John and many people in his community are Jews. As a son of Abraham, his criticism of certain Jewish leaders is not a criticism of a whole people. He’s not stereotyping or making generalizations. “The Jews” he remembers in this passage are a corrupt group of power brokers who conspire against Jesus with the Romans to have Him crucified and who later have John’s own followers expelled from the synagogue. Their behavior may be compared to the behavior of those Israelites condemned by Old Testament prophets. Prophets have the duty—Jeremiah said he had “a fire in his bones” (20:9)—to speak for God and condemn hypocrisy and unbelief wherever it is found, especially when it’s found close to home. That’s what John’s doing when recalling this event.
9 While walking along the road, Jesus saw a man who was blind since his birth.
Disciples:2 Teacher, who sinned? Who is responsible for this man’s blindness? Did he commit sins that merited this punishment? If not his sins, is it the sins of his parents?
Jesus:3 Neither. His blindness cannot be explained or traced to any particular person’s sins. He is blind so the deeds of God may be put on display. 4 While it is daytime, we must do the works of the One who sent Me. But when the sun sets and night falls, this work is impossible. 5 Whenever I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
6 After He said these things, He spat on the ground and mixed saliva and dirt to form mud, which He smeared across the blind man’s eyes.
Jesus(to the blind man):7 Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.
Siloam means “sent,” and its name reminded us that his healing was sent by God. The man went, washed, and returned to Jesus, his eyes now alive with sight. 8 Then neighbors and others who knew him were confused to see a man so closely resembling the blind beggar running about.
Townspeople: Isn’t this the man we see every day sitting and begging in the streets?
Others:9 This is the same man.
Still Others: This cannot be him. But this fellow bears an uncanny resemblance to the blind man.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Want to get the most out of Bible Gateway? Find out why Bible Gateway Plus is the ultimate toolkit for anyone seeking to grow closer to the Word. For less than the cost of a latte, Plus membership gives you access to a complete digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads. Try it free for 30 days!