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John Chapter Nine


I. Content of the Chapter


The Son of God the Savior Opened the Eyes of the Man Who Was Blind

  A. The Sign that He healed the One Who was Blind by Nature:

1. The background before he was healed (v.1-5)

2. The process of his being healed (v.6-7)

  B. The Witness of the Blind Who Had Been Healed:

1. The witness to the neighbors ---- a Man called Jesus (v.8-12).

2. The witness to the Pharisees for the first time ---- He is a prophet (v.13-17).

3. The cowardice of his parents ---- the weakness of the flesh (v.18-23).

4. The witness to the Pharisees for the second time ---- He came from God (v.24-33).

5. The result of the witness ---- he was rejected by the blind religion (v.34).

  C. The Blind Man Obtained Deeper Revelation after Having Been Healed:

1. The revelation that the One who healed him is the Son of God (v.35-37).

2. He established the right relationship with the Lord ---- believed Him and worshipped Him (v.38).

3. The world had been divided into two sorts because of the Lord ---- the blind men saw, but the clear-eyed one became blind (v.39-41).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


John. 9:1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.

   YLT: “And passing by, he saw a man blind from birth,”

   Meaning of Words: “pass by”: go along or away; “from birth”: by nature;

   Literal Meaning: now as Jesus passed by”, it referred to the period when Jesus went out of the temple and passed by a certain place. It exactly took place on the Sabbath (see v.14), and there were three explanations as below: (1) it was the eighth day of the Feast of the Tabernacles (see Lev 23:39); (2) it was the next Sabbath after the Feast of the Tabernacles; (3) it was the feast of the dedication (see 10:21-23).

   Spiritual Meaning: a man who was blind from birthit symbolizes the unbelieving ones, whose thoughts have been so blinded by the god of this world (see 2Cor 4:4) that they walk in the darkness and know neither themselves nor the true God. This man was blind from birth, i.e. his was blind by nature, which typified that blindness originated from the sin. Every one is born in the sin, so is blind.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) Today, many people see only the visible and transient things, rather than the eternal ones in the future. Is it blind of one’s spirit, if he sees only the apparent, material and carnal things rather than the invisible things of his spirit?

     2) “Men were blind from birth”, men were blind by nature and fell into the darkness. Even though a man acts most morally in the natural life, he can still not “see” the kingdom of God (see 3:3).


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

   YLT: “and his disciples asked him, saying, `Rabbi, who did sin, this one or his parents, that he should be born blind?'”

   Meaning of Words: “sin”: offend, sin, and trespass;

   The Background: in the old days, generally the Jews might regard one’s afflictions as the retributions caused by himself or his parents (see v.34; Luke 13:2; Acts 28:4; Ex 20:5; Eze18:20).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) The disciples asked whether the man’s blindness related to “sin”, which showed that one could not free themselves from the moral ideas concerning spiritual things. However, Christ came to open men’s eyes for the purpose of manifesting the glory of His divine nature (v.3) rather than merely transforming men’s moral states.

     2) Men tended to judge others, but the Lord was going to heal others. Men always see negatively, but the Lord sees positively.


John. 9:3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

   YLT: “Jesus answered, `Neither did this one sin nor his parents, but that the works of God may be manifested in him;”

   Meaning of Words: “reveal”: manifestly declare, appear; “work”: deed, doing, and labor;

   Literal Meaning: “neither this man nor his parents sinned”, the Lord did not mean that his fathers were not sinners, but this man’s blindness was not caused by sin.

    “But that the works of God should be revealed in him.” ---- It could be judged from these words that the Lord healed this blind man to manifest the great power of God as well as that He who was sent by God is “the light of the world” (see v.5; 8:12).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) Although all the diseases, afflictions and death enter the world because of the sin (see Gen 2:17; 3:16-19), it does not mean that one’s sickness is always by some certain sins that he commits.

     2) When we see others encountering troubles or unexpected disasters, we should not conjecture presumptuously that what they have confronted is the penalty of God. 

     3) It is the very chance of being more granted by God when we encounter diseases or afflictions (see 2Cor 12:9-10).

     4) It is better to seek the way of resolving the troubles rather than the origin of it. We should seize the chance of suffering and change it into another one that manifests the glory of God.

     5) But we know that all things work together for good to those who love God (Rom 8:28). All the afflictions, diseases, frustrations, troubles and sufferings we have been experienced have the good pleasure of God for the purpose of “revealing the works of God”.

     6) The genetic defect of a man is not completely the matter of sin, but the chance of manifesting the works of God.

     7) The principal aim of “the works of God” is to heal the blindness of men’s spirit and bring men to the spiritual enlightenment and knowledge.


John. 9:4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

YLT:it behoveth me to be working the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night doth come, when no one is able to work: --

Literal Meaning:I must work the works of Him”, it indicates that the Lord grants His disciples to partake in His works, for not only is He “the light of the world (v.5)”, and His disciples are “the light of the world” as well (see Matt 5:14)”.

Spiritual Meaning: “the day” and “the night” typify that: (1) “day” means the age of grace remains, and “night” refers to the end of the age of grace. (2) “Day” indicates that men still live in the world, and “night” symbolizes that men have been dead. (3) “Day” indicates that the gospel is still permitted to preach in the circumstance, and “night” shows the opposition to the gospel has reached the summit in the circumstance.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) While it is day, it reminds the Christians that the day of life passes away swiftly. The night is coming, our service on the earth will pass in the future. Therefore, we should seize every favorable opportunity granted by God to serve Him according to what is agreeable to Him.

     2) We should avail ourselves of the opportunity to preach the gospel diligently when the light of the glad tidings of the glory of the Christ is still shining (the day). For there will be no chance to preach the gospel when the end of the age (the night) comes.

     3) It is critically important to seize opportunities for those who serve God. Many believers lose the chance of bearing witness of the Lord because of fearing for various things.

     4) Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching (2 Tim 4:2).

     5) The Lord mentioned we instead of I or you. He likes to work with us. All the works that the Lord has not partaken in are not what the Lord requests.

     6) In order to heal the blindness of mens spirit and grant enlightenment to them in darkness, the Lord is willing to work with the men who are of Him together.

     7) The chief work of the Lords workers is to open mens eyes, namely, turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (see Acts 26:18).

     8) We refers to not only the Lord and one certain individual, but the Lord and all of us. It is acceptable to the Lord that all the believers in the assembly can cooperate with each other together and serve in the spirit of fellowship

     9) We refers to His entire disciples, and therefore all those who have believed Him have the right to serve Him. We should not be on the pretext of being unable to do, or being unable to do well to escape the works of the Lord.

     10) Doing the works of the Lord is not only the responsibility of the evangelists, elders or ministers, but also that of every Christian.

     11) I must work…” it indicates that the Lord not only calls us to do His works, but rather orders us to do it. Doing the works of the Lord is not dispensable for us, but obligatory.

     12) Do the works of Him who sent Me, neither do the works of you and me, nor the works of any assembly, but the works of God. How much works that we do can be accounted into the works of God on earth?


John. 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

YLT:when I am in the world, I am a light of the world.'

Literal Meaning: “as long as I am in the world”, it referred to the time that the Lord Jesus came to be a man on the earth, especially the three years and a half when He came to preach the words of God and serve God.

  Assuredly, the Lord is still with us in the world today (see Matt 28:20). Therefore, the words of the Lord here do not mean His life and time of working are limited, but chances for men to believe Him are limited. Almost every one has the opportunity of receiving Christ to be one’s personal savior. However, as long as men ignore or lose the opportunity, it will never come again.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) The Lord is the light of the world, for He is the light of life (see 8:12). People in the world are blind for the sake of lacking life, so they have no light. If they want to see, they should firstly receive the life. Once a man has the life, he must be able to see.

     2) The Lord is the light of the world, which enlightens men inwardly, not outwardly. The Lord, through being mens life, sheds His light to make men see.

     3) If we want to do the works of the Lord, we should have the presence of Him. Such works are in the light, for He is light. If we work without the presence of the Lord, we will fumble in darkness and harvest nothing.


John. 9:6 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.

YLT:These things saying, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and rubbed the clay on the eyes of the blind man, and said to him,

Meaning of Words: anointed”: smear over;

Spiritual Meaning:and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.” ---- “Saliva” symbolizes the words spoken by the Lord. God formed man of the dust of the ground (see Gen 2:7), so “made clay with the saliva” symbolized the words of God entered men and united with men therein. “Anointed” symbolizes the anointment of the Holy Spirit. The words that the Lord have spoken to us should be anointed by the unction (see 1John 2:27) and works in us thereafter.

  There were also some Bible exegetes who interpreted oppositely: “saliva” symbolized the traditional teaching by the rabbis. “Anointed…with the clay” stood for sticking to the laws and customs. Both of the above two points would make men blind, so they should go to the pool of Siloam to wash, and come back seeing (v.7).

  There was another explanation: since God formed man of the dust of the ground (see Gen 2:7), the action of the Lord’s anointing here symbolized the creation of God. The divine trinity engaged in the new creation hereon. 

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) The words of the Lord should be anointed upon our heart and have live contact with our spirit, thus turning to be spirit and life (see 6:63).

     2) The letters in the Scriptures should work by the anointment of the Spirit ---- the words have been spoken into our spirit and have been understood through our mind then, thus bringing about life and peace finally (see Rom 8:6).

     3) We should do well taking heed as to a lamp that shining in an obscure place until day dawn and morning star arise in your hearts (see 2Pet 1:19).


John. 9:7 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.

YLT: “`Go away, wash at the pool of Siloam,' which is, interpreted, Sent. He went away, therefore, and did wash, and came seeing;”

Literal Meaning: “go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” “Siloam”: sent (in Greek), the poor was located in the valley of Cedron in the southeast of Jerusalem, and the water in which was brought through the manmade canal (see 2King 20:20; 2Chr 32:30).

Spiritual Meaning:Siloam which is translated, Sent”, the Lord Jesus especially asked that blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam and come back seeing, which indicated several meanings as follows: (1) The blind man expressed his faith and obedience towards the words of the Lord by these actions. Only can those who believe and obey the Lord obtain the Lord’s salvation. (2) This Book of Gospel describes repeatedly the Lord as “being sent” (see 3:17, 34; 4:34; 5:23-24, 30, 36-38; 6:29, 38-39, 44, 57; 7:16, 18, 28-29, 33; 8:16, 18, 26, 29, 42; 9:4; 10:36; 11:42; 12:44-45, 49; 13:20; 14:24; 15:21; 16:5; 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 25; 20:21), so “the pool of Siloam” typifies Jesus Christ. Only He is the rivers of water that heals men’s spirit (see 7:37). (3) “The pool of Siloam” symbolizes the provision and attention of God (see Is 8:6). (4) “Wash” also typifies the “baptism”. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16).

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) So he went and washed, and came back seeing.---- The blind man did not hesitate over the Lords command so that he was healed at once. Faith does not care for reasons, but the matter that who says the words. If there are the words of God, we shall receive without any condition. He who is willing to receive the words of God unconditionally has been truly favored.

     2) Today, many people, though knowing their need and having confessed the vanity and torture in them, do not believe the words of the Lord, so their blindness of spirit has not been resolved.

     3) The essence of faith is to receive the guidance of the Lord and do according to His words. No matter how He guides, the one who believes Him and does according to His words never stumbles, and his eyes of spirit will be open.

     4) The blind man who was healed had two characteristics: (1) he believed the Lords words. (2) He obeyed the Lords words. May we always believe and obey the Lords words to make our spiritual eyes bright and know more about the will of God.


John. 9:8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, "Is not this he who sat and begged?"

YLT: “the neighbours, therefore, and those seeing him before, that he was blind, said, `Is not this he who is sitting and begging?'”

Literal Meaning:he who sat and begged”, “beg”, it was the only way for a blind man to earn a living at that time.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) If a man has really been granted the grace of the Lord, his neighbors, relatives and friends will be definitely aware of his changes (see 2 Cor 5:17).

     2) When a man has been saved, his life will be transformed and be completely distinct from the past. Then his friends who do not believe the Lord shall feel it amazing and think it unbelievable and even consequently come to seek Christ so as to obtain the new life through the divine belief.

     3) All of us are beggars before receiving the salvation ---- begging men’s mercy and sympathy. But once having been saved, all the people are surprised by us and talking about us ---- we have the unusual experiences that men who do not believe the Lord have not.

     4) Being unable to see clearly, the blind men can not run in the journey of life for, so they have to sit. Being unable to work normally, they become poor, so they have to beg. All the torment of their life is ascribable to blindness. If they want to resolve their life problems, firstly their eyes should be open.


John. 9:9 Some said, "This is he." Others said, "He is like him." He said, "I am he."

YLT: “others said -- `This is he;' and others -- `He is like to him;' he himself said, -- `I am .'”


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

YLT:They said, therefore, to him, `How were thine eyes opened?'

Enlightenment in the Word:How were your eyes opened?” ---- When people see the change of a new favored one in Christ, they will be drawn near and raise various questions, which presents him great chance to bear witness of the Lord.


John. 9:11 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."

YLT:he answered and said, `A man called Jesus made clay, and rubbed my eyes, and said to me, Go away to the pool of Siloam, and wash; and having gone away and having washed, I received sight;'

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) So I went and washed, and I received sight. ---- We shall also narrate the story that we have been saved to others (see 1 Pet 3:15).

     2) When we bear witness of the Lord, we shall use simple and concise words to summarize the process of our being granted grace. The foremost part is to introduce Jesus Christ.


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

YLT:they said, therefore, to him, `Where is that one?' he saith, `I have not known.'

Enlightenment in the Word: a triumphant witness always draws forth men’s pursuit of seeing the Lord Jesus personally ---- “where is He?”


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

YLT:They bring him to the Pharisees who once blind,

Literal Meaning:brought him to the Pharisees”, “the Pharisees” owned the chief place in the Judaism (see 7:26, 45). Probably, they brought the blind man to the Pharisees because of being in fear (see v.22).


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

YLT:and it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

The Background: according to the explanation for the commandment of the Sabbath provided by rabbis, there were 39 regulations that forbade men from working. If one violates any of the regulations, he has violated the Sabbath. It was commanded in the 39 regulations that one should not knead the dough or anoint with the ointment. The Pharisees might regard “making clay” as kneading the dough, and “anointing…with the clay” as anointing with the ointment, so they claimed that the Lord Jesus had violated the regulation on the Sabbath since He made clay to heal one’s eyes.

  In addition, it was unlawful to heal on the Sabbath except for those who were at their last gasp and would be allowed to take medicine. Besides, people were only permitted to control the state of the illness and prevent it from deterioration instead of making a full recovery. Otherwise, it would violate the Sabbath.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) The Sabbath was in remembrance of the fulfillment of the works of God, who rested from all his work which he had made (Gen 2:2). The entire works of God had been fulfilled in Christ (see 19:30 It is finished.), so Christ is the rest of God.

     2) Jesus is the true rest of the Sabbath. Men shall receive the revelation and enlightenment from Him and enjoy the true rest only when they have seen Him.


John. 9:15 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."

YLT:Again, therefore, the Pharisees also were asking him how he received sight, and he said to them, `Clay he did put upon my eyes, and I did wash -- and I see.'

Literal Meaning:He put clay on my eyes”, he mentioned “He” instead of the name of Jesus, for he thought all of them had already known that “He” was the Lord Jesus.


John. 9:16 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.

YLT:Of the Pharisees, therefore, certain said, `This man is not from God, because the sabbath he doth not keep;' others said, `How is a man -- a sinful one -- able to do such signs?' and there was a division among them.

Meaning of Words: division”: split, schism;

Literal Meaning: “this Man is not from God”, “this man”, namely, “this guy”, which contains a despising tone. 

  Because He does not keep the Sabbath.---- according to the commandment of Sabbath, it was unlawful to heal on the Sabbath except for those who were at their last gasp. Therefore, when the Lord opened the eyes of that blind, it obviously violated the law of the Sabbath in their views.

    The former ones, namely, the Pharisees, judged from the view that “He did not keep the Sabbath”, so they ruled out the possibility that He came from God. The latter ones saw from the fact that He could “do signs”, so they eliminated the possibility that He was a sinner (see v.31-33). Controversial point of views created the contrary situation.

Enlightenment in the Word: If any of us sees the truth from a single angle, it will definitely bring about controversial views. Therefore, we believers should broaden our vision to know all the truth in the comprehensive views of the Scriptures, thus avoiding exhaustion and extremity.


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

YLT:They said to the blind man again, `Thou -- what dost thou say of him -- that he opened thine eyes?'

Literal Meaning:What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” ---- “you” and “your” are emphatic in the original.


John. 9:18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.

YLT:and he said -- `He is a prophet.' The Jews, therefore, did not believe concerning him that he was blind and did receive sight, till that they called the parents of him who received sight,

Literal Meaning:the Jews did not believe concerning him”, it indicated two things: (1) the stubbornness of the Jews. (2) The healing of the Lord Jesus was so perfect that one could not distinguish between a blind man and a perfect man.


John. 9:19 And they asked them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?"

YLT:and they asked them, saying, `Is your son, of whom ye say that he was born blind? how then now doth he see?'

Literal Meaning:Is this your son?” ---- The first question was purposed to make sure his identity. “How then does he now see?” ---- The second question was tricky ---- if one answered carelessly, he might bring trouble on himself.


John. 9:20 His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;

YLT:His parents answered them and said, `We have known that this is our son, and that he was born blind;

Literal Meaning: this was the unobjectionable fact.


John. 9:21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself."

YLT:and how he now seeth, we have not known; or who opened his eyes, we have not known; himself is of age, ask him; he himself shall speak concerning himself.'

Meaning of Words: “is of age”: maturity

Literal Meaning:but by what means he now sees we do not know”, they might truly not know the fact, or they might have already learned it, but dared not disclose the face because of some scruples (v.22).

Enlightenment in the Word: even the blind man’s parents did not know how he could see ---- it indicated that once a man’s inner eyes was opened, the spiritual mystery therein could never be naturally or traditionally understood. So his parents could not prove him, or even dare not bear witness of him.


John. 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.

YLT:These things said his parents, because they were afraid of the Jews, for already had the Jews agreed together, that if any one may confess him -- Christ, he may be put out of the synagogue;

Meaning of Words: “agree”: consent; “confess”: assent;

Literal Meaning:he would be put out of the synagogue”, that was to say he would at least be temporarily deprived of his right of partaking in worshiping God or any normal group activities (about a week to a month). Or in a more serious case, he would be excommunicated from the synagogue and be despised and rejected all his life.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, fearing the power of men often makes a man dare not bear the witness that he ought to. Today, many Christians dare not bear witness in the public, for they are bound by the fearing attitude.

     2) The Jews had agreed already, things which has been unanimously approved by men will often be utilized by Satan to oppose the Lord. Note that many times if we seek to satisfy men, we will not be able to satisfy God. If we please men, we will not be able to please God (see Gal 1:10).

    3) To bear witness of the Lord, one shall usually pay the cost ---- if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.

    4) He whose eyes has been opened to see Christ must be rejected by the blind religion ---- be put out of the synagogue. It tells us that one shall pay the cost, if he wants to know the Lord.


John. 9:23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."

YLT:because of this his parents said -- `He is of age, ask him.'


John. 9:24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, "Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner."

YLT:They called, therefore, a second time the man who was blind, and they said to him, `Give glory to God, we have known that this man is a sinner;'

Literal Meaning: “give God the glory!” ---- It contains two meanings: (1) one should give glory and thanks to God (see Luke 17:18); (2) one should fear God and make confession to Him (see Josh 7:19).


John. 9:25 He answered and said, "Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see."

YLT:he answered, therefore, and said, `If he be a sinner -- I have not known, one thing I have known, that, being blind, now I see.'

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see. ---- This is the true feeling from his personal experience. The belief of the Christians is true indeed, for we have personally enjoyed the precious experience of being reborn from above.

     2) We may be not aware of all the things that the Lord has done, but there is one thing that we have to know ---- what has the Lord done upon us on earth?

     3) Every true believer has some firsthand knowledge about the Lord ---- which is not heard from others, but the personally experience in the Lord.

     4) Bearing witness does not need say some truth, but testify ones personal experience ---- one thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.

     5) The world may be contempt, suspicious and scornful, but no one can deny the real witness of our experience.

     6) The most powerful witness does not lie in perfect truth or excellent eloquence, but the true work that the Lord has done upon us. The living witness is indisputable. We should also bear witness of the Lord in this way


John. 9:26 Then they said to him again, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?"

YLT:And they said to him again, `What did he to thee? how did he open thine eyes?'


John. 9:27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?"

YLT:He answered them, `I told you already, and ye did not hear; why again do ye wish to hear? do ye also wish to become his disciples?'

Literal Meaning: “do you also want to become His disciples?” ---- It seemed from his words and his tone that he had regarded him as the disciple of the Lord.


John. 9:28 Then they reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples.

YLT:They reviled him, therefore, and said, `Thou art his disciple, and we are Moses' disciples;

Meaning of Words: “revile”: reproach;

Literal Meaning: “you are His disciple”, in the original it means: “do (you) go and be His disciples!” (i.e. “You are His disciple ---- just be His disciple yourself!”)

  “But we are Moses' disciples”. ---- They considered themselves as Moses' disciples, but actually they were not (see 5:46).

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) All the Christians should regard themselves as His disciples. However, many Christians are actually disciples of other some petty groups besides being His disciples.

     2) The Pharisees boast of being Moses' disciples. Today, in the assembly, do we boast of being disciples of some certain spiritual great man?

     3) Maybe we have not regarded ourselves as “students from some certain theological seminary”, “believers of some religious sects” or “believers of some certain creed or doctrine”, but do we really have none such conceptions in our subconsciousness at all?


John. 9:29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from."

YLT:we have known that God hath spoken to Moses, but this one -- we have not known whence he is.'

Literal Meaning:we do not know where He is from”, the Pharisees knew where the Lord Jesus was born (see 7:27-28), and were confused about where His power came from.


John. 9:30 The man answered and said to them, "Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!

YLT:The man answered and said to them, `Why, in this is a wonderful thing, that ye have not known whence he is, and he opened my eyes!

Meaning of Words: marvelous”: wondered at, wonderful;

Literal Meaning: 1) That man was unlettered and uninstructed, but once he tasted the flavor of the Lord’s grace, he could even teach those learned Pharisees. His knowledge about the God’s power came from the enlightenment of the Lord, not the teaching of men.

     2) The traditional ideas and concepts of religion dust the eyes of men, preventing them from seeing the works of God (see v.3).


John. 9:31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.

YLT:and we have known that God doth not hear sinners, but, if any one may be a worshipper of God, and may do His will, him He doth hear;

Meaning of Words: worshiper of God”: reverent of God;

Literal Meaning: his meanings are as below: (1) He opened my eyes (see v.30), for God hears Him. (2) God hears Him proves He is not a sinner, but is of God (see v.33). (3) He must be a worshiper of God and do His will, so God hears Him.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) Had men regarded iniquity in their hearts, the Lord would not hear their prayers (see Ps 66:18; Is 1:15).

     2) The mystery that God hears ones prayer lies in: (1) being a worshiper of God. (2) Doing Gods will.


John. 9:32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.

YLT:from the age it was not heard, that any one did open eyes of one who hath been born blind;


John. 9:33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing."

YLT:if this one were not from God, he were not able to do anything.'

Enlightenment in the Word: today believers “can do nothing” without God (see 15:5).


John. 9:34 They answered and said to him, "You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they cast him out.

YLT:They answered and said to him, `In sins thou wast born altogether, and thou dost teach us!' and they cast him forth without.

Literal Meaning: “and they cast him out.” ---- “Cast out” refers to not only being cast out of the temple, but also being excommunicated from the Judaism.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) If the religionists can not win in dispute, they will use craftiness and violence, disclosing sufficiently that they are manipulated by the devil. 

     2) All the places or groups that can not accept those who have revelation and knowledge of Christ must be religious organizations that lack enlightenment.


John. 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"

YLT:Jesus heard that they cast him forth without, and having found him, he said to him, `Dost thou believe in the Son of God?'

Meaning of Words: “believe in”: put in trust with;

Literal Meaning:when He had found him”, the Jews cast him out, but the Lord found and accepted him.

  Do you believe in the Son of God?” ---- There are two great points in this problem: (1) men should have faith ---- faith is the condition of receiving grace, without which, one can not be granted grace. (2) The object of faith is the Son of God ---- if one preaches a gospel without focusing on the Son of God, there will be no salvation therein.

Enlightenment in the Word:

      1) All the believers who love the Lord truly and singly will be cast out by the groups that reject or despise the Lord. Therefore, we shall not covet for the temporary rest so as not to lose the boldness to stand for the Lord.

      2) What part for a believer along with an unbeliever? God said: therefore come out from among them, and be separated, and touch not unclean and I will receive you. (see 2cor 6:15, 17).

      3) All those who have been rejected for the fake of the Lord will contrarily obtain greater blessings, for God will personally accept them and commune with them.

      4) We shall believe in God only rather than rely on men ---- this is the path that Christians shall tread in.

      5) The man whose blindness had been healed did not meet the Lord until the synagogue cast him out. If one still lingers in the synagogue, he will never meet the Lord. If we are cast out by the world, we will see the Lords blessings upon us ---- what great reward!


John. 9:36 He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"

YLT:he answered and said, `Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?'

Meaning of Words: “believe in”: put in trust with;


John. 9:37 And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."

YLT:And Jesus said to him, `Thou hast both seen him, and he who is speaking with thee is he;'

Literal Meaning: it mentions in this book that the Lord twice declares He is “the Son of God” (see 9:35; 10:30). The author of this book intends to testify that “Jesus is the Son of God” (20:30). When the New Testament mentions the faith through which men can be saved, it always regards the divinity of Christ as an essential fact, closely connected with such faith (see 20:31). Whether a man confesses Jesus is God decides whether he will be condemned or obtain the eternal life (see 3:36; 1John 5:12).


John. 9:38 Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.

YLT:and he said, `I believe, sir,' and bowed before him.

Meaning of Words: “believe in”: put in trust with;

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) A man who believes into the Lord shall experience the process: spiritual enlightenment first, and then the confession of his sins and finally receiving Christ through believing.  

     2) When the blind man was healed, he knew only that the Lord was of God (see v.33). And he knew further that He was the Son of God when he paid the cost for the Lord (see v.35-37). Having been saved, Christians should diligently seek to know Christ further. The more cost one has paid for Him, the more he will know Him.

     3) Though the blind man had been healed to see, his knowledge about Christ should still be furthered ---- at first, he only knew His name was Jesus (v.11), and then he confessed He was a prophet (v.17). Afterwards, he believed that He was of God (v.33) and is a worshiper of God and does His will (v.31). Finally, the Lord directly revealed him that He is the Son of God (see v.35-37), and thus the man worshiped Him. All the above reveals us: (1) mens eyes are opened to know the Son of God and worship Him. (2) Later, he needs further revelation from the Lord Himself, thus being delivered from the traditional religious concepts concerning Christ ---- Jesus, the prophet, a worship of God etc and obtaining the accurate and fundamental knowledge ---- the Son of God.


John. 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind."

YLT:And Jesus said, `For judgment I to this world did come, that those not seeing may see, and those seeing may become blind.'

Meaning of Words: “judgment”: to distinguish;

Literal Meaning: “for judgment I have come into this world”, it seemed to be contradictory to the Lord’s words in other places (see 3:17, 8:15, 12:47), but actually, there was no inconsistency: (1) the Lord’s words in other places indicated that He came to the world for the sake of saving the world rather than judging it. (2) Here, it showed that judgment by the Lord when he came into the world was unavoidable.

  When the Lord came to the world, there must arise different reactions from men ---- some believed while others did not; some received or others did not, i.e. men were separated on account of Him. Therefore, He became the standard of the judgment on the world, namely, He brought the “judgment”.

  “That those who do not see may see”, “those who do not see”, it refers to the men who confess to lacking spiritual insight and then call upon the Lord’s name. All those who know they are in darkness and call on the Lord will be surely able to see.

  “That those who see may be made blind”, “those who see”, it referred to the Pharisees and the Jews, who falsely assumed that they had spiritual insight and turned a blind eye to the spiritual things, so they were blind obviously. All those who can see in their own eyes will be not able to call upon the Lord, thus turning to be always blind eventually.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) A mans physical eyes can see, but he will still remain in darkness if his spiritual eyes are blind.

     2) May the Lord opens our spiritual eyes and grants us the true knowledge of both the Lord and the man himself.

     3) Whether a sinner can obtain the light of life decides whether he has the inclination or determination of drawing near the light.

     4) The manifestation of the mysterious Christ always grants those who seek the Lord of a pure heart more enlightenment. But those who have self-righteousness and full religious prejudices will become increasingly blind. The more Christ has been revealed, the clearer these two

     5) Being the light of the world, the Lord intends to reveal the real state of men, so this light carries the essence of judgment. When the blind man received the light, he could see. But the Pharisees refused the Lords light of judgment (they held an antagonistic attitude towards this light), so their spiritual eyes would be veiled forever and could never be open. Therefore, believers should never refuse the Lords light of judgment ---- for enlightenment is the prerequisite of ones spiritual eyes being unveiled.


John. 9:40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?"

YLT:And those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and they said to him, `Are we also blind?'

Enlightenment in the Word: the Pharisees’ true problem lay in their self-conceitedness, flattering themselves that they knew well about the laws of Moses and the salvation of God. He who regards his own cognition as the absolute authority to judge and examine others will fall into such blindness. There is also such phenomenon in the Christianity today ---- especially among some evangelists and elders, who may either consciously or unconsciously count their own understanding of the Scriptures and theology as the authority, and finally fall into darkness without any awareness, causing unnecessary divisions and disputes in the assemblies.


John. 9:41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, "We see.' Therefore your sin remains.

YLT:Jesus said to them, `If ye were blind, ye were not having had sin, but now ye say -- We see, therefore doth your sin remain.

Literal Meaning:If you were blind, you would have no sin”, “were blind”, it indicated that they confessed to being lack of the spiritual insight and living in sin and being in need of a savior. So there might be remission for them. 

  But now you say, "We see.' Therefore your sin remains.” ---- “We see”, they were not willing to confess they lived in darkness, so they refused to receive the savior and there was no remission for them.

Enlightenment in the Word:

     1) The Pharisees were blind, but did not realize it, so their sin remained. May the Lord open our eyes and let us know our state so that we can rely on His salvation.

     2) He who confesses to being blind calls for great courage, for confessing to being blind equals to confessing to having committed sins. Today, many mens spiritual eyes are blind, but they refuse to confess it.

     3) All those who are unwilling to be in darkness of themselves will definitely be unwilling to come to the Lord to obtain mercy, thus remaining themselves in sins.

     4) Ones blindness may stem from the inability of seeing or the avoidance of seeing on purpose. If the Pharisees did truly not know the truth, their blindness would be possibly healable. However, having regarded themselves as the leaders or teachers of the spirit of the people, they thought they could understand and see. They refused to see deliberately, and nothing could exonerate them from such blindness.

     5) A man who does not believe the Lord is in spiritual blindness, but a man who believes the Lord can see truly. A lot of men in the world are physically blind, but they can see the spiritual things. On the contrary, the eyes of many people are physically healthy, but are blind in truth. It is said that the blindest one is the one who is most unwilling to see. The Pharisees thought their eyes were brightest in the world, and considered themselves as leaders of the blind (see Rom 2:19). However, they were blind to the Lord Jesus, so their sins were more serious.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


I. The Need of the Blind Men

A. The Condition of the Blindness:

  A man who was blind from birth (v.1) ---- the god of this world has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving (2Cor 4:4).

B. The Necessary Attitude towards the Blind Men of us.

  1. Do not always condemn the sins of others (v.2-3a)

  2. We shall regard it as a chance that God will manifest His works upon the blind man (v.3b).

C. How to Open the Blind Men’s eyes?

  1. By those who are of Him to seize the opportunity and to cooperate with the Lord ( while it is day) (v.4).

  2. By the light of the world (v.5) ---- only through Christ, one’s eyes shall be opened.

  3. By the words of the Lord (v.6) ---- the Holy Spirit anointed the Lord’s words into our spirit.

  4. By the faith and obedience towards the Lord’s words (v.7a) ---- he obeyed the Lord’s command of going to the pool of Siloam.

  5. By the baptism to wash off the old nature (v.7b) ---- he went and washed, and came back seeing.

D. The Result after the Blind Men’s eyes is open:

  1. Those who knew him felt amazed at him (v.8-12).

  2. It invoked the opposition and persecution of the blind religion (v.13-23).

  3. He was excommunicated from the Judaism, for he could not agree with them any longer (v.24-34).

  4. He was taken by the Lord, and knew Christ further (v.35-41).


II. The Progressive Knowledge about the Lord of the Blind Men

  A. The blind man knew only the Man called Jesus (v.11)

  B. He is a prophet (v.17).

  C. He has disciples (v.27).

  D. He came from God (v.33).

  E. The blind man believed in the Son of God (v.35-38).


III. The Faults of the Pharisees

  A. They obstinately clung to the letters of the laws. ---- This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath. (v.16).

  B. They did not believe the objective facts. ---- The Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight (v.18)

C. They took advantage of their power to bully others. ---- The Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue (v.22).

D. They adhered stubbornly to their own ideas ---- We know that this Man is a sinner (v.24).

E. They thought they were cuts above others ---- they reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples (v.28).

F. They were eclipsed by what they had known ---- God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from (v.29).

G. They despised others ---- You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us? (v.34a).

H. They abuse their power ---- and they cast him out (v.34b).

I. They were too much self-confident ---- are we blind also? (v.40).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou