God’s Renewing Word of Hope
John 9:13-41: Today’s reading begins by introducing the controversy over violation of the Sabbath law. The Pharisees and the Jewish authorities question both the healed man and his parents, and they expel the healed man from the synagogue. According to verse 22, the Jewish authorities threatened to expel anyone who became a follower of Jesus. The chapter concludes with Jesus confronting the Pharisees about their own spiritual blindness.
The Pharisees Investigate the Healing
13Then they took to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14The day that Jesus made the mud and cured him of his blindness was a Sabbath. 15The Pharisees, then, asked the man again how he had received his sight. He told them, “He put some mud on my eyes; I washed my face, and now I can see.”
16Some of the Pharisees said, “The man who did this cannot be from God, for he does not obey the Sabbath law.”
Others, however, said, “How could a man who is a sinner perform such miracles as these?” And there was a division among them.
17So the Pharisees asked the man once more, “You say he cured you of your blindness—well, what do you say about him?”
“He is a prophet,” the man answered.
18The Jewish authorities, however, were not willing to believe that he had been blind and could now see, until they called his parents 19and asked them, “Is this your son? You say that he was born blind; how is it, then, that he can now see?”
20His parents answered, “We know that he is our son, and we know that he was born blind. 21But we do not know how it is that he is now able to see, nor do we know who cured him of his blindness. Ask him; he is old enough, and he can answer for himself!” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, who had already agreed that anyone who said he believed that Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23That is why his parents said, “He is old enough; ask him!”
24A second time they called back the man who had been born blind, and said to him, “Promise before God that you will tell the truth! We know that this man who cured you is a sinner.”
25“I do not know if he is a sinner or not,” the man replied. “One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.”
26“What did he do to you?” they asked. “How did he cure you of your blindness?”
27“I have already told you,” he answered, “and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Maybe you, too, would like to be his disciples?”
28They insulted him and said, “You are that fellow’s disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. 29We know that God spoke to Moses; as for that fellow, however, we do not even know where he comes from!”
30The man answered, “What a strange thing that is! You do not know where he comes from, but he cured me of my blindness! 31We know that God does not listen to sinners; he does listen to people who respect him and do what he wants them to do. 32Since the beginning of the world nobody has ever heard of anyone giving sight to a person born blind. 33Unless this man came from God, he would not be able to do a thing.”
34They answered, “You were born and brought up in sin—and you are trying to teach us?” And they expelled him from the synagogue.
35When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36The man answered, “Tell me who he is, sir, so that I can believe in him!”
37Jesus said to him, “You have already seen him, and he is the one who is talking with you now.”
38“I believe, Lord!” the man said, and knelt down before Jesus.
39Jesus said, “I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind.”
40Some Pharisees who were there with him heard him say this and asked him, “Surely you don’t mean that we are blind, too?”
41Jesus answered, “If you were blind, then you would not be guilty; but since you claim that you can see, this means that you are still guilty.”
Today’s Key Verse: John 9:39
Jesus said, “I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind.”
How does the healed man describe Jesus (verse 17)? How does he respond to the Jewish authorities after they insult him (verses 30-33)? What does he confess to Jesus (verse 38)?
You may be familiar with the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” which is based on the healed man’s statement in verse 25. What is your understanding of Jesus’s statement in verse 39? In verses 40 and 41, how does Jesus respond to the Pharisees? What does he say to them about their “blindness?”
Dear Jesus, truly you offer me amazing grace by revealing God’s love to me and offering me forgiveness of my sins, salvation, and eternal life. Help me to see you more clearly each day and lovingly serve you. Amen.
John 11:1-27: Jesus receives word that his friend Lazarus is ill.