Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 21

The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 9:1-12

John 9:1-12 NASB

“As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”  When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one.” So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” They said to him, “Where is He?” He *said, “I do not know.”

As you recall, in John 8:59, because of how Jesus had answered the Jews with regard to Abraham, indicating that before Abraham was born, I Am (Exodus 3:14), the Jews had picked up stones to throw at Jesus for what they considered blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16), Jesus had concealed Himself, which I am thinking would be like covering His head so that He would not be easily recognized and He had left the temple.

So as they had left the temple, Jesus saw a man, possibly by the temple gate, where beggars often waited for gifts from worshipers, who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked Jesus who had been responsible, via committing a sin, this man or his parents, so that this man was blind. It was commonly supposed that sickness was a result of sin, even to the point that if sin was committed by parents, a baby could be born with a disease. Note that Jesus rejected both of these suggestions and indicated that in this particular case, the man had been born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

One might think that this statement, given by Jesus, indicated a lack of caring for this man, who had suffered blindness, since the day that he had been born. But God’s overview can and often does, differ from ours, because He knows the beginning from the end and consequently, in God’s sovereignty, had specifically inflicted this individual with blindness, so that the works of God might be displayed in him. In this particular case, the works of God, would be his eventual healing from blindness, but we infrequently see where an individual suffers from a physical limitation and yet, in spite of that limitation, is used by God to display to others, the grace of God. This happened to the Apostle Paul with the thorn in the flesh that Paul asked God to remove from him and it was denied (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). The short story is that we don’t always know the reasons why because we are not always aware of what God’s intent and will is.

Notice that Jesus attributes the work that is to be done to His Father. “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

Notice the plurality of “We“, Jesus didn’t say “I must work the works of Him who sent Me”, Jesus says “We must work the works of Him who sent Me.” I see this as an example of the three persons of the Trinity of a singular God, in action. Jesus the Son, doing the will of the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Who is the work that Jesus will do attributed to? God the Father.
Who will accomplish the work of the Father? Jesus, whom the Father has sent.
What power is used to accomplish the work? God’s Holy Spirit, to whom Jesus was given without measure (
John3:34) (Luke 24:49).

Night is coming when no one can work.” What does that mean? It can certainly describe our death, but it could also refer to times of persecution, imprisonment, or incapacity due to illness or accidents. The implication is that we need to make full use of every opportunity while we have it, without letting the risks or dangers involved deter us.

“While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

John 8:12 NASB
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
 “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Here Jesus again claims to be Light of the World.

1 John 1:5 NASB
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Hebrews 1:3 NASB
He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

Colossians 1:15 NASB
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

God is light, Jesus is the exact representation of God, I am the Light of the world, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.

When Jesus says that He is the light of the world, He is saying that He is the physical representation of God the Father and that in Him and through Him, is eternal life. This is no mundane statement made by a common man, this is a declaration of divine truth.

John 14:9 NASB
“Jesus said to him,
 “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

NOTE: One might think that making a blind man see, is not in and of itself, a significant oddity, what with all the miracles that Jesus performed but it is noteworthy to remember that no where in the entire Old Testament is there one record of any person making a blind man see. Not one.

The significance of Jesus being able to make the blind see again is a direct attribute of the Messiah and as you recall, when John the Baptist asked of Jesus, if he should look for someone else, Jesus responded as follows:

Luke 7:18-23 NASB

“The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’”  At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. And He answered and said to them, Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

Isaiah 42:1-9 NASB

42 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
“He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
“A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
“He will not be disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”

Thus says God the Lord,

Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it,
“I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
“I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”

So was this healing of a blind man a really big thing? Yes it really was!

More to follow:

Worthy is the Lamb!


  1. Great thoughts and wisdom, Bruce! Both my in-laws are blind, yet they are some of the sharpest people I have ever met. They rely on their other senses in ways that we cannot understand. With that said, I have a huge heart for those who are physically and spiritually blind. I love how you mention in the OT no one was healed of their blindness. Often times what we think is a curse is the vehicle that God uses to drive us to confess/acknowledge our need for Him. I also view the “we” as a Trinitarian reference. It is unfathomable that God One Being Three Persons opens the eyes of the blind literally and figuratively to save us for eternity and for good works currently. Praising God for you!!! Love and blessings to you and Peggy!


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