Day 9- Olau
Summary of Chapter 9
Verses 1-12: Chapter 8 finishes with Jesus making a staggering claim about his identity (v.58, ‘before Abraham was born, I am’), and the theme of Jesus’ identity continues in Chapter 9. In v. 5, Jesus claims to be the Light of the world, and he illustrates this by literally opening the blinded, darkened eyes of the beggar. Jesus’ unusual method of mixing mud and saliva and asking the man to wash in the Pool of Siloam demonstrates the mystery rather than formula of the power of God to heal.
Verses 13-34: As the chapter progresses, we see that those who have their spiritual eyes opened by Jesus recognise God in their midst, whilst those who are spiritually blinded reject Him. Following the healing of the blind man, it becomes clear in the ensuing interaction between the Pharisees and the healed man that the Pharisees have no idea who Jesus is: they argue among themselves (v.16); they are prepared to ask an uneducated and (in their view) sinful man for his view (v.17); they claim to know he is a sinner (v.24) though they also admit to not knowing where he comes from (v.29). The Pharisees are blinded to the Light in their midst, and they are blind to their own blindness – they have a spiritual blind-spot. It is ironic that they act as judges of spiritual matters floundering, as they are, in their condition. The growing confidence and conviction of the healed beggar eventually sees him rejected from the Synagogue – the end result that his parents had been fearing. This excommunication must have been much more socially significant than we imagine as mere readers.
Verses 35-41: Jesus went again and found the man, (like He did with Philip in chapter 1), who had been kicked out of the Synagogue and who then has an experience of increasing spiritual sight. First, he sees Jesus as a man (v.11), then a prophet (v.17), he believes that Jesus comes from God (v.33), and finally he calls Jesus ‘Lord’ and worships him (v.38). This is grace upon grace upon grace! This also demonstrates the progressive, as well as instantaneous, work of God in humanity!
So who is Jesus?
He is the light of the world (v.5), who opens our spiritual eyes to see God in an unimpeded way.
He is the Son of Man (v.35) – the one that will be given all authority, glory and sovereign power by the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7.13-14)
His ministry will lead to some people receiving spiritual sight, while others will grow increasingly blind in their opposition to him (v.39).
– Such opposition, such spiritual blindness leads to your guilt remaining (v.41)
Key thoughts from Chapter 9
- Jesus came to reveal God to us, to end the alienation, separation and spiritual exile we found ourselves in. Spiritual blindness keeps us from seeing God and from worshipping him, but in Jesus we can be healed of our spiritual blindness and worship God as we should (v.38). - We need to recognize that we are blind (v.40-41), that we are separated from God (in darkness), and receive the healing of Jesus. The spiritually blind need a miracle to be healed, just as much as the physically blind need a miracle to be able to see.
- The righteous (those, whose guilt has been removed) are not the physically able, the people who have it all together and are respected by others. The righteous are those who know God and worship him. This fact should serve as a warning for me to judge others, or from seeking affirmation in the applause of others. My standing before God is in no way determined by my gifts, my abilities or my human reputation – my righteousness is found in having been miraculously healed of my spiritual blindness.
Prayers from Chapter 9
Jesus, come and open my eyes once again to the beauty of God. You are the exact representation of the Father, in you God is seen and my need for God is revealed. Bring healing to my spiritual blindness, and open the eyes of the blinded around me, still walking in darkness. May more and more people see your beauty and joyfully worship you. Amen