When we see things from God’s perspective, we begin to understand that his way is perfect and we can trust in him completely – even when things don’t look so bright. Make a commitment to see people and situations from God’s perspective, trusting that he can make a difference and weave all things together for the sake of the Gospel.


 

Scripture:

Section 100a | Healing of a Man Born Blind

John 9:1-7
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned,1 this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”2  3 Jesus answered, “Neither did this man sin, nor his parents;3 but, that the works of God might be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man’s eyes with the mud, 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing.

Section 100b | Response of the Blind Man’s Neighbors

John 9:8-12
8 The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, “Isn’t this he who sat and begged?” 9 Others were saying, “It is he.” Still others were saying, “He looks like him.” He said, “I am he.” 10 They therefore were asking him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went away and washed, and I received sight.” 12 Then they asked him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.”

Section 100c | Examination and Excommunication of the Blind Man by the Pharisees

John 9:13-34
13 They brought him who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14 It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see.” 16 Some therefore of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was division among them. 17 Therefore they asked the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews therefore didn’t believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight, 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees, we don’t know; or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.” 24 So they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He therefore answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t also want to become his disciples, do you?” 28 They insulted him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered them, “How amazing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God, and does his will, he listens to him. 32 Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?” Then they threw him out.

Section 100d | Jesus’ Identification of Himself to the Blind Man

John 9:35-38
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” 36 He answered, “Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe!” and he worshiped him.

Section 100e | Spiritual Blindness of the Pharisees

John 9:39-41
39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.


Group Dialog:

  1. What is it about belief that is transformative, empowering and catalytic?
  2. What are some immediate and ultimate causes and results of suffering and disease?
  3. When might (might not) sin in a person’s life be the cause of their illness, blindness, car accidents, death, trials, or demise?
  4. Talk about causation, consequence and consecration.
  5. Surely you’ve heard people ask, “why do bad things happen in the world” or “why do good people suffer”? After reading this passage and considering what you know of Jesus’ teaching – How would you answer these questions?
  6. Finish the sentence: “Once I was _______ but since I become a disciple of Jesus now I ______.”
  7. If you can, share about a time when you were unable to answer how God did something for you which had undeniably happened in practical or emotional-spiritual sense.
  8. Have you ever been afraid to take a stand in defense of another’s innocence or wellness? Why?
  9. What physical or emotional misfortune in your life has turned into an opportunity for God to demonstrate his power?
  10. Do you think the man was born blind in order to show God’s glory or that in his blindness God’s glory could be shown? How does this line up with the events of your own life and that of those you love?
  11. What blinded you from knowing the truth before your decision to follow Jesus?

Learning Objectives:

  • The message of John chapter 9 is that God does not do things the way the world thinks they should be done.
  • When we insist on going about things our own way or rely on the world’s values and processes, we are more likely to become frustrated and discouraged.
  • Instead of focusing solely on your problems, seek how God might use my problems to demonstrate his power.
  • Your testimony, and not just those with scholarly knowledge, is what the world yearns to hear.
  • Each of us ought to evaluate the way we use our time. Are you doing the works of God? Are you honoring your vocation? Is what you are doing in ministry ?

Photo:

coming soon

You may also enjoy watching this movie clip of this passage.


Notes:

 

  1. The jewish elders and teachers taught that suffering was most often caused by sin, and when a person was born with a handicap, it was presumed that the parents had in some manner sinned. 
  2. This story is similar to the healing of the lame man in John 5:1-18 in Section 49a which also involves a water, the Sabbath, and subsequent conflict and dialog of Jesus’ identity, work, mission, and interpretation of the mosaic law. Both increase the tension between Jesus and the Jewish authorities.
  3. Neither the sins of this man or his parents lead to his blindness. That doesn’t mean they had never sinned, only that there wasn’t a causal relationship between the two. Wrong assumptions will lead to wrong conclusions so be careful about making assumptions – even when they in one or even a few passages from the Bible. Context.