Introduction: Have you ever been frustrated because you could clearly
see something and others could not? John chapters 7-8 show us the
frustration experienced by Jesus. Jesus faced, even from His own
family, doubts about His divinity. Hostile spiritual leaders directly
challenged Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah. They all seemed to be
unable to see the truth. We continue our study of John by picking up
the story of a man who could not see anything other than the truth.
Let’s jump into our study of John!

  1. The Blind Man

    1. Read John 9:1-2. What is wrong with this question? (It
      assumes that someone sinned. The question is “who was it
      who sinned,” rather than “did anyone sin?”)

      1. Is it fair to assume that sin causes sickness?

      2. Review John 5:14. Recall our study of the fellow at
        the pool of Bethesda who was healed. Why did Jesus
        say to him “stop sinning” after healing him?

      3. If this fellow in John 9 was blind from birth, why
        would the disciples assume he could be responsible
        for sin? (The New Bible Commentary says that some
        rabbis taught it was possible to sin before birth.)

    2. Read John 9:3. What does Jesus say about sin causing
      sickness? (He clearly says that sickness is not
      necessarily created by specific sins. Of course, all
      physical problems (including the ultimate physical
      problem, death) are caused by the sins of Adam and Eve.
      See, Romans 5:12-14.)

      1. What explanation does Jesus give for this fellow
        being blind from birth? (He was blind from birth so
        that God’s glory might be displayed.)

        1. Think about this a minute. Does this mean that
          terrible things can happen in your life just to
          teach others a spiritual lesson? Just to give
          God the opportunity to do some good work? (The
          Bible Exposition Commentary reminds us the
          original Greek had no punctuation. Therefore,
          this could be translated, “Neither has this man
          sinned nor his parents. But that the works of
          God should be made manifest in him, I must work
          the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day.”
          While this comment may be correct, I believe
          that we need to accept that we are God’s
          creation and we have no right to complain to Him
          about how we were created. See Romans 9:20-21.
          Can a car complain to General Motors that it
          lacks air conditioning? Our life is about God
          and not about us.)

      2. Jesus is about to heal this fellow. Does this show he
        is not a sinner? (John is teaching us about spiritual
        vision. The lesson seems to be that we cannot make
        judgments about the sins of another based on outward

    3. Read John 9:4-5. What lesson do you find in this for your

      1. Are you “light” to others? Are you someone who helps
        those around you understand spiritual truths?

    4. Read John 9:6-7. Why did Jesus use mud and spit to heal?
      In Matthew 9:27-30 He just touched. In Mark 8:22-26 He
      used spit and touch. If you have a winning technique, why
      not go with it every time? (That is the point. There is no
      winning technique. It is the power of God that performs
      the healing, not a magic formula or winning technique.)

      1. If the technique is not important, if the technique
        obscures the spiritual lesson, then why did Jesus use
        any at all? (William Barclay’s commentary on this
        text in John tells us that spit was commonly used to
        cure physical problems. By using the “medical”
        methods of the time, Barclay suggests that Jesus
        obtained the confidence of His patient. In this
        context consider Mark 6:13.)

      2. When was the blind man actually able to see? (It was
        not when the mud and spit were applied by Jesus. It
        was when he washed off the mud. He came home seeing.
        He did not go seeing.)

        1. Is this an important point? (Yes. The man
          exercised faith and obeyed. Only at that point
          was he healed.)

  2. The Debate

    1. Read John 9:8-10. Why didn’t these people recognize the
      healed man? (Because his blindness was his defining
      characteristic for some who knew him. Without being blind,
      some of his neighbors did not recognize him.)

      1. What does that say about his neighbors? (They
        obviously did not know the blind man very well. They
        had a superficial knowledge of him based on what was
        wrong with him.)

        1. When you have a sick or disabled person in your
          church, is your focus on the disability or the
          sickness? Or, is your focus on who they are?

        2. How about church members in general? Do you tend
          to focus on what is wrong with them?

        3. Consider the parallels between the disciples
          initial reaction to this blind fellow and the
          way some of his neighbors viewed him.

    2. Read John 9:11-12. Notice when he was able to see. The
      neighbors had a new focus, what was it? (The miracle
      caused the neighbors’ attention to move to Jesus.)

    3. Read John 9:13-16. On what were the Pharisees focused? (A
      great thing had been done in this man’s life. His
      neighbors were now focused on who did it. The Pharisees
      were focused on whether the law had been broken. Only
      Jesus seems to be concerned about the man.)

      1. How are some of the Pharisees like some of the blind
        man’s neighbors? (Some of the Pharisees immediately
        focused on what was wrong, not what was right with
        the miracle.)

    4. Read John 9:24-34. Let’s concentrate on vv. 30-34. Who is
      blind? (John wants us to notice that the man who had been
      blind now clearly sees the situation. Whereas the
      “sighted” spiritual leaders are blind to the situation.)

      1. Consider the arguments made by both the blind man and
        the Pharisees. The blind man argues that the miracles
        show the divinity of Jesus. The Pharisees say whether
        Jesus sins and whether this blind man are a sinner
        are the most important factors upon which to base
        their decision. What do you think about the logic of
        each side?

        1. Read Revelation 13:11-14. Here John shows us
          that “miraculous signs” can deceive. Do the
          Pharisees have the right approach? They say,
          “Forget the signs, look at the underlying

          1. If you say, “yes,” then what do you think
            John is trying to teach us by the story of
            the blind man?

    5. Read John 9:39-41. When I was a kid and danger
      approached, I just closed my eyes. Is this the lesson
      here? (John wants us to open our eyes to the character of
      Jesus. If we cannot see His character, and accept Him as
      Lord, then we cannot survive the judgment.)

  3. The Good Shepherd

    1. Read John 10:1-6. Based on this text and your imagination,
      list for me the dangers to the sheep? (Robbers, dangerous
      animals, wandering off and starving.)

      1. How long was the shepherd on call? What hours did the
        shepherd work? (The shepherd worked around the

      2. How dangerous was the shepherd’s work?

    2. Read John 10:11-13. Why is it appropriate for Jesus to
      compare Himself to a good shepherd?

    3. Read John 10:4-5 & 14. What light does this shed on our
      previous discussion about trying to tell whether miracle
      workers are imposters or sent by God? (We recognize the
      voice of our master. If the world is your master, if
      television and the philosophy of the world is what you
      listen to, then what hope do you have of recognizing the
      voice of Jesus? On the other hand, if you take the time to
      study the Bible, if your goal is to walk with God, then
      you will recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd. Both
      Jesus and the end-time counterfeit perform miracles. The
      followers of Jesus will know His voice.)

    4. I have heard people say that they will be able to tell the
      difference between Jesus’ Second Coming and the
      counterfeit described in Revelation 13 because Jesus’ feet
      will not touch the ground when He comes again. Is that
      “rule,” or anything like that a safe guide? (Picking one
      technical point is precisely the error demonstrated by the
      Pharisees. They said, “He broke the Sabbath, no need to
      look any further.” Jesus teaches us that we will know His
      voice, we will know Him. That is a far cry from testing
      based on some obscure fact or theological conclusion.)

    5. Friend, Jesus invites you to open your eyes and learn of
      Him. Become His friend by studying the Bible and walking
      in His way. Learn God’s view of things. Then when He comes
      you will know Him. Better, He will know you and take you
      to live with Him forever!

  4. Next Week: A Devoted Soul and an Impending Cross.