Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg
Bible Study Material on John 9:8-41
In the previous lesson, we learnt that Jesus had miraculously healed the blind man. Today’s lesson demonstrates that the Pharisees found fault with Jesus because he miraculously healed the blind man on the Sabbath.
Explaining the conflict (John 9:8-34)
To the Pharisees, Jesus is not of God because he does not keep the Sabbath day. It is interesting to observe that Jesus had done a good work to a helpless fellow human being. An act of mercy had been performed. Yet the seemingly blind-hearted enemies of Christ could not see the beauty in the act. They called it a breach of the fourth Commandment!
To the religious leaders, anyone who confessed Jesus openly would be cast out of the synagogue (verse 22). This meant, of course, losing friends and family and all the benefits of the Jewish religion. It was this declaration that forced the blind man’s parents and neighbours to be imprecise when they were asked about his amazing cure.
The son’s simple confession in verse 11 exalted Jesus, though at that time he did not fully know who “the man they called Jesus” really was. The Pharisees attacked Jesus by saying he was not of God (verse 16) and calling him a sinner (verse 24). The man told what he knew (verse 25) and showed the Pharisees how foolish their thinking was (verses 30-33). The final result was that they expelled the man from the synagogue.
It would have been easy for the son to hide his confession and thus avoid controversy, but he fearlessly stood firm. He knew what a difference Jesus had made in his life, and he could not deny it. Everyone who has encountered Jesus and trusted him should make it known openly.
Some confessions of the healed man (9:35-41)
The man did not realize it then, but the safest place for him was outside the Jewish religious group. The Jews cast him out, but Jesus took him in! Like Paul (Philippians 3:1-10), this man “lost his religion” but found salvation.
Note carefully how this man grew in his knowledge of Jesus:
(1) “The man they called Jesus” (verse 11) was all he knew when Jesus healed him.
(2) “A prophet” (verse 17) is what the man called him when the Pharisees questioned him.
(3) “A man of God” (verses 31-33) is what he concluded Jesus to be.
(4) “Lord, I believe” (verses 35-38) was his final and complete confession of faith.
According to Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” This man’s growth in “light” proves it. A believer is one who has light in his heart (2 Corinthians 4:6) and who is a light in the world (Matthew 5:14). He walks in the light (1 John 1) and produces the fruit of light (Ephesians 5:8-9). “Lord, I believe!” was the turning point in his life.
The same light that leads one person can blind another (verses 39-41). The Pharisees admitted that they could see, and therefore they were guilty because they rejected the evidence and would not receive Jesus. The Gospel brings about different reactions from different kinds of hearts. The blind sinner receives the truth and sees, but the self-righteous person rejects the truth and becomes blind spiritually. It is a dangerous thing to reject the light.
1. Why did the religious leaders in Jesus’ time find it difficult to understand the right use of the Sabbath day?
2. State three confessions of the man who was healed.
3. How do our confessions of who Jesus is demonstrate our knowledge and relationship with him?