Jesus gives true sight to the blind.
Series: The Gospel of John
This week Pastor Matt dives into the BIG IDEA: Jesus gives true sight to the blind. How does he do that? 1. By a work of God 2. In a way that makes us different. 3. To blind those who see.
Citylight Manayunk | April 10, 2022 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.
– ESV Study Bible (notes on the Gospel of John by Andreas Kostenberger)
– Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament – The Gospel According to John -Andreas Kostenburger
– The Gospel According to John (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by D.A. Carson, page 311-312
-Expository Thought on John by J.C. Ryle
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What is the greatest gift that you’ve ever received? Perhaps the greatest material gift that Andrea and I have ever received was our honeymoon. Some dear family friends who are tremendously generous sent us on a beautiful, all expense paid honeymoon. To this day I still consider it by far the best trip I’ve ever been on and it was all a gift. We contributed nothing. What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received? In our passage this morning, the Lord Jesus Christ provides one of the greatest gifts imaginable. The Lord Jesus Christ grants sight to a man born blind. And as amazing as the gift is, at the end of the chapter we learn that when Jesus gave sight the man born blind, it was a sign that pointed to the purpose for which Jesus came into the world: to give true, spiritual, eternal sight to the blind. John 9:39-41 – Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.
Tony Evans beautifully captures the gift that the Lord Jesus came into the world to give us: Jesus articulates his purpose for coming into this world: so that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind. But he wasn’t primarily talking about physical blindness. He used the man’s physical blindness to teach a spiritual truth. Jesus had come into the world to give spiritual sight to those who desperately acknowledge their spiritual blindness. But to those who claimed to be spiritual know-it-alls, Jesus promised the judgment of becoming even more spiritually blind. Humility brings sight; pride leads to darkness. That brings us to the big idea of our passage: Jesus gives true sight to the blind. How does he do that? How does Jesus give true, spiritual sight, eternal sight to the blind? 1. By a work of God 2. In a way that makes us different. 3. To blind those who see.
BY A WORK OF GOD
The narrative begins with Jesus and his disciples out for a walk. They notice a man who was born blind. Seeing the blind man, the disciples ask Jesus for the reason for the man’s blindness. Who sinned, this man or his parents, such that this man was born blind?
Quick aside. Isn’t that just like us? When we suffer, when our expectations aren’t met, and when life isn’t going our way, we often want to know the reason. Why is this happening and how can I fix it? I love how the Lord Jesus responds. John 9:3 – Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Now that is very profound. While all suffering can ultimately be traced back to Adam’s original sin in the garden, there isn’t typically a direct cause-effect relationship between a particular sin and a particular experience of suffering. In fact, assuming such a cause-effect relationship heaps unnecessary guilt on sufferers. We don’t often know the reason for our suffering, but Jesus here tells us the purpose for our suffering: so that the works of God may be displayed in us. We suffer, ultimately, so that the works of God might be displayed in us. God works even our worst suffering together for ultimate good (Romans 8:28). The Father allows suffering into our lives so that he can display his work either in bringing miraculous relief or providing us with the miraculous ability to endure by his strength all the while increasing our dependence on Him. Whatever you’re suffering, you may not know the reason, but it’s not meaningless. God’s purpose is to display his work in you and God’s purposes are always good. Aside closed.
After briefly explaining that the man was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him, Jesus does a work that only God can do. John 9:5-7 – As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
There are multiple elements in Jesus’ healing of the man born blind that clue us in that as amazing as this miracle is, it’s a sign that points to an even greater healing that only Jesus can provide because He is God at work. There are multiple elements in these verses that signal that Jesus is God who has come to bring a new creation and true spiritual light to heal us from our blind darkness. To see it, we’re going to have to do some serious theology. Are you ready?
By saying that he’s the light of the world, Jesus is already signaling that he’s God come to bring a new creation. Listen to these words from the first creation. Genesis 1:1-3 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Just as God created light that brings life at the first creation, Jesus is the light of the world that creates true life and sight. The true sight he brings is a new creation sight that only God can do.
Now notice what the Lord Jesus uses to bring sight to the blind man: mud or dust. Dust is what God used to create the first man! Genesis 2:7 – then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. By using dust or mud to heal, Jesus signaled that he is the God of creation, the one through whom everything was made, and he has come to bring a new creation, new sight. Now, why do we need a new creation? Because not only was the first man created from dust, after he sinned the first man and all of his descendants were cursed to return to dust at death. Genesis 3:19 – By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The dust is not just a sign of the creation of man. Since man sinned, dust/mud is now a sign of death, judgment, and the curse. So, when Jesus heals a blind man by using dust, he signaling that he’s not just the God of creation. He is God who has come to bring true sight to our spiritual blindness, new birth from our spiritual death, healing from our spiritual curse, and he’s promising a whole new creation where all who have received sight from Him will truly see forever! And don’t miss that the Lord Jesus used water or saliva to heal. After the first creation, when humanity had become horribly sinful and God decided to start creation over with a new kind of Adam named Noah, God used water to wash the earth clean. He used the flood. Jesus who is God has come to do something greater than heal physical blindness. He has come to wash away the curse, to wash away our sins, to wash away judgment and death, and to bring us a new birth and a new creation. Jesus came to bring true sight to the blind and this is a work of God.
Now, let’s begin to take this personally. Non-Christian – you don’t need to be improved. You need to be made new. No help wanted. It’s a work of God. Admit and receive. Christian – Don’t starve yourself by living on half-reality (what you can see). Live by faith (that’s your new sight). Rejoice! (Ray Ortlund).
IN A WAY THAT MAKES US DIFFERENT
Witness one: the neighbors. I don’t know much about how it happened, but I know Jesus did it.
Witness two: the Pharisees. What happened? He put mud on my eyes, I washed like he told me, and now I see.
Witness three: The Pharisees and the parents. The parents don’t want to be tossed out, so they don’t testify. But when your eyes have been opened, you’re not worried about the opinions of people.
One of the most powerful witnesses in the NT. John 9:25 – He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Your testimony is a powerful witness.
God makes his appeal through us.
Lion King roar illustration
When you receive sight you say something. It changes you.
You don’t need to know a lot. You need to know that you were blind, you now see, and Jesus did it.
Share your testimony with one person in the next two weeks. Invite to Easter.
TO BLIND THOSE WHO SEE
John 9:35-41 – Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.
What does that mean?
Have you ever made something out of clay or even silly pudy? What do you do harden it? Put it in the sunlight. When you were a kid did you ever do an experiment to learn the states of matter? What did you do to melt ice? Put it in the sunlight.
Principle: The same light that melts the ice hardens the clay. That’s Jesus’ point.
Jesus articulates his purpose for coming into this world: so that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind. But he wasn’t primarily talking about physical blindness. He used the man’s physical blindness to teach a spiritual truth. Jesus had come into the world to give spiritual sight to those who desperately acknowledge their spiritual blindness. But to those who claimed to be spiritual know-it-alls, Jesus promised the judgment of becoming even more spiritually blind. Humility brings sight; pride leads to darkness. Tony Evans
Older brother – admit your blindness
The honeymoon was a gift of man – it ended. New sight is a gift of God. It will never fade. See!