The guy Jesus met
John 9:1-12
Its a risky business to follow Christ because your assumptions about life will be challenged
Published November 10th, 2022
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Main point summary
Main point summary
When Jesus revels himself to the world there will be controversy.
John 9:1-12
Now as Jesus was passing by, 1 he saw a man
who had been blind from birth.
His disciples asked him, 2
“Rabbi, who committed the sin that caused him to be born blind, this man 3 or his parents?” 4
Jesus answered, “Neither this man 5 nor his parents sinned,
but he was born blind so that 6 the acts 7 of God may be revealed 8 through what happens to him. 9
We must perform the deeds 10 of the one who sent me 11
as long as 12 it is daytime.
Night is coming when no one can work.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 13
Having said this, 14
he spat on the ground and made some mud 15 with the saliva.
He 16 smeared the mud on the blind man’s 17 eyes and said to him,
“Go wash in the pool of Siloam” 18 (which is translated “sent”). 19
So the blind man 20 went away and washed,
and came back seeing.
Then the neighbors and the people who had seen him previously 21 as a beggar began saying, 22
“Is this not the man 23 who used to sit and beg?”
Some people said, 24 “This is the man!” 25
while others said, “No, but he looks like him.” 26
The man himself 27 kept insisting, “I am the one!” 28
So they asked him, 29 “How then were you made to see?” 30
He replied, 31 “The man called Jesus made mud, 32 smeared it 33 on my eyes and told me, 34
‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and was able to see.” 35
They said 36 to him, “Where is that man?” 37
He replied, 38 “I don’t know.”
A sign that something is going to happen. A penguin walks into a bar... The best comedians take what we know about ourselves, our culture and others but add a twist to make it funny. Christ does something similar but not for comedy. He does it to revel himself, his kingdom and how we are to live in it.
Seems to be based on an assumption that if something bad happens to a person then they must have done something to deserve it. Seems likely to be Hebrew cultural
Wait, what? That's not even one of the options they gave him or clearly an option they have considered.
A mysterious response to a simple question: how Christ like. Need to find the meaning of this. Darkness and blindness seem to tie together but where is this headed??
When is this?? Seems likely that it is between the crucifixion and the coming of the Holy Spirit but I wouldn't die on that hill.
Ewww, not exactly a nice thought. but he did as instructed and he could see.
He does the unlikely thing that results in healing to the glory of God.
Verse 2, What are they assuming in this question? That there is a cause-effect in everything God does. We can broadly categorize people based on superficial observations How does this square with our understanding of God's interaction with us? This is strictly works based thought and denys that God would do anything outside of that. Grace is not a factor.
Verse 3, What is this saying about this guys life as God's child? He is there to glorify The Father even if its not the greatest self actualization for him personally He (or his mother) should not feel guilt in the situation. How do we react when we are faced with situations where we are not able to do as we please but are constrained by God's actions obvious or hidden?
Jesus was headed out of the temple after a verbal altercation with the religious leaders and was hot footing it away to keep the timing of the crucifixion on track.
verse 4 What does this tell us about Christ's view of his time on earth It was a definite mission and time was of the essence There were specific things that he needed to do during that time That time would end and there would be some time of zero productivity
Verse 8-10 The neighbors cannot square the appearance of the guy with the blind beggar they used to know. How does their reaction seem exactly like we would react in this situation? Trying to establish that he is really the same guy and disagreeing on the answer Confused that this has happened and trying to understand the cause of the cure Cross examining his to establish the truth? How do you suppose the guy felt about the reactions of his neighbors? confusion that they wouldn't know him disillusionment of extreme joy turning to a need for defense of himself anger at the unkind and unthinking response to him in his situation confusion that Jesus granting him joy becoming a controversy in the hood How do we mute the joy or increase the pain of other through our reactions based on assumptions? How can we learn to contribute to others emotional health during difficult situations rather than contributing to the problem?
Verse 11, What is the result of the guys persistence in relaying what Jesus had done for him? The neighbors were curious about Jesus and wanted to meet him
Brent Karding
How is verse 8 the Purpose of verses 1-7? I don't see that, actually.
Dennis Christensen
Jesus healed the guy and the neighbors were curious about him. He did miracles to reveal himself, his kingdom and what people who live in it should look like. He was reveled and there was controversy and curiosity. What would make more sense?
Brent Karding
I should have written "the Purpose of verses 6-7." A Purpose is saying, "Jesus made mud and sent the blind man to wash so that he could come back seeing." That makes sense, but nothing in the text indicates that relationship: there's no "so that" or "in order to" in the text, just a "so" in 7c, which would indicate a Result.
Brent Karding
They said to him, “Where is that man?”
Verse 12 isn't the Result of verses 8-11, I'd say, because verses 8-11 aren't an Action: they are a collection of events, of statements, but not a singular action.

I think a threefold Progression would be better: a statement and response in 8-9, 10-11, and 12.
Dennis Christensen
I see it as a single discussion between the neighbors and the guy. His persistence in the interchange creates an interest in Jesus.
Brent Karding
Yes, you could call verses 8-12 a single discussion. But that's where I would see the threefold Progression, with three parts to the discussion.
Brent Karding
Some people said, “This is the man!”
How are both 9b and c a surprising response to the question in 8b?
Dennis Christensen
you would think that people would be overjoyed at his healing but it turned into questions about his identity. Maybe more disappointing than surprising at the end of the day.
Brent Karding
Yes, you would think so! The answer in 9a-b, though, isn't a surprising response to the question that was actually asked.
Brent Karding
Having said this,
Verses 6-7 are clearly the Manner of Jesus' healing, but how are they the Manner of Jesus' speaking in verse 1, or of the disciples' asking a question in verse 2? That's what your bracket is saying.
Dennis Christensen
He said "we must do the work of the father" and then he does it. Its the  he manner in which he carried out his assertion. Again, I was looking at 1-5 as a single entity where a question is asked and a teaching and answer given.
Brent Karding
If 1-5 are a single entity (which makes sense), then the relationship for verses 6-7 must modify that entity as a whole. And Jesus' healing isn't indicating how verses 1-5 as a whole were carried out - it isn't saying that Jesus saw a man (v. 1) in the way described in v. 6-7, or that the disciples asked a question (v. 2) in the way described in v. 6-7. So that relationship isn't possible.

Narratives have more Progressions: verses 1-5 is an event, and verses 6-7 is an event that follows it.
Brent Karding
We must perform the deeds of the one who sent me
I'm not clear how verses 4-5 are a Ground for verse 3. Can you explain?
Dennis Christensen
Yea, not sure what I was shooting for there. Inference might be correct or progression maybe.
Brent Karding
but he was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him.
There's a Neg-Pos here in verse 3: "He's not blind because his parents sinned; he is blind because God wants to be glorified."
Dennis Christensen
check, I see that.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.