Morning Bible Study
It was the fall
of the year, the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Jesus had been
teaching in the Temple early in the morning when He was faced with a test – a woman caught in
adultery was brought before Him. He
In the Temple, Jesus talked about who He was. He talked about being the Messiah. He talked about being God. Some believed. Some argued.
The last chapter ended with
(Jn 8:59 NKJV) Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself
and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
The Greek word for “passed by” is the same Greek word that starts the next
The Blind Man
:1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.
:1 as Jesus
It’s possible that this next story takes place right after the previous
one, just outside the Temple.
:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his
parents, that he was born blind?”
:2 who sinned
A fancy word. It means “an answer to the problem
Here’s the problem –
if God is good, then why is there evil in this world? If God is good, then why do people suffer?
One of the ways
to answer this question is to place blame on someone.
that the problems in your life are a result of you or your parents’ sins. This is what the disciples were hinting at.
If we are honest, we have to admit that some of our problems are directly
related to our sins.
you have a sexually transmitted disease, it’s very likely that you got
that disease either because you did something you shouldn’t have, or because
your spouse did something they shouldn’t have.
But it is also
true that God does not punish every sin, not in this life.
(Ps 103:10 NKJV) He has not dealt with us
according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
If we are going
to blame someone, perhaps we ought to blame Adam and Eve.
It was their sin that brought about the mess that all of creation has had
to live with.
But to get specific and try to blame people is a dangerous proposition.
This is what the Nazis did in WWII, blaming the world’s problems on the
In the end…
“Only God knows
why babies are born with handicaps, and only God can turn those handicaps into
something that will bring good to people and glory to His name” (Wiersbe)
Theology or Compassion
The disciples are more curious about the theological question than they are
about the man’s actual condition.
Sometimes we too as disciples can become more concerned about arguing
questions and getting our ducks all in a row instead of realizing that there
are real people with real needs in front of us.
answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God
should be revealed in him.
Sickness is not always a result of
We need to be
careful of judging people and drawing conclusions that their condition is a
result of sin.
In Job's case, it was exactly the opposite.
(Job 1:6–8 The
Message) —6 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the
Designated Accuser, came along with them. 7 God singled out Satan and said, “What have you
been up to?” Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on
earth.” 8 God said
to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest
and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”
If you follow the story of Job, you realize that the cause of his troubles
was the fact that he was a good guy, and God wanted to show him off before the
universe. God wanted everyone to see
that Job was a man who was loyal to God, no matter what.
Job’s friends are going to make the mistake of thinking that Job had done
some horrible sin to deserve all the trouble that came his way.
In the end, God ended up rebuking the friends for assuming
that Job was in sin of some sort.
We need to be careful that we don’t fall into the same mistake of accusing our
sick friends of something when it might simply be that they are somebody that
God is proud of.
:3 revealed – phaneroo – to make manifest or visible or known what has been
God’s works aren’t always obvious.
Sometimes God chooses to “reveal” His hand and help people be more aware
of what He is doing.
Jesus didn’t look at the man’s difficulty as being a result of someone’s
sin, but as an opportunity for God to work.
An opportunity for God to work
It might be in healing.
God does indeed heal people today.
We regularly pray for people, anointing people with oil, laying hands on
God does heal.
But I reject the notion that it is God’s will that every person be healed.
I believe that is a misunderstanding of the Scriptures.
It might be in endurance.
Sometimes God wants to reveal His work in us by how we endure our difficult
Eareckson Tada was severely paralyzed from the neck down at age 17 from a
diving accident at a lake. Joni came to
know Jesus through all this, but God has not yet healed Joni. God works greatly through her because she
Paul wrote about his own infirmities and how he asked God to help him.
(2 Co 12:8–9 The Message) —8 At
first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times
I did that, 9 and then
he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its
own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit
focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of
Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.
:4 I must work
the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one
:4 the night is
A reference to the cross.
coming a time when Jesus would no longer be at work in the world. He would die on a cross, rise from the dead,
and then ascend into heaven.
Work while you
can. Jesus is talking about the
necessity of taking advantage of the opportunities in front of us.
It’s easy to put things off. I’m a
But some of the opportunities we keep putting off may not be available when
we “get around to it”.
There are people that God prompts us to share the gospel with. They will not be around forever.
:5 As long as I
am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
We’ve already seen a theme of “light” in the last couple of chapters.
(Jn 8:12 NKJV) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the
world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of
The pictures of light:
He was talking
during the Feast of Tabernacles, when a huge menorah was lit in the Court of
the Women in the Temple reminding people of the pillar of fire by night that
led the Israelites in the wilderness.
He had been
talking with the woman caught in adultery to whom He had said,
(Jn 8:11 NKJV) …“Neither do I condemn you;
go and sin no more.”
He had been a light to her, bringing conviction of her sin
but also forgiveness and the way out of darkness that involved following Him.
We’re going to see another picture of light with the healing of this blind
A truly blind
person cannot see light. As a man born blind, he has never seen light.
He’s never seen
the beauty of a sunrise after a long difficult night.
He’s never seen
the beauty of the morning light on a baby’s face.
He’s never seen
the beauty of the sun’s light on God’s creation.
A person who is
“blind” is someone who doesn’t “see”, who doesn’t “get it”. Sometimes they don’t really know just what
they are missing. Do you know people like
that? Jesus is going to heal this blind
man so he can see.
:6 When He had
said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He
anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
Some cultures look at a person’s saliva as having special abilities.
I find this pretty gross. But
sometimes God uses the strangest things.
Some have suggested that the mixing of spit with the dirt was a parallel of
Creation, where God made man from the dust.
– epichrio – to spread on
literally, “He spread clay on the eyes of the blind”. What would happen if someone spread mud in
Another idea is
that the clay was meant to irritate the man’s eyes and make him get up and
Mud in the eye
If you read your Bible, you will realize that there were a lot of ways that
Jesus healed blind people.
With some He touched
and they were healed (Mat. 9:29)
With another He
spit in his eyes (Mark 8:23)
With another He
simply spoke and the man was healed (Mark 10:52)
Here He puts
mud in the person’s eyes.
The Bible talks
about those who do not believe yet in Jesus as if they are spiritually “blind”.
There are lots of ways that Jesus reaches blind people.
and I are a little like that “mud”.
We are made of the earth, mixed with a little of Jesus.
And sometimes we can be a bit irritating.
But sometimes that’s just how God works.
Not that we are to be obnoxious about it, but sometimes as
we speak to people about Jesus, the conviction of the Holy Spirit can be a
Here’s to being mud in their eye.
:7 And He said
to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he
went and washed, and came back seeing.
– Shiloach – a Hebrew word meaning
The main water
source for the city of Jerusalem was outside the city at the Gihon Spring.
It was King
Hezekiah who diverted the water from the Gihon by cutting a tunnel through 1750
feet of solid rock,
bringing the water into the city. The water came out at the
Pool of Siloam.
:7 he went –
Play “Path to
If Jesus encountered this fellow just outside the Temple, then the fellow
had about 1/3 mile to walk to Siloam. Whether it was out of irritation or
simple obedience, this fellow did what Jesus asked. He went.
the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not
this he who sat and begged?”
:9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.”
:10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
:11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my
eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed,
and I received sight.”
:11 A Man called
Keep it simple
I like this fellow. We could learn a
lot from him. He doesn’t know much right
now, but what he knows he’s willing to share.
Sometimes when we share with people about what Jesus has done for us, we
can make it a lot more complicated than it really is. And the longer we’ve been a Christian, the
more complicated it gets. We start
talking with “Christianese”, in a language that most people don’t understand.
The great composer
Igor Stravinsky wrote his Ebony
Concerto for the Woody Herman Herd, one of the swingingest jazz bands ever. But rehearsals brought problems in
communication between Stravinsky and the jazzmen. A frustrated Woody Herman finally called in his long- time
arranger, Neal Hefti. “Maestro,” Hefti
said to Stravinsky, “tell me exactly what you want and I’ll try to get it
across to the boys.” “I want a sudden sforzanda followed
by a subito decrescendo,” Stravinsky repeated. “Gotcha,” Hefti said. With that he turned to the musicians and
said, “Bend it,
What Neal Hefti did for those members of the Woody Herman
band, we as Christians must do with unbelievers.
simple. Speak their language.
:12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.”
This guy didn’t know everything. He
didn’t even know where Jesus was at the moment.
But he still shared what had happened to him.