his reader to do as well.
Instead of being grateful for this supernatural work of God’s grace, the Pharisees begin to haggle about the observance of the Sabbath. Their concern is specifically about their traditional interpretation of what the 4th commandment requires. Not one of the actions involved (spitting, making mud, healing). is forbidden by the law. Rather than question their own understanding of the law, they reject Jesus and His ministry. Obstinate unbelief has blinded them spiritually despite their clear physical eyesight (v. 39).
An inquiry with the blind man’s parents establishes the reality of his blindness and the cure.
The parents were controlled by fear of the Jews/of man. How joyous they must have been to see their own son see but how quickly our joy in God and His work can be snuffed out by fear of others/concerns of this world.
A second investigation with the healed man brings no new facts to light, but the investigators\’ position is hardened. The Pharisees call Jesus a “sinner” (v 24) whose origin is unknown (v29) and they excommunicate the man whose replies only irritate them (v27). The man’s replies are to the point: the man born blind has been healed, and “God doesn’t hear sinners”, His interrogators claim to be ignorant of where Jesus has come from though they have denied that he has come from God.
the man is correct-there is no previous record in the biblical history of the granting of sight to one born blind.
In this 2nd encounter with Jesus, the healed man’s faith moves from general confidence in Jesus godly mission to a joyful acceptance of Him as Messiah worthy to be worshipped.
Here Jesus brings to light the impact of His coming: those who falsely imagine they have special insight into the things of God become blind opponents of God’s ways, and those who seem less informed are able to see when the HS of God opens their eyes and leads them to faith. When ppl are spiritually blind though physically sighted, the truth that their eyes take in is not perceived by their hearts.
So how do we keep our “spiritual sight” and not grow blind to God?
We keep a living faith, devoted to God in love for Him.