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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Light of the World Heals the Blind-Belief and Unbelief

Of all the healing Jesus, or Yeshua did, the one most tied to his Messiahship was that of opening the eyes of the blind. Even more than that, the one true mark of Messiah would be that he could heal one born blind since birth. Blindness caused at a later age, while robbing the person of sight, was often from disease or accident, and even the healing of that though miraculous could always have been assigned to some unknown process correcting itself. IN all of Israel however, no one had been healed of blindness since birth, and the equation of physical and spiritual blindness is readily apparent: The Light of the World, came to open eyes, hearts, ears and minds in more ways than one.

There are many instances mentioned of Jesus healing the blind in the Holy Scriptures, and they are far fewer than the number he actually healed: it is mentioned that if all the works he did were reported, there would not be enough room in all the books in the world: God is a rather prolific author of healing and other works of grace. Further, the people of Israel recognized that the true "Son of David", another name for Messiah, would heal one blind since birth in addition to others, for in one instance (Mt 12:22) after healing one possessed, blind and dumb, the people responded,

"And all of the people were amazed and said "is this not the Son of David."

Jesus and the Man Born Blind Since Birth

While other healings of the blind will be attended to later, the study here will focus on the healing in the Temple of the man born blind since birth in John 9. This healing of blindness above others is unique and intricate: there is far more than merely correcting or restoring vision, but instead a discourse between the Light of the World and the Blindness of the World, between Religion and Relationship with God, between Unbelief and belief.


Jesus begins, by attributing to himself yet one more name, 'the Light of the World' which is also an 'office' of Messiah. He has not just come to BRING light into the world, he has come AS Light in the World. There is a metaphorical allusion to day and night as well:

"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is DAY; the NIGHT cometh, when no man can work. 9:4

Night and Day

Blindness is equated then with night and sight with day. Jesus dies as evening approaches, and rises with the break of the third day. Psalms reports darkness at the outer reach of glory

He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies.Psalm 18:11

and sinners, in the end, in unbelief and non-acceptance of God's 'way out', are cast to outer darkness.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

While there are many references to day and night in the Bible, these are eminent, along with the plague of darkness which fell on Egypt, a type of the world, when Pharaoh refused to let the Children of Israel go free.

And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. Exodus 10:22-23.

The darkness and light of the Bible, the day and night, and vision and blindness, are all mentioned similarly with differing emphasis. While the literal darkness, night, and blindness have literal meanings, they point likewise to unbelief, not just cognitive unbelief or conversely for day and light, belief, but the unbelief of the soul. That is the point of the divine battle always, and is the pivotal choice of eternal life.


All of this is essential to understand in the healing of the man born blind since birth, for Jesus had come not only to do the one healing, but to make a major point to Israel and her leaders regarding belief, and light and day, and an Israel which would live in full worship of God in the Light of the Day. Following the discourse on night, Jesus says

As long as I am in the world, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.[my emphasis] 9:5

We will see three principles emerge in the healing:

1. The man was blind from birth, and it was a DIVINE APPOINTMENT-for the purpose of showing the glory of God.
2. The Blind condition was equated with sin, at least sometimes.
3. The Blind condition and sin were seen as ancestral.

The equation of blindness with sin , perhaps committed byhis parents or himself showed the view of blindness as punishment. Jesus corrects that view at least in this case:

"Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 9:3.

The work was an APPOINTMENT, an ANOINTING, waiting for the time of Christ, set apart since the beginning: it was a healing ensign, of God opening the eyes of Israel, blind since birth, to the degree of his love and salvation.

Right after making it clear, that he, the Messiah was the light of the World, the healing takes place:

9:6 When he had thus spoken he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle

and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

It is announced right on the doorstep of the great healing which will confirm him as messiah. The Light of the World opens the eyes of the blind.

In the performing of the miracle, first the LORD speaks: as noted in another healing, a healing requires nothing more than the LORD speaking as when the centurion intercedes for his servant , 'only speak the word'.

Jesus next mixes spittle and clay. Here is the potter and the vessel, and he has a little repair work to do. Adam was drawn from the clay, and Jesus, the Creator is using clay to restore this created vessel at a point in time. Lastly he "anoints'
the eyes of the blind man: the sight which will be given all Israel is tied up in the healing of this man. This blindness had a purpose during all the years when its anointing could not be seen.

Jesus Speaks

"and he said unto him, Go and wash in the pool of Siloam
which is by interpretation 'sent'.

The command of the LORD is the only effort required, although there is a physical means, and the obedience to the command results in the healing. The passage continueds

He went his way, therefore and washed and came seeing.

The otucome of obedience is sight on two levels, for the man will now see much. The healing of the blind since birth was a first in Israel and heralded the presence of the Messiah (in part II we will see, that Jesus definitively declares, he is indeed the Messiah.)

IN 9:8-9, immediately after this hitherto unseen miracle, the first reaction of onlookers is to question the miracle, remarkable since the immediate difference was seen:

Some said, This is he: others said He is like him; but he said, I am he.

The observers weren't even sure it was the same man: they had nothing to compare the opening of always dead eyes to.

Therefore they said unto him How were thine eyes opened?

The response of the healed man, speaks for centuries for all Israel, for all believers:

He answered and said,

A man that is called Jesus made clay
and anointed mine eyes
and siad unto me
'Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash' and I went and washed
and I received sight.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound...was blind, but now I see. Here is the response of all believers to the cynical:

I don't know how he has opened my eyes, I don't know how he has saved me, I don't know how his power and love abides in me know through the indwelling of the HOly Spirit, I don't know HOW one man dying on a Cross can be born of a virgin and carry all sin to the cross and put it to death once and for all, I don't know, but I have seen it, and it was Jesus.

The crowd immediately seeks to find Jesus at the wonder, but the healed does not know for the moment where he has gone. 9:12.

Following the prescription set forth in Leviticus, the healed man was brought to the priests, in this case the Pharisees (13)

Darkness Creeps in

Immediately following the great light of the healing and belief, the divine battle steps up to plate again, and Unbelief makes it's attempt on dismissing the Messiah and the Miracle. Their first strategy is the strategy of all religionists: fault-finding and nitpicking. The target is Shabbat: the Sabbath day, in which there is to be no servile work.

9:14 And it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.

Shabbat is a day of rest, worship and light : a perfect day for the blind to be healed for both Old and New Testament teach that it is not wrong to do good on the Sabbath. But the Pharisees needed Jesus to be a sinner to make their argument: in their eyes, bending down obtaining clay and mixing it with spittle was work. Back in those days, some argued that even eating the egg of a chicken which was laid on Shabbat, should be forbidden as it caused the chicken work. While there was an intense effort to obey God's commands concerning the day of rest, [I observe the Sabbath rest failing only a little once in a long while], the rules and nitpicking can rob the day of joy, which was supposed to be an integral effect of the day. The Pharisees did not perfectly obey either: Jesus at another passage refers to an ox being pulled out of ditch so that even a Pharisee would not lose the animal or cause suffering or monetary loss as being o.k. on the Sabbath, but here they did not want a man to receive sight from God on the Shabbat due to a technicality! Not even a sin, but an interpretation of what work was. They exhibit another characteristic of religious unbelief:
Condemnation, an overly critical nature of everyone and everything, and even a murderous spirit. In the face of a miracle they see only minute details to condemn and do not attend to the wonder. We have all met these folks in Christian circles: we have even tended to it ourselves at certain times: we have both an obligation to keep doctrine accurate and excellent without dissension, but to also be filled with grace, peace and love. It is the extremes though that kill faith: not of the person trying hard to obey for themselves, but in the people who will not let others live and breathe without an analysis.

The man born blind explains the course of his healing by Jesus to the Pharisees, and true to form, their response is Condemnation.

Therefore, said some of the Pharisees,

This man is not of God
because he keepeth not the Sabbath Day[he was the Sabbath]

Others said,
"How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?

And there was division among them.


1.The Pharisees immediately without much investigation condemn
2.Pharisees cause strife and division where there is none
3. Pharisees commit condemnation on the Shabbat or Sabbath, a serious sin,
accompanied by slander, and yet worry about mixing clay and spittle for a once
in a lifetime healing.

The nature and course of the healing has been described in this short study. We notice
I.that it occurs on Shabbat, that it is a first,
II. that it is a sign of Messiah, and
III.that it is a physical portrayal of the Light of the World granting light and vision where none was before.

In the next study, we examine the divine importance of this great healing of the blind, and then will continue later with other healings of other blindmen in Israel.

Blessings from Elizabeth K. Best
Director, Judah's Glory
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,
and no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6

See Judahsglory.com/biblestudies.html and other Bible studies at warsofisrael.com and propheteuo.blogspot.com and housethatwillnotdie.blogspot.com.
2. 84.