Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 9:3-7
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 9:3-4
vs3-4 (continued): If Jesus’ words indeed mean that God made the baby blind in the womb so He could perform this miracle, then the lesson here is that this particular man was chosen to suffer so that he might glorify God by receiving his sight. As we read on we’ll discover that the man became a disciple through this encounter, and his eternal life was surely worth far more to him than those years of blindness. But if Jesus didn’t say that, if that was not the lesson He was teaching, if what He actually said was “so that the works of God in him might be revealed,” then Jesus wasn’t explaining why this man was blind, but why He stopped to minister to him. After all, this man was only one of many beggars that lined those streets.

Monday: John 9:3-4
vs3-4 (continued): When Jesus passed the man He “saw” something in the Spirit. The Father pointed the man out and revealed that He had been at work preparing him to believe. So Jesus stopped because He knew the man, though blind to natural light, was ready to receive spiritual light (v39). He knew the miracle He was about to perform would reveal the “works” the Father had already done inside the man’s heart. He knew he would respond in faith and become His disciple (vs27-28, 38).

Tuesday: John 9:4
v4: Another key to understanding this passage is the fact that the subject of Jesus’ statement in this verse is plural, not singular. Jesus said, “It is necessary for us to work…,” or it might be translated, “We must work….” What’s surprising here is that He did not say, “I must work….” If this blind man was a special case whom God blinded in the womb, so Jesus could give Him sight, then surely Jesus would have said, “I must work the works of the One who sent Me….” But He didn’t. He said “we” which means He was modeling something He expected His disciples to continue doing after He ascended into heaven. He had been vigilantly watching for the Father to show Him people to whom He was to minister. In the same way, He wanted them to be vigilant to watch for the Father’s leading so that they too would do the “works of the One who sent Me.” Then He added a note of urgency. He told them that they must do these works “while it is day, [for] night comes when no one is able to work” (literal). In other words, He told them to seize every opportunity the Father showed them because such opportunities pass away quickly. Seasons of spiritual opportunity often come unexpectedly and then pass away just as quickly. Jesus compared those opportunities to daylight and their absence to night.

Wednesday: John 9:5
v5: There are seasons when people are responsive to the gospel and seasons when they are not. There are seasons when the power of God is strong and seasons when it seems difficult to minister. But never before had such a season of opportunity been present as when Jesus Himself walked among us. The Son of God left heaven to become a man who would teach us, heal us and reveal to us the glory of God at a level of clarity and intensity which had never been seen before and will not be seen again until He returns. Having just warned His disciples that the “day” of His physical presence in the world would soon give way to the “night” of His absence (v4), He said, “Whenever I may be in the world, I am [the] light of the world” (literal).

Thursday: John 9:5
v5 (continued): In the first verses of this gospel, John introduced Jesus as the Light of God (Jn 1:4-5, 7-9). Jesus is “the true Light” because by observing Jesus we are able to observe God’s character and His actions. We discover He is full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14). Darkness is the opposite. The term stands for all forms of false information about God and for the forces that are opposed to Him. A day or two earlier Jesus had called Himself “the Light of the world” (Jn 8:12), and now standing before this man born blind, He said it again, only this time He changed the wording slightly. He said, “Whenever I may be in the world I am [the] light of the world” (literal). His choice of words emphasizes the fact that His physical presence in the world was coming to an end. About six months later He would ascend to heaven. But on another occasion He said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world” (Mt 5:14-16). They would become “light” by drawing people to His light.

Friday: John 9:6
v6: What happened next is one of the most amazing moments in the Bible. Jesus spat on the ground and made clay out of the spittle and dust. Then He smeared the clay on the man’s eyes. For obvious reasons there has been much speculation about this. Some suggest the ancients believed saliva had healing properties, but there is mostly silence about why He made clay. Yet what that act symbolized was breathtaking. Jesus was revealing that He was the One who made Adam’s eyes; He was the One who formed Adam out of clay (Ge 2:7). In effect, as He smeared clay over the man’s unformed eyes, He was saying, “This is how I made Adam’s eyes.” In other words, He wasn’t healing eyes; He was creating them. v6 (continued): By that act Jesus revealed two truths. First He proclaimed His divinity as God’s Son. He was the One who created Adam and Eve. But second He demonstrated God’s perfect will for that man. Though he had been born blind, God’s will for him was not blindness, but sight. His suffering had nothing to do with punishment for sin.

Saturday: John 9:7
v7: Jesus instructed the man to go to the Pool of Siloam and wash the clay from his eyes. The archeological remains of that pool have been found. It was a large reservoir located about a quarter of a mile south of the temple. It was fed by the Gihon Spring (2Ch 32:30) through an ancient conduit carved through the rock. Nehemiah mentioned it twice. He called it the King’s Pool (Ne 2:14) and the Pool of Shelah (Ne 3:15). Isaiah spoke of “the gently flowing waters of Shiloah” (Isa 8:6). The name is based on a Hebrew word (Shalach) meaning “to send away” (Harris, Archer, Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Moody Press, 1980, Vol 2, p.928). It was used when someone was sent on a mission or as a representative. It was used when God sent prophets to warn Israel (Isa 6:8; Jer 1:7; 25:4; 26:5; 35:15; Eze 2:3-4; Jud 6:8). So when Jesus sent the man to those waters to wash, John notes that the pool’s name means “sent.” The blind man was being sent on a mission to “the gently flowing waters of Shiloah” (Isa 8:6) which represented the help that God sends to us.  

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