God works in grace, but not always in the same way

John 9:1 And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.


John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?"


John 9:3 Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.



“Neither hath this man sinned” – Jesus refutes the theory that was the culpability concept of the Pharisees.


The reason for the man’s congenital blindness? The Lord does not imply that the man or his parents have never sinned, but He says that the sins of this man and those of his parents have nothing to do with the blind man’s condition.


“but” introduces a purpose clause. God had a purpose in this congenital blindness; “that the works of God should be manifest.”


The works of God here represent divine good. The word “God” is literally “the God” and refers to God the Father and His plan.


And this answers a question that a lot of people have in the CWL. Why is this happening to me, or why has this happened to me?


/Many unfortunate things happen to us in this life so that God may manifest His work.\


And if I may reiterate – this life is about God and not about us. Every breath we take is a privilege.


The reason for the blind man is to reveal the works of the God.


/This is a reference to God the Father, author of the divine plan, who knew in eternity past that this man would be blind and that he would have +V.\


God also knew the combination of genes which would produce congenital blindness.


This man and his blindness were designed to glorify God and reveal His grace.


/ The works of God represent His grace provision.\


/God is perfect; His plan is perfect – origin of grace. Therefore in the framework of the perfect plan of God, God must work.\


This man is blind; no one can do anything about it. God must work, and does.



We all have areas of weakness that could be considered a blindness from birth that only God can work on. And if God is going to do the work we can have no part in it, and hence the entire plan of God is based on grace.


/2 Cor 12:7 And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me —  to keep me from exalting myself!\


/2 Cor 12:8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me.\


/2 Cor 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."\


/The man is hopeless, helpless useless but the grace of God will meet his need. In meeting his need God the Son is manifest for what He is – the light of the world.\


John 9:3 Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.


John 9:4 "We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.


We refers to God the Father, God the Son, and God the HS as He indwells the Son.


The Trinity works on behalf of this man who is a type of the entire human race – helpless, hopeless, useless, and in the dark.


/It is the purpose of the Trinity to work through grace, and only through grace, because grace reveals the perfection of His character.\


John 9:4 "We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.


/ “as long as it is day” refers to the period of the incarnation, which has approximately 6 months to go.\


/The night refers to the three hours when he bore our sins on the cross. Darkness covered Golgotha – Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33.\


/When darkness covered Golgotha no one worked except Christ, and He worked by being the recipient of divine judgment.\


In other words, Jesus is saying that while He is still on the earth and while people could still see Him in the flesh on the steps of this temple, “we must work.”




The works that were planned by the Father who knew that this man would be born blind would come to the point of God-consciousness and go on +V, and that he would sit on the outside of the temple.


It was outside of the temple that the works of God would be manifested in a special way, revealing His grace.


/God’s grace is God’s light. This man was in darkness, but when his eyes are open he is going to see the Lord and believe.\


/John 1:4-5

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.\


/John 1:17

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.\


/The only reason that his faith will be efficacious is because Christ is going to go into utter darkness that no man has ever experienced.\


/Matt 27:45

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.\


Everything that Jesus does from this point the religious people would hate. So Jesus is going to do this before the cross, before the night comes.


John 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 


John 9:6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes,


John 9:7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). And so he went away and washed, and came back seeing.


Christ healed blindness several times in the Bible.


Matt 9:27-30

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, and saying, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" 28 And after He had come into the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, "Be it done to you according to your faith."  30 And their eyes were opened.



Mark 8:22-25

And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Him, and entreated Him to touch him. 23 And taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes, and laying His hands upon him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?"  24 And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I am seeing them like trees, walking about." 25 Then again He laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.


Why the different ways?


/God is always going to come through in His timing – immediately or gradually, but don’t put God in some metal box and think He’s going to deliver in the same manner all the time.\


If God is anything, and He’s everything, He’s creative.


Now, our man can see. The word for seeing is in the present tense which means he kept on seeing, and that’s a no brainer.


If you never saw before and now you could see you wouldn’t be up for a game of peekaboo.


But although the miracle has been completed this man is still an unbeliever.


Miracles don’t save, faith saves.


Meanwhile, the miracle is documented by friends and neighbors.


John 9:8 The neighbors therefore, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, "Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?"


They have a hard time recognizing him because they’ve never seen him with working eyes before. They had seen him every day begging at the temple, being led to the temple steps by someone and now he’s walking around on his own seeing everything.


When you think about how central the eyes are to the appearance of the face this is understandable.


John 9:9 Others were saying, "This is he," still others were saying, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the one."


This is not a division based on faith. Someone who can see as opposed to someone who has congenital blindness looks fairly different.


John 9:10 Therefore they were saying to him, "How then were your eyes opened?"


They understood that this was a miracle and that someone had to do it for him, so they inquire. They’re merely curious at this point. And he gives them a straight answer.


John 9:11 He answered, "The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to Siloam, and wash'; so I went away and washed, and I received sight."


What we haven’t thought about is the distance from the temple to the pool of Siloam. He has to walk there blind.


/It takes determination to follow the command of Jesus to make it all the way to the pool blindly, even though he doesn’t know him as Savior yet.\


Jesus gives him this command to go all the way to the pool with mud on his eyes to show he has positive volition. And then when he washed he could see and he kept seeing, again and again. Everything is brand new.


John 9:12 And they said to him, "Where is He?" He said, "I do not know."


And here in lies the real reason why Christ sent him to the pool.


If this doesn’t happen this way we would never see something really wonderful.




/We are going to see the thinking of an unbeliever who has positive volition at God consciousness, but hasn’t received the gospel yet (pre-gospel) and the thinking of the unbeliever who is steeped in religion.\


This man, while still and unbeliever is going to out do, by far, the thinking of Israel’s most educated religious snobs.


In verse 12 when he says, “I don’t know,” he uses the word oida which means inherent knowledge.


/We are called by God. Christ comes to us; we do not seek Him out. No unbeliever inherently knows where Christ is or who Christ is as the God man.\


However, this man will know something that escapes the understanding of the religious because they are the epitome of arrogance and he has +V.


This is brought out beautifully in verses 13-34. We have the ex-blind man vs. the Pharisees.


John 9:13 They brought to the Pharisees him who was formerly blind.


John 9:14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.


/The Pharisees (not God) made it illegal to spit on the Sabbath or to make clay, and Christ did this right on the steps of the temple.\


If you remember in John 5, Christ healed the lame man on the Sabbath as well and they got all bent out of whack.


Legalism hates grace and therefore they don’t even acknowledge the miracle. No one with congenital blindness has ever been healed ever but they don’t care.


Their little pet taboo has been violated. They made up these taboos so they could elevate themselves above others. Therefore they don’t care about others – they only care about control and power.


They say one thing, but do another. They’ll quote


/Ps 146:8

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;

The Lord raises up those who are bowed down;

The Lord loves the righteous;\


They’ll sing this but won’t believe it. After all they’re the righteous, in their eyes. They just elected themselves righteous and convinced themselves that they know more than everyone else.


This type of thinking has been going on with power hungry people all throughout time.


The ex-blind man who has been seeing for a couple of hours is going to logically paint them in a corner to reveal just how blind they are.  


John 9:15 Again, therefore, the Pharisees also were asking him how he received his sight. And he said to them, "He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see."


They interrogate him and he shortens his story, but again right to the point.


/They can’t deny the genuineness of the miracle. It’s happened and they can’t refute that. So they’ll discredit the people involved.\


So they’ll do what people always do when they can’t deny something that they hate – they’ll discredit it by discrediting the person who performed it and the man who received it.


This happens all the time. If you can get some people to believe a lie to discredit someone’s character then you can accomplish their defeat. This is American politics every 2 and 4 years.


John 9:16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, "This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." But others were saying, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?" And there was a division among them.


Legalism is blind. We’ve seen it a hundred times in this Gospel. This Gospel is the gospel of the uniqueness of the God man. It reveals over the other synoptic gospels that JC is God.


They say He’s not from God. He is God. And He has alleviated the suffering of the man, done something no one has ever done before.


Yet there is a division. We find some logical thinkers in the crowd who can’t understand how an average man, a sinner, could pull off such a miracle.


John 9:17 They said therefore to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?" And he said, "He is a prophet." 

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