Morning Bible Study
caused some controversy in the Temple when He declared that He was the “I AM”,
that He was God Himself. When the Jews picked up stones to stone Him, He
somehow managed to slip out of the crowd and make His way out of the Temple
where He encountered a man born blind.
Play “Blind Man
Healed” video clip.
:13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees.
The neighbors, the people who knew this man were confused as to what
happened to the man, so they bring him to the most religious people they know,
:14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
The Pharisees were the strictest sect of Judaism. They very carefully
studied and obeyed all of God’s laws. They even made up a few extra laws just
for good measure.
Jesus was constantly challenging the Pharisees about their extra regulations,
especially those regarding their “Sabbath” traditions.
The actual Sabbath Law is contained in few simple verses:
(Ex 20:8–10 NKJV) —8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days
you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no
work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your
female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
Mishna – Over time, the Jews developed more
complex laws through their oral traditions. They said that the five books of
Moses weren’t the only things that God told to Moses. These oral traditions
were passed on from rabbi to rabbi and finally written down about two hundred
years after Jesus. These traditions are known as the Mishna. In the section
dealing with the Sabbath, there are twenty four chapters. What did it mean honor
the Sabbath? They got pretty detailed …
One whole chapter
deals just with what may or may not be worn by animals on the Sabbath (Chapter
Some of the traditions involved the things that had just happened.
“An eye salve,
or a plaster for the eye, if it was put on for pleasure, was lawful, but not
:15 Then the
Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God,
because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a
sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
:16 This Man is
not from God
They came to this conclusion because Jesus was not obeying their Sabbath
traditions, not because Jesus actually broke the Law of God.
Because the Pharisees placed as high of value on the oral traditions as
they did the written Scriptures, they came to the conclusion that Jesus was not
It was not uncommon for the traditions of the Pharisees to take them in the
wrong direction. Jesus was constantly
challenging them to rethink their “traditions”.
(Mk 7:9 NLT) Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold
on to your own tradition.
this is one of the problems of the Catholic church.
state that the traditions of the church have the same authority and weight as
do the Scriptures.
And so when
one off-the-wall practice (like funny robes) creeps into the church and becomes
a tradition, it’s in for good.
In 1903 the Russian czar noticed a sentry posted for no apparent reason on
the Kremlin grounds. ‘What
are you guarding,’ asked the czar. ‘I don’t know. The captain ordered me to
this post,’ the sentry replied. The czar called the captain. His answer:
‘Written regulations specify a guard was to be assigned to that area.’ The czar
ordered a search to find out why. The archives finally yielded the reason. In
1776 Catherine the Great
found had planted a rose bush there, and there found the first flower of
spring. “Post a sentry here,” she commanded, “so that no one tramples that
flower under foot!” One
hundred years later, sentries were still guarding the spot even though there
were no flowers there.
Tradition takes over when our brain stops working.
is not limited to Catholics.
We like to be comfortable, we like to do the same things over
and over and over again and never have to worry about doing something different
churches, once they’ve been around a while, you’ll hear people say, “But we’ve
never done it THAT WAY before!”
“Sunday Morning” clip
careful about thinking that your “tradition” makes things right.
most important is that you come into contact with God (not puppies). That you
come to know Jesus.
might be in a church that sings hymns. It might be in a church that is “contemporvant”. Just
Be careful about traditions
The Pharisees elevated their traditions above the Law of God.
As a result, they are calling Jesus a sinner. Wow.
:17 They said
to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your
eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
:17 He is a prophet
– they want to know this fellow’s opinion of Jesus. This guy thinks Jesus must
be something special, He must be from God.
:18 But the
Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his
sight, until they called the parents
of him who had received his sight.
It didn’t seem possible that a “sinner” like Jesus could heal a man born
blind. They wonder if the man had truly
been born blind.
:19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born
blind? How then does he now see?”
:20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and
that he was born blind;
:21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we
do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”
:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the
Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would
be put out of the synagogue.
The parents don’t want to get involved. At least they admitted that this
was their son.
:22 put out of the
synagogue – aposunagogos (“from”
+ “synagogue”) – excluded from sacred assemblies of Israelites, excommunicated
The parents are afraid of being “excommunicated”
Judaism at the
time had two forms of excommunication.
You had to stay at least six feet away from every other person for a period
of thirty days. As long as you repented of your sin, it would be over in 30
You were completely cut off from every other Jewish person. This is the one these folks were threatened with.
It was done with a very solemn ceremony where trumpets were blown to get people's attention, a candle was lit, and then
the curse was read.
Here are some
excerpts from one of the curses:
“…let great and real stripes be upon him, and many and
violent diseases…and let his star be dark in the clouds; and let him be for
indignation, wrath, and anger … let his silver and his gold be given to others…”
After the curse was read, the candle was blown out, signifying that the
person was no longer worthy of heavenly light.
Pretty serious stuff. And the threat
his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
:24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God
the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”
:25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One
thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
:25 One thing I
Opinions and facts
I like this fellow. He knows what he knows.
He isn’t about to talk about things he doesn’t know. But he’s not afraid of
talking about what he does know.
He does know that he used to be blind, but now he can see.
We all have lots of opinions about a lot of things.
Some of our opinions are quite strong.
Sometimes our opinions are not necessarily based on fact, but on what
someone has told us.
Sometimes our opinions are simply based on who we are.
English professor wrote these words on the blackboard,(“Woman without her man is
nothing”) and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.
men wrote: “Woman, without her
man, is nothing.”
wrote: “Woman! Without her, man is
Who got it right?
It’s a matter of opinion.
When it comes
to politics, it is not uncommon for a person’s opinions to be no more than
that, just opinions.
It’s not wrong to have opinions. But when you think that
your opinion is a true fact when you don’t really know, then you have a
If your opinion is based on a certain news commentator who
leans either left or right, and you don’t take the time to check out the actual
facts, then you have a problem.
We can have
some strong ideas about God as well.
It’s good to know what you know and not confuse facts with
Some of you may have some incorrect ideas about God. You may have ideas about God based on what
your parents told you. You may have
ideas about God based on what a school teacher told you.
Or you can ask God what He thinks and read His book.
:25 though I
was blind, now I see
argue with him about this. These are the
facts. He knows them better than anyone else.
From time to time you will come across people that appear to be light years
ahead of you either mentally, or in theological knowledge.
You don’t have to debate over what you don’t know.
You simply need to share what Jesus has done in your life.
The truth of the matter is that while many of these people claim to be searching
for God, YOU'VE ACTUALLY FOUND HIM!
:26 Then they
said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”
:27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do
you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”
I detect a slight bit of sarcasm.
:28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are
:29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know
where He is from.”
:30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing,
that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!
:31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a
worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.
:31 God does not hear
There is truth in this statement. The
(Ps 66:18 NKJV) If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
:32 Since the
world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was
There is no record in the Old Testament of a blind person being healed.
Yet Isaiah said
that when the Messiah came, blind eyes would be opened.
(Is 29:18 NKJV) In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the
book, And the eyes of the blind
shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
:33 If this Man
were not from God, He could do nothing.”
:33 If this Man
were not from God – He makes a good point. But…
Miracles alone aren’t enough
Miraculous power can also be from Satan.
Paul tells us about the coming antichrist:
(2 Th 2:9 NLT) This man will come to do the work of Satan with
counterfeit power and signs and miracles.
The truth is that miracles alone don’t prove a person is from God.
(Deut 13:1–3 NKJV) —1 “If there arises among
you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the
wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other
gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that
prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord
your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
It is great that a person can perform a miracle. It is even more important
what they say about God.
If a person performs a miracle but does not point you to
the God of the Bible, then that person is not from God.
In reality, this is the same principle that the Pharisees are using. But
their problem is that they are judging Jesus based on their traditions and not
the truth of God’s Word.
:34 They answered
and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?”
And they cast him out.
They are frustrated that this illiterate beggar is contradicting their
They respond by calling him names (You were completely born in sins)
:34 they cast him
out – They excommunicated him.
:35-41 Blind or
:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He
said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
:35 He had found
him – I love this about Jesus. When He heard about what had happened
to the man, He looked for him.
Jesus stands with those who stand
If you take a stand for Jesus, He will take a stand for you. He will find you.
(1 Pe 4:14 NLT) So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then
the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.
Nebuchadnezzar came up with this crazy idea to have everyone bow down to his
golden idol whenever he had the band play his song. In order to encourage everybody to do this,
Nebuchadnezzar threatened everyone who didn’t bow by telling them they would be
thrown into a fiery furnace.
Jewish boys made a decision not to bow.
They were tossed into the fiery furnace.
(Da 3:24–25 NKJV) —24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and
he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three
men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king,
“True, O king.” 25 “Look!”
he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire;
and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
He’ll be there with you, right in the fire.
When you take a stand for Jesus, sometimes you will feel like everyone’s
Not everyone. Somebody’s standing
:36 He answered
and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
:37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is
talking with you.”
There has to be some pretty intense moments here.
Perhaps the fellow recognizes Jesus’ voice as the one who had spoken to
him, telling him to wash in the Pool of Siloam.
But here Jesus reinforces the idea that the man can SEE Him as well.
:38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
The fellow had made the final step.
His life had been affected by Jesus.
Now he takes the step to believe in Him.
– proskuneo (“toward” + to kiss”) – to
fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of
The man had been cast out of the synagogue, but Jesus won’t cast him out.
(Jn 6:37 NKJV) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who
comes to Me I will by no
means cast out.
:39 And Jesus
said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may
see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
:39 see … blind
(Jn 9:39 The Message) Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into
the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who
have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing
will be exposed as blind.”
Jesus has used this man to show how He can take people who are blind, not
just physically, but spiritually too, and help them see.
People who acknowledge that they need help will be the ones who receive
:40 Then some
of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we
:41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now
you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
(Jn 9:41 The Message) Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be
blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable
for every fault and failure.”
The whole idea of blindness and the Pharisees is all about self deception.
They claimed to know God. They
It’s like the person who auditions for American Idol, but can’t sing or
Where are you
I know the tendency is for us to laugh at William. But I have to tell you that part of me wants
to cry for him. It’s very sad when a
person thinks they are something when they are not.
If you claim to have your act together without Jesus, you are
If you claim to know anything about God but you don’t know Jesus, you are
God wants you to know Him. A true
knowledge of God comes through Jesus.