A Man Born Blind

John 9:1 And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.
John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?”
John 9:3 Yahshua answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of G-d might be displayed in him.

Yahshua on the way to the Temple Mount was asked by His disciples who had sinned to cause the beggar to be born blind. This was a relevant question for in Exodus 20:5, G-d warns the Israelites of His punishment for breaking the Second Commandment “You shall not worship them (idols-false gods) or serve them; for I, YHVH Elohim your G-d, am a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me…” Yahshua answered with what must have been to them an extraordinary reply. Yahshua corrected their assumption and told them, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of G-d might be displayed in him.” However, we may feel, it is G-d’s sovereign right to visit upon any of us whatever difficulty, disease, affliction, or malady He deems fit for His purposes. This is a hard concept to accept by most fair-minded people, yet it is one we have to come to grips with if we are truly to trust G-d.

Like Yahshua’s talmidim most people tend to believe that a person who has been visited with grievous circumstances is guilty of some hidden sin. The friends of righteous Job could not understand that Job and all the misfortune that had befallen him was not a result of sin. To many of us fail to comprehend that much of the testing, adversity and ill health we endure is not from sin in our lives, but is a pre-ordained act of G-d. Who, by allowing us to be tested avails us of the opportunity to strengthen our faith and grow spiritually. The other side of that coin is that humans weak in faith generally curse G-d instead of praising Him. If we truly shared a G-d like nature we would be gratified to be found worthy of G-d’s attention in the testing ground of this life. No one here, however devout, would want to be blind, but think of the great honor it was for this beggar to be the vessel whereby G-d is glorified. Beyond that, think of the rewards he will receive in the after life. We too, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in should look at all adversity as an opportunity to glorify G-d. It is easy to love and praise G-d when all is well, but it takes a truly mature believer to praise and love Him when we are in the depths of despair because of adverse circumstances.

YHVH/Yahshua was keenly aware of what was to befall Him that day as he spoke to His disciples, and in verse four we see that instead of being preoccupied with the terrible ordeal He was to shortly endure, He spoke to our service to G-d. He told His talmidim, and us, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.” However difficult the situation might be, we are not to concentrate on whatever adversity has befallen us for it is an indication of lack of trust. Instead, we are to continue in service to G-d as our priority and not let adversity sidetrack us in our walk with YHVH/Yahshua. In 2 Cor.12: 7 we read where Sha’ul suffered from an ailment either physical or mental, which he termed as a “thorn in the flesh.” He deemed it a messenger of haSatan to buffet him– to keep him from exalting myself!

In 2 Cor. 12:8, we read: “ Concerning this I entreated YHVH/Yahshua three times that it might depart from me.
2 Cor. 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of HaMashiach may dwell in me.
2 Cor. 12:10 Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Yahshua’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Though this might sound like an oxymoron it is not. It takes more strength to resist the temptation to strike out in anger, complain or feel sorry for oneself than to patiently endure affliction while serving our G-d.

In verse six we see Yahshua do an odd thing. Let me read: John 9:6 “When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes,”
And in John 9:7 He said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). And so he went away and washed, and came back seeing.”

Many Christian bible scholars suppose that Yahshua fashioned eyeballs from the clay that was spit upon. However, a careful reading of the scriptures would seem to dispute that theory for as I just read, Yahshua applied the clay to the beggar’s eyes. There is an even more likely reason that Yahshua spit onto the clay. Dr. David Flusser a scholar at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Jewish authority of the New Testament explains to us that it was a common belief in Judah during Yahshua’s time that the first-born son had healing power in his spittal. Yahshua may have been acting in a way that those around Him would have understood because Yahshua adopted the forms known and used by His contemporaries. There was another time in Mark chapter 7 where Yahshua also used spittal to restore hearing and speaking in a deaf man who though deaf spoke with an impediment.

In Verse 7 Yahshua directs the blind man to go to the Pool of Siloam, which means, “sent.” Yahshua, who in verse 4-5 says, He is the Light of the World, sent by the Father follows this declaration in verse 7, by sending the blind man to the Pool of Sent (Siloam), the very same pool where the priests obtained water for the libation ritual during the Feast of Tabernacles. Yahshua had attended this ritual in chapter 7 of this book and shouted: “If any man thirst, let him come to unto me and drink (John 7:37).” There the blind man washed away the clay in the same pool, where water on The Feast of Tabernacles was drawn to symbolize the pouring out of a new life by the Spirit. The symbolism could not have gone unnoticed by the Religious authorities that sought to indict him for healing on the Sabbath.

We need to understand that the grounds on which the Sabbath healing charge rested lay not in G-d’s Torah but in rabbic law. The first of these violated was that Yahshua made clay (Ahabb, 24.3). He worked. The seminal question of whether a remedy could be applied on Shabbat was determined by the fact if life was threatened. If not, then one must wait until after the Sabbath to apply a remedy. One exception under rabbinical law was that a remedy could be applied only if it involved internal organs that were located from the throat downwards, when loss of the organ might occur in not addressed immediately (Jerusalem Talmud Shabbat 14.d). The law also states that one could apply wine or water to the outside of the eyelids, on the ground that it might be treated as washing; but it was sinful to apply to the inside of the eye. Applying saliva to the eye was considered unlawful as it was obviously intended as a remedy for saliva was commonly regarded as a remedy for eye diseases at that time (Jerusalem Shabbat 14d). However misguided the Law (Oral Torah), Yahshua’s actions certainly constituted grounds for the religious authorities to bring legal charges against Him because rabbinical law provided sufficient legal grounds for a criminal charge. Even in the face of all this culpable evidence it is interesting to note that when the man was brought before the authorities they saw less of the divine healing than Yahshua’s breaking of the Sabbath Laws of the Oral Tradition. However to their credit some in their deliberations divided on the question of how a man could perform such healing when he obviously broke the Traditional laws of Shabbat keeping. Those that held it not possible, the deniers, in the face of an obvious miracle did not believe the man’s sight had been restored, it was all a fake, and so they called his parents to testify. They could not understand how a man who broke their Sabbath laws could do such miracles. Having failed to discredit the healing they sought again from the beggar to see if he would confess Yahshua as the Messiah for they had agreed already to excommunicate anyone from the synagogue who believed such.

There’s a wonderful irony in the testimony of the beggar who not only has restored sight but suddenly finds G-d given courage as well.

Let me read: He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?”
John 9:28 And they reviled him, and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.
John 9:29 “We know that G-d has spoken to Moses; but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.”
John 9:30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. The man continues and I love it.
John 9:31 “We know that G-d does not hear sinners; but if anyone is G-d-fearing, and does His will, He hears him.
John 9:32 “Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.
John 9:33 “If this man were not from G-d, He could do nothing.”
John 9:34 They answered and said to him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they put him out.

That is always the way with people who have an agenda. In this case when the machinations they employed led to results opposite that of what they sought, they never concede but resort to putting their antagonist away from them in order to hide the light in the darkness.

In verses 35-38 we see Yahshua’s compassion for the beggar that the Rabbi’s rejected.
John 9:35 Yahshua heard that they had put him out; and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
John 9:36 He answered and said, “And who is He, L-rd, that I may believe in Him?”
John 9:37 Yahshua said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.”
John 9:38 And he said, “L-rd, I believe.” And he worshiped Him.
John 9:39 And Yahshua said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”
John 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?”
John 9:41 Yahshua said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

I want you to take a minute and think about this last statement made by Yahshua. If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, “We see,” your sin remains.” There are this type of Pharisees among us today and unfortunately they seem to be the majority. Constantly, religious people who are caught up in the ideology of their denomination, or religious biases due to closed minds refuse to see the truth of Torah, and they like those Pharisees shall stand accountable before G-d’s judgment. The shame of it is that most are just too comfortable in their religiosity to care to receive the truth. They much prefer remaining in their comfort zones relying on man made traditions and assurances from false Shepard’s than learning G-d’s Word. Intrinsically, they know that obeying YHVH’s instructions to us might cause them to sacrifice some little something or introduce unwanted discipline into their lives, and ergo they reject truth. They claim to see, and when the Word is opened up to them anything that conflicts with their system of belief however scriptural is pushed out of their assemblies along with the messenger. They are like ostriches that prefer their head in the sand rather than breathing the clear blue atmosphere of truth. But because they say they see, they will be accountable for their sins as stated by Yahshua in verse 41. Even if in their antinomian state they believe they are sinless, Yahshua points out that their sin remains and a sinner shall not inherit the Kingdom of G-d.

They are like those He addresses in:

Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘L-rd, L-rd,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. (and we know the will of the Father is His Torah)
Mat 7:22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘L-rd, L-rd, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
Mat 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (They are anti-Torah-anti-nomous)

This scripture should alert us to the possibility that false shepherds may appear to have power to cast out demons and perform miracles but their power does not emanate from the Ruach HaKodesh.

In closing, I want you to consider the spiritual state of the examining Pharisees, leaders of Israel who in blindness of judgment contrasts so sharply with the spiritual state of the man blind from birth, who now in every sense of the word is seeing both physically and spiritually. These closed minded men who saw a contest between traditionalism and the work of Yahshua were also blind for they left out the moral element in their shortsightedness. Their moral blindness resulted in their sin guilt even though they thought they had perfect sight. And for that deliberate choice they were responsible and accountable: therefore their sin, not their blindness only, remained!

May G-d so love us here at this assembly that we not fall prey to blindness of spirit. Pray G-d that be so, and that you receive the blessings He has in store for you.