Sabbath · Tradition

Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 9 – Seeing Blind Men

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

I was out with my first grandson yesterday, and he likes to read me the Bible during our ventures.  I could simply stream a passage for both to hear, but this is so much better.  I git to interrupt him, explain things that might not be obvious for a young boy, and challenge him in considering who this Jesus is.

It was awesome, and as we spoke together, the Lord reminded me of great things He has done.

Like I said, he asked what passage he could read to me and I immediately thought of this passage.  It is a favorite and I am looking forward to diggin in a bit with you.

John 9:1-16

John 9:1

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.

I asked Elias if this man had ever seen in his life.  Never.  I explained that in no time during the history of the nation of Israel had any person, born blind been healed of their blindness.  Some of the prophets raised people from the dead (only for them to die again later), but not one had ever healed a blind man.  And this fella had been blind since birth.

This miracle gives more than the simple physical healing of a blind man, miraculous as it is.  This miracle points to Jesus as the promised Messiah.  Consider two Old Testament prophecies of the Messiahs role as a healer.

Isaiah 29:18 …..And out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.

Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened…

Isaiah 42:7  …To open blind eyes,

Psalm 146:8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind…

The blind man, born blind, benefited greatly from this mercy from the Lord.

The greater truth is that this miracle was another proof (to those willing to see) of the identity of Jesus.  Do not be unwilling to see!

2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

How could this man have sinned in the womb, in order for the “judgement of blindness” to be effected?  I tell you, there was some messed up thinking during this time.  It sure is good our thinking is so straightened out. (A bit waggish there, don’t you know!)

4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

How appropriate to bring in the character of light when dealing with a blind man?  Back in John 8:12, in discussion with the Pharisees, He spoke of being the Light of the world and that following Him will keep us out of darkness.

Now He is speaking to a man who has been in physical darkness his entire life.  This man will become a sign for the nation, and for individuals watching, that the Messiah has arrived.

6 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

During Elias’s reading, I had him stop to consider what just happened in the  text.  Jesus “horked” on the sand, pulled some dirt up with it and rubbed it on the blind mans eyes.

Imagine the hygiene issues with this method.  Imagine the grit and grime associated with the mud on (or in!) the eyes.  This may be one time the blind man may be happy he was blind, not knowing what was going to happen to him.

7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

Note that the cure did not come at the hands of Jesus only.  Don’t be alarmed – I am not saying that the power of God through Jesus Christ is not fully responsible for this miracle.

The obedience of the blind man, in having to go to the pool (as a blind man!) gave evidence of his faith.

He went.

He washed.

He came back seeing.

I don’t know if this could be considered saving faith, but it did evidence a willingness to believe in the unconventional.  Verse 11, indicates that the blind man knew the healing prophet was Jesus of Nazareth so faith in the prophet was evident.

He will be challenged in his faith later.


 

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