This event occurred on a Sabbath (v. 14) while Jesus was still in Jerusalem, probably shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles (7:2, 10), less than six months before his crucifixion. The apostle John describes an indisputable miracle Jesus did, healing a man who was born blind. Remember that John recorded select miracles proving that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, the Christ and King of Israel promised in the OT (20:30-31). This miracle—giving sight to the blind—was right in line with the promised Christ’s work (cf. Isa 35:5; 42:7).
John contrasts the Pharisees’ spiritual blindness with the healed blind man’s spiritual sight in verses 10-41. Note how the healed blind man’s understanding of who Jesus was grew: first he understood Jesus as simply “a man” (v. 11), then “a prophet” (v. 17), then one “from God,” (v. 33), and finally as the Son of God (vv. 35-38). In contrast were the Pharisees, who firmly believed Jesus was not from God (v. 16), not the Christ (v. 22), a sinner (v. 24), and not from heaven (v. 30).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Jesus’ power to heal was because he was God in the flesh, not because mud and water somehow had healing properties. The man born blind did not attribute his healing to the mud and water but to Jesus (v. 30, “He has opened my eyes”). His sight was immediately, not gradually restored. Jesus is God, the promised Christ!
- As your understanding grows about who Jesus so will your faith. The more you learn about Jesus, the greater your faith will be.
- Jesus came to save sinners, giving spiritual sight to the spiritually blind (vv. 39-41). Eternal life must be received by faith, so if one does not believe, then he remains lost in sin and judged by Christ.