LESSON 3: July 14–20, 2021
AIM: We live in a world where people look down on those who have any form of disability but let us realize the greater disability is when we are not able to see ourselves for who we are and are unable to recognize God for who He is!
Often when we meet or pass by someone who has any sort of disability, how do we react to that person? Do we overlook them, look at them curiously, feel a tinge of pity, wonder what caused their disability or do we go out of our way to be loving to them? Sadly, in many cultures of the world, there is a wide-spread belief that disability is a consequence of sin, or the result of some curse on the family, or the individual.
The man born blind was of little consequence. He was cast aside by society because it was thought that his sins or that of his parents had caused him to be blind. He was ignored and side-lined as he stood outside the temple begging. His name was not important. How he felt was not important. All that was important to them was that someone had sinned and caused him to be that way. So often we look at the reasons why people are in the condition they are in. We use the reason to deny the assistance that we should be giving. But Jesus did not focus on the cause of his disability Jesus focused on the man.
As we look at our lesson today, there has been debate if this account of Scripture is still at the Feast of Tabernacles (chapter 8) or if it is a couple of months later at the Feast of Dedication. While it is not for certainty which time this was, Jesus picks up the same theme he had addressed then – that He is the Light of the World.
As we look at the lesson today, Jesus sees a man who has been blind right from birth. In the miracle of healing this man, Jesus showed himself to be the Light of the World by giving to him physical light and eyesight. Through the miracle, Jesus did an even greater work by giving him the Light of the World in a personable manner. This man is to see and understand that Jesus is also the spiritual light of the world.
John 9:1-7 (MEV)
1 As Jesus passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.
2 His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But it happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
4 I must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.
5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva. He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So, he went away and washed, and returned seeing.
- Unbelievable Question
- This question was a strange one for several reasons.
- If as the disciples had assumed that this man’s parents had committed sin that deserved the birth of a blind boy, they and we fail to realize the fullness of God’s word. If one were to go with this assumption of the disciples that disability was the consequence of sin, then every person should be born with some sort of disability, since everyone has sinned.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NKJV) “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.”.
Romans 3:23 (NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- Here was a man who was born blind. There was no way a baby could have sinned in his mother’s womb to be born with some sort of disability.
Point to Ponder: What does disability mean to you? How are we disabled?
Point to Ponder: At one time we were blind – spiritually blind, what does that mean to you? How are we still “spiritually” blind?
- There are people in this world like Job’s friends who believe that you MUST have done something wrong for God to have put this affliction upon you.
Job 4:7-8 (NLT) 7 “Stop and think! Do the innocent die? When have the upright been destroyed? 8 My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.
Point to Ponder: Do you agree or disagree with Job’s friends?
Point to Ponder: If it is not “God’s fault” whose fault, is it?
Point to Ponder: Why do you think God “permits” such afflictions?
- Unexpected Answer
- Jesus was clear-cut in his response. . . the situation that the man found himself in was not the result of his sins or his parents’ sins.
- But he was born blind so that God’s mighty power might be manifested through him, and God’s Name would be glorified!
- Jesus said that the man’s suffering was not due to sin but that he suffered so that the works of God could be demonstrated in his life.
- Unique Response
- This was not the first blind person Jesus healed. But the way Jesus healed him was different from how Jesus had healed other blind people.
- In Matthew 9:27-30, two blind men received their sight by Jesus simply touching their eyes.
- In Mark 8:22-26, for the blind man at Bethsaida, Jesus had to take him out of the village far away from people, then he spat on his eyes, put his hand on the blind man. Even after all this, his sight wasn’t fully restored. Jesus had to touch him a second time before his eyes were fully open.
Mark 8:22-25 (NIV) 22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
- In the case of the blind man in our text, Jesus spat on the ground, mixed some mud with saliva, put it on the man’s eyes, then told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.
- God does not have a fixed method, style, and approach to changing people’s lives and situation.
- Putting God in a box; tying Him down to a particular style and method, can keep you from seeing the power of God.
- Testing Time
- Jesus’ instructions – and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).
- Blind man’s response – So he went and washed and came back seeing.
- No obedience – no blessing!
- No oil until the vessels are gathered!
- No healing until the leper had dipped seven times!
- No Messiah until the way has been prepared!
- No reconciliation without repentance!
- No vision without washing!
- No resurrection until the stone is moved!
2 Kings 4:3-4 (ESV) 3 Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.”
2 Kings 5:10 (ESV) And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.”
Isaiah 40:3 (NCV) This is the voice of one who calls out: “Prepare in the desert the way for the Lord. Make a straight road in the dry lands for our God.
Joel 2:12-13 (NLT)12 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. 13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
John 9:7 (NLT) He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
John 11:39 (NLT) “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
John 9:8-11 (MEV)
8 The neighbors and those who had previously seen that he was blind said, “Is this not he who sat and begged?”
9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” But he said, “I am he.”
10 So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
11 He answered, “A Man called Jesus made clay, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So, I went away and washed, and I received my sight.”
- New Man
- New Creation
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
- New Heart
Ezekiel 11:19 (AMP) And I will give them one heart [a new heart], and put a new spirit within them. I will take from them the heart of stone, and will give them a heart of flesh [that is responsive to My touch]
- New Song
Psalm 40:3 (NLT) He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.
- New Appearance
Acts 4:13 (NCV) The leaders saw that Peter and John were not afraid to speak, and they understood that these men had no special training or education. So, they were amazed. Then they realized that Peter and John had been with Jesus.
- New Attitude
John 9:9 (KJV) Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
- New Action
2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
1 John 1:7a (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,
Ø New Testimony
John 9:24-25 (NLT) 24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.” 25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”
Point to Ponder: God has brought us through a pandemic – Covid 19, do you “look like what you’ve been through?” Or do you have a new attitude, new action, a new testimony? Do you care to share it with others?
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Thank God that you don’t look like what you have been through.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: Let others know what you survived and the non-Disney version of how you survived what you went through.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Share with others how what Christ endured has helped you mature to the creation of God you have become.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Your faithful giving helps others develop their testimony.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: If you are experiencing a difficult time, remember how God brought you through your last difficult time and start giving him a glorifying praise right now!
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: When We All Get to Heaven
NEXT WEEK’S READING: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3