Message 42 – John 9:13-23
John 9:13–16 (ESV) 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
The Pharisees follow a typical in their approach to a work of God
- In their eyes, Jesus had broken the Sabbath, not because He had violated any of the divine Sabbath regulations revealed in Scripture, but because He had ignored the restrictions and extrabiblical applications of the rabbis.
This was not the first time Jesus had deliberately violated traditional Sabbath regulations.
- Why did He deliberately provoke the leaders by violating their Sabbath regulations?
- First and foremost, because it displayed His divine authority as Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5 (ESV) 5 And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”).
- But He also did it to demonstrate that such extrabiblical standards were an unnecessary and oppressive burden on the people.
Jesus pointed out, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).
Instead of uniting everyone, Jesus often divided men. They were divided between those who accepted Him and trusted Him, and those who did not.
John 9:17–19 (ESV) 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
- Most of the religious leaders had made up their mind about Jesus – saying that He was not of God, yet some disagreed (John 9:16).
- That the high-handed Pharisees would ask the opinion of a lowly beggar reflects either their scorn and mockery of the man, or their confusion and division (v. 16).
He said, “He is a prophet.”
- That wasn’t what they wanted to hear so they just switch gears and take another approach
John 9:18 (ESV) 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight
- It was easier for the religious leaders to believe that the man was never really blind than to believe that Jesus healed the man.
- They are determined to undermine the facts
Isn’t this how unbelievers always act? Isn’t this how the foolish and ignorant act?
- They want what they want, they believe what they believe, and they will ignore and explain away or jump to a new objection… anything to avoid the truth.
John 9:19–23 (ESV) 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
The religious leaders asked the parents to verify that the man was truly born blind.
- The tone of their question implies that they wondered if the parents were part of the same imagined conspiracy.
- But his parents testify that their son had been born blind
21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes.
Many of the rulers in Jerusalem really believed in Jesus, but were afraid to say it because they didn’t want to be cast out of the synagogue (John 12:42).
- John 12:42 (ESV) 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;
So the parents say their son can speak for himself: Ask him, He is of age, ask him:
The parents were so frightened by the threat of excommunication that they did all they could to put the attention back upon their son and away from them.
So they call the blind man to testify again
- With the son positively identified and the Pharisees left with no legitimate excuse for denying that a genuine miracle had taken place, they were still unwilling to believe the claims of Jesus.
- They wanted the healed man to join them in that unbelief… (next message)
- When we are asked to prove/defend Jesus who brought us out of our spiritual blindness, we must not be scared of what man will say or do, just give credit to Jesus
- Witnessing is often much simpler than we make… just tell people what Jesus had done for you… what you used to be, what you are now