Healing the Blind Man
Key Verse: “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.”
IN THE ACCOUNT OF today’s lesson, Jesus encountered a man who was blind from birth. The disciples mistakenly concluded that his blindness must have been punishment for some sin he or his parents had committed. (John 9:2) Jesus said such was not the case (vs. 3), providing us the first important lesson of this account. He knew the truth as stated throughout God’s Word. This man’s blindness, as well as all of mankind’s many sicknesses and diseases, even death itself, was the result of our first parents’ disobedience in the Garden of Eden and the resulting penalty pronounced upon them. (see Gen. 2:16,17; 3:17-19) This penalty, including physical ailments such as blindness and all other maladies, has passed down to all subsequent generations because all are part of the fallen race of Adam.
Jesus explained to his disciples that what he was about to do would be an example of the “works of God.” (John 9:3) He said his mission was to do “the works of him [God] that sent me,” and in doing so he was “the light of the world.” (vss. 4,5) This light was to be for the benefit of his disciples, to help them know the purpose of his works. We understand, and as the disciples later realized, that the works of healing which Jesus did were a fore gleam of the larger “works of God” which would be done in his future earthly kingdom. John the Revelator speaks of some of these greater works, saying, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”—Rev. 21:4,5
Another important lesson is the manner in which Jesus healed the blind man. “He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. … He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” (John 9:6,7) In this we see there was a part which Jesus accomplished—anointing of the eyes of the blind man. There was also a work for the blind man—he was to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Only by accomplishment of both parts of the work did he come away seeing. This illustrates that the healing of man’s diseases, not just physical but also diseases of character, requires both the work of our Lord as well as the work of those who are to be healed.
Jesus’ part in healing mankind is primarily shown in the ransom, by which Adam and his race are released from condemnation. He paid the ransom by “anointing” the Most Holy (Dan. 9:24), thus satisfying God’s justice. Mankind’s part in this work, once released from condemnation, is to cooperate in “washing” the remaining vestiges of sin from their character.
The Key Verse indicates the Jewish leaders did not appreciate the wonderful meaning of the works which Jesus did. How thankful we are, however, that we understand these things, and can say with the man who was healed, “I was blind, [but] now I see.”—John 9:25