Who Sinned This Man or His Parents? John 9 Part 3 Understanding the Spiritual Heart of Man!
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 3 in this Bible series on understanding the subjects of Night and Day and the spiritual heart of man and this will be different than anything that you have ever heard before. If you have not read from the beginning of this series I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“. Today’s lesson wa a revelation that God taught me almost 20 years ago, when I was working for a small software company. I had a co-worker that had graduated from a large seminary and he was a very confused individual. For someone who could quote a large part of the Bible, he understood practically none of it. He even studied the Hebrew and the Greek and still knew nothing of who God was or what He said in His Word. He was a prime example of a man with two good eyes that could read but who couldn’t see what the words meant. God and I tried to help him and teach him the truth, but he did not want to see it. It is funny how God does things, especially for people who trust in their own ability or their own wisdom. God will most of the time send some lowly nobody that does not fit the pattern that they esteem or hold as valuable. You can recognize this was the same problem that the Jewish leadership had when Jesus walked among them. Most of them looked down on Jesus as a nobody man from Nazareth and he certainly did not fit their inner circle of self appointed importance. So what did they do? They crucified their God and their creator. They did not recognize the one that gave them their Holy Book of the law. Even though this book contained so many verses that pointed them to Jesus, they did not see it. I hope you are not like any of them. Look for foolish things sometimes as a source for the greatest wisdom and you will more than likely see it is from God.
So today I am going to talk about spiritual blindness from a familiar story found in the Bible in John chapter 9. In this story Jesus is said to heal a physically blind man. My seminary co-worker told me that this chapter proves that God causes some people to be sick, so that Jesus could heal them. That was a very confused interpretation and from what God showed me a clear misunderstanding of what this chapter was about. People read and see what they want to see. The seminary graduate was looking for verses that proved God caused some people to be sick for His glorious purpose. It was very sad to see people treat God with such disrespect. According to him, God would do something so perverted and illegal in the eyes of our court system that if tried, He would have to be found guilty and thrown into jail as a child abuser. Let’s start reading this story starting with verse 2:
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
In this verse the disciples asked Jesus a difficult question. It is apparent that the disciples believed that sickness came as a result of someone’s sin so they asked Jesus as they passed by a blind man, who sinned? This man or his parents to cause him to be born blind? So here is the answer that Jesus gives to their question:
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Here is where you need to start to pay attention to what is said very closely, for Jesus does answer their question, but not the question that they had in their mind. Jesus told them “Neither this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”. You may recall that the Bible says in Roman 3:23 that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, so we know Jesus is not saying these people never sinned. You see Jesus answered the question that He heard in His mind and not the question that come from their minds. Do you understand the difference? If you do you are doing better than most. The answer was from God’s perspective on the situation. God’s perspective is always a spiritual perspective first and foremost. This is an extremely valuable lesson in correct Bible interpretation. God tells us in His Word, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways” (Isa 55:8). So Jesus, who was God in the flesh was not thinking naturally like they were. The disciples were seeing a naturally blind man and asking a question about what caused his physical blindness. But, Jesus was looking at the man’s heart and what caused his spiritual blindness. The disciples asked a natural question and Jesus gives a spiritual answer. My co-worker from the seminary never saw it either. Jesus told the disciples that his spiritual blindness was not caused by anyone’s sin and then starts talking about working the works of God. Verse 3 is where the seminary graduate said it proved that God made him blind so that Jesus could work and heal him. But, look at what else Jesus teaches us as he continues to answer their question. Notice Jesus did not stop talking, but says the following:
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Jesus starts by talking about working God’s work and we will look at that in a second. But, you see in this verse Jesus starts talking about the spiritual day and night. This is not the natural day and night that Jesus is talking about. If you start to realize that Jesus is speaking symbolically of the spiritual day and night then you will begin to understand the rest of this chapter. Again in this verse Jesus mentions the “work of God”. Automatically preachers and readers (as well as the disciples of Jesus) think naturally and see the work of God as being a physical healing. But, let’s continue to the next verse and the final statement in the answer to the question of who sinned?
Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
This statement is an incredibly informative verse that is a combination of natural and spiritual things. You see Jesus was in the natural physical world. God made manifest in the flesh. But, then he says “I am the light of the world”. Did Jesus tell the disciples that he was our Sun that lights our natural day? Or did Jesus continue to show them a spiritual truth. I believe Jesus was speaking that He was the spiritual Sun light of the world. This is exactly why the Bible is so tricky to correctly interpret. We have a verse that combines natural things and spiritual things and we are given the assignment to figure it out. This is an example of rightly dividing God’s Word. Thank God, He helps us.
If you continue reading in the next few verses in the chapter you see that Jesus spits and makes mud from the ground and then rubs it in the blind man’s eyes. Jesus tells the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam and the man did and it says that the man came back seeing. So was that all of the story? Is that where the story ended? Of course it is not and that is the problem with trying to take one Bible verse and trying to say God made him blind so that Jesus could heal him. People need to do a much better job of studying and seeing what the Bible says. According to a lot of preachers I heard this is where the story should end. They were focused in on Jesus healing the natural man’s blindness and did not see the rest of the story. What if Jesus healed the man physically and 35 years later the man dies and goes to hell? Would Jesus have been pleased with giving this man sight for 35 years and him still going to hell for an eternity. No you see Jesus was focused in on people’s spiritual blindness. Jesus cared more about the man’s spiritual eyesight than He did about healing the man’s physical blindness.
So what was the work of God that Jesus was interested in doing? Was it healing the people’s physical bodies or was that just an introduction to help them to see who they were dealing with. Jesus gives us a definition for the work of God in this same book of the Bible. So instead of making a wrong assumption by thinking we know what the work of God was that Jesus was here to accomplish, let’s go find out what God said about why He was here. If you can find it, this will be an absolutely critical piece of the puzzle. In order to correctly interpret the Bible you must get God’s definitions for every subject. Let’s go and find that definition and see what Jesus said was the work of God that He came to do:
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
You see the disciples ask Jesus another question and this time they want to know how to work the works that Jesus was here to do. Jesus is about to give us the definition for the work of God in his answer and it is not the answer that most are expecting to hear:
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Here is God’s definition for work and it is not healing people physically. Jesus tells his disciples that the work of God that He was here to do was to get people to believe in the one that God had sent. This of course was Jesus speaking of Himself. Learning this truth alone changes your perspective on the entire story of the blind man in John 9. Once you see that Jesus only heals the man physically to get him to see spiritually you can begin to see the true meaning of the chapter. Now we know what to look for. We also can begin to understand how Jesus did what he did and why. Jesus said that the Work of God was to get men to believe in the One that God sent. So why didn’t Jesus just open the eyes of the blind man and ask him if he believed? You see the man would not have had any opportunity to believe anything. Jesus spit and made mud and rubbed it into his eyes to get his attention. When Jesus told the man to go and wash. The man had an opportunity to say “what are you crazy, I’m not going to waste my time”. The man obviously believed something by traveling to the pool of Siloam. The pool was not that close and the walk to the pool would present many opportunities for the man to question what he was doing. If he would have doubted and not gone to the pool he would have never been healed. The blind man had exhibited some level of faith by just obeying Jesus’ instructions. That is believing in something that you haven’t seen yet.
Let’s quickly review spiritual blindness. We know from the New Testament that Satan is the source for spiritual blindness.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
You see in this verse God tells us that Satan who is called the god of this world has blinded the minds of everyone that refuses to believe on Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus is again called a light in this verse that will shine into the hearts of men who let him in. But, we can see that is why Jesus could answer in John 9 that neither this man sinned or his parents to cause the man’s spiritual blindness. It was Satan that caused the man not to see spiritually. Jesus was answering their natural question with a spiritual answer.
So what happens in this story of the man that was born blind? How does it end? The blind man goes and washes in the pool and comes back seeing. Everyone is amazed and there arises a great debate of the religious minds and leaders of the day. They question the man repeatedly and bring in his parents and question them. They have tremendous curiosity of what happened and they are focused in on the fact that Jesus did all of this on the Sabbath. They call Jesus a sinner for working on the Sabbath and not keeping God’s law. If they only could see who they were talking about. Well the conversation and questions continue for many verses and they eventually end up with them casting the formerly blind man out of their church. I guess it was technically a synagogue, but I just wanted to get your attention. What did Jesus do immediately after all of this? You notice Jesus did not show up to defend the blind man or to testify to the religious zealots. Jesus in effect knew they were not reachable and he did nothing to defend himself either. Jesus finds the formerly blind man and asks him this question:
Joh 9:35 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?
Did you see what Jesus was interested in? Jesus didn’t ask him about how do you like seeing the world. No, Jesus said “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Jesus is dealing with his spiritual blindness and solving the problem of the man’s eternal destiny. We can finally see the real work of God being performed. Jesus was interested in getting the man to believe that He was sent from God. The man immediately asks who is this Son of God that I might believe and Jesus tells him it is the one that you are looking at right now and talking with. So the man says “Yes Lord I believe” and worships him. This was a man whose spiritual eyes were opened to know the One True Living God of Creation. His eternal destiny is established and I plan on seeing him in heaven some day.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were spiritually blind, but Jesus couldn’t help them to see. Real seeing is an act of the human spirit. Believing in someone that you have only heard about and have never seen. This is God talking to you right now. Do you believe? I’m not God, but He is using me right now to say something to you. Believe in Him!
Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Choose to be a believer!
Posted on February 20, 2010, in Bible Basics, Bible Study, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Jesus, man, Religion, Revelation, Satan, Sun, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.