Siloam John 9:3
Which means ‘sent’. Sight comes to those who walk by faith.
Today’s study will awaken strong emotions.
The strongest emotion will probably come from Verses 3 thru 5: 3
“Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Is Jesus saying that God deliberately causes some babies to be born blind so we can see God work?
– Or, was it ONLY this particular man who was born blind for this particular event?
– If so, how could God do such a thing?
Is Jesus saying that both this man and his parents were sinless?
– Doesn’t that go against Psalm 51:5 and Romans 3:23?
– Or, is Jesus saying their sins DID NOT cause the man’s blindness?
Why, oh why, would Jesus spit on the ground to make mud to heal this man’s blindness?
Why do men have to argue about everything, Verse 16?
Why can’t we just listen to what the other person is saying, Verse 27?
Are people that transformed by no longer being blind, Verse 9?
Well, to answer these questions and many more let’s take the passage in three parts:
Part One: Verses 1-7 and answer the age-old question: He say; they saw; everyone has an opinion
Part Two: Verses 8-12 and learn to ask the right question: Is it how or who the man was healed?
Part Three: Verses 13-17: learn to stop arguing over, they said vs. he said.
Part Four: Application: A simple truth: Frustration always starts at the end of understanding, Vss. 18-34
Part One: He saw…they saw; Verses 1-7
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
Jesus saw a blind man.
– His disciples saw an opportunity to raise a theological question:
– “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
– We shouldn’t be surprised; many of us are of the same mindset.
– We see a person in need and instead of just offering a helping hand we want to argue over WHY he/she is in such a mess.
– It is still common today for people to assume tragedy is the result of sin
Clearly, John is writing this as an eyewitness.
– Jesus is still in the Temple area; Verse John 8:2-3
Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.
– Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.
– Now Jesus is attempting to move on, but His compassion compels Him to heal.
– His desire to teach, 8:2; compelled Him to answer their question: 9:2
Jesus’ answer about the blindness as a result of sin maybe better understood if we read His answer as it was said, without the pause of punctuation:
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned for the works of God should be revealed in him I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day the night is coming when no one can work as long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.”
Jesus came to do the works of God.
– In the physical: The only hope for the man in the darkness of his blindness is the light of the world
– In the spiritual: The only hope for those in the darkness of their sin is the Light of the world.
Which brings us to Verse 6:
“When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
We know from historians that Rabbis of this era would use saliva as a salve for eye diseases.
– Whether it worked or not is disputed.
– However, historians don’t mention using salvia mixed with dust.
– So, unlike us, they would not have been only slightly surprised at Jesus.
Theologians of course argue over why Jesus used a mud-pack.
– Later He will heal two blind men by simply touching their eyes.
– We understand that as The Word, Jesus would only have to commanded sight and it would have happened.
– So, why a mud-pack?
– We are not told!
But the reason I hold came to me from my dear friend Bill Wood.
– As a doctor, Bill understood congenital blindness is the result of something missing during the creation of the baby in the womb.
– Jesus, therefore, was acting as God of Creation…The Word which brot all things to be
– Jesus didn’t restore sight as in removing a cataract or healing glaucoma.
– Jesus created sight by creating whatever was missing from the man’s anatomy.
Some theologians see the use of dust as a link to Creation.
– As Adam was formed from the dust of the earth, so was sight to the blind man.
– Therefore, Jesus as Creator, created what was missing Bill’s understanding, the miracle is linked to Creation.
– So, they agree with Dr. Wood!
Which brings us to Verse 7
And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent).
So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
As Dr. Bill would say, “this is interesting’!”
– Why would John translate the word Siloam for us?
– This is the miracle of salvation.
– Obey…Go to where you are sent and obey what you have been commanded.
– Receive… “and come back seeing”
Only when we who believe walk by faith to we see!
We can only imagine what this man felt…to see for the first time in his life!
Which brings us to Part Two: How or Who, that is the question…Verses 8-12
Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” 9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.” 10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.” 12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.”
So many times we don’t know enough to even ask the right question.
– His neighbors asked, How.
– He doesn’t know how. No one knows how. He only knows Who.
– So, when it comes to matters of faith the question should start with Who (not how nor why, nor what, nor when; but WHO)
But first they have to get passed the change in the beggar.
– Apparently he didn’t look the same; like seeing Superman with glasses looks like Clark Kent?
– Like seeing you after you were saved…you looked similar but acted differently
– So changed was the beggar some thought is a man who looked like him
-Then he spoke, “I am he.”
– Just like you…we sometimes have to tell our friends, No, I’m me!
– His answer to Who was simple: Jesus;
– The HOW was mysterious, he made clay, anointed my eyes and said, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.
– Oh that we would by faith act the same way…just obey Jesus!
– But, no…we have to make it complicated, which brings us to…
Part Three: They said, he said…Verses 13-17
13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
They said…Verse 16:
Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”
He said…Verse 17:
“He is a prophet.”
Oh, how many times do we do this to God?
– Don’t talk to me right now, I’ve made up my mind!
– Husbands do this to their wives and wives to their husbands
– Friends to each other
– Church members to one another
– Don’t talk to me right now
Now, what did Jesus do to break the Sabbath Law?
– First, He made mud!
– Second, He applied the mud-pack to the beggar’s eyes!
– Third, He commanded the man to Go and wash
– Under the laws according to the Pharisee’s all these were considered work
Well, how can a sinner perform miracles?
– That is a good question.
– We see charlatans even today who claim to perform miracles in the name of God
– Do they?
– Can’t even the Devil disguise himself as an angel of light? Well, of course.
– So, how are we supposed to know?
– In the words of the formerly blind beggar, call him a prophet.
But let’s not get hung up there. There is one more thing to consider about this difficult passage
Part Four: Application: Frustration starts at the end of understanding;
Verses 18 thru 34
Horse and dog trainers know this to be true
– When they run out of knowledge violence begins…
– Both have been beaten and whipped only because the trainer didn’t know what to do
Parents know this to be true
– When we have done everything we know to relieve the pain and suffering of our child—young or old—we lose our patience; – – we do and say things we shouldn’t
– We have all done it.
– The lesson here this morning is to learn from our mistakes
– Seek forgiveness and move on!
Because the alternative is NOT acceptable: Verse 18: But the Jews did not believe!
- We cannot allow our actions to be those of an unbeliever!
- Verse 22: We cannot allow our prejudice remain upon what we formerly thought Verse 25 Like the beggar we say, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
- Or, in our scenario, whether I understand what is going on or not. This one thing I know: I was once a sinner but now I am not!
- The mercies of God are most valuable when we pass them on!
- The forgiveness of Christ is best honored when we forgive others!
- Siloam Pastor’s Notes PDFAmazing Grace, my chains are gone, once I was blind but now I see!