Study Guide

Gospel of John Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

Seeing is Believing

  • The disciples are walking along with Jesus when they see a man who was born blind. The disciples want to know why God would have punished this man with blindness. Did he commit some terrible sin? Or were his parents sinners? (Yeah, people had some strange ideas back then.)
  • Jesus says that neither is the case. The man was born blind so that God's good works could be shown off. Jesus: always keeping it positive.
  • With this, Jesus spits on the ground and mixes the dirt with his saliva to make mud. Um, ew. Then he spreads it on the man's eyes. Double ew.
  • Then he tells him to go wash the mud off in one of the healing pools—the pool of Siloam—on the south side of the city.
  • When the man washes his eyes, his sight is restored. Whoa.
  • Afterward, the man's neighbors see him and ask what happened. He explains what Jesus did.
  • When they hear this, his neighbors demand to see Jesus. But the man doesn't know where he is, so they drag him out in front of the religious authorities. 
  • Uh-oh. This isn't looking good.

Let's Play Twenty Questions

  • The religious authorities question the man and, again, he explains how Jesus healed him.
  • The religious men are divided. Some think that a real man of God wouldn't disobey the Sabbath. Others think that only a man of God would be able to perform such incredible miracles. To persecute or not to persecute? That is the question.
  • So, they ask the healed man what he thinks about Jesus. Tread carefully, sir.
  • The man replies that Jesus must be a prophet.
  • Nope. Wrong answer. The naysayers among the group refuse to believe the man's story. They think he might be lying about having been blind. Oh, conspiracy theories.
  • But when the religious authorities call the man's parents, they confirm that their son was actually born blind. The conspiracy theory hits a snag.
  • The religious authorities are frustrated. They demand to know the truth. They know that Jesus couldn't have healed him because Jesus is a terrible sinner. Plus he smells.
  • The man says he doesn't know if Jesus is a sinner or not, but what he does know is he's not blind anymore—and that's pretty much all he cares about.
  • The authorities ask him again how Jesus healed him. This guy must be holding back a pretty big eye roll at this point.
  • Wow, he tells the religious authorities, you guys must really love hearing stories about Jesus. Are you thinking of joining his disciples?
  • The religious men start falling all over themselves with disgust. They are disciples of Moses because they know that Moses has spoken to God, but they don't know that Jesus has come from God. Don't touch Jesus! You don't know where he's been!
  • That's funny, the man says. You don't know where he came from, but yet, he healed me. You say God doesn't listen to sinners, but God listened to him. No one in the entire world has ever been cured of blindness, and yet this man cured me. If he weren't from God, how could he do this? Booya.
  • Another wrong answer. The religious authorities insult the man and throw him out of the temple. How dare this man try to teach them? He's just a sinner who was born blind anyway. And… the story officially comes full circle.
  • When Jesus finds out that the man has been treated this way, he seeks him out. Jesus asks the man if he believes in him. Fingers crossed.
  • The man says that he does. He has regained the power of sight, after all.
  • Jesus explains that he has come because there are those who are blind and those who see. The religious authorities overhear Jesus saying this and ask him to clarify. Surely, Jesus doesn't mean that they are among the blind? Hmmm…
  • Nice try, guys. Jesus tells them that though they claim to see, their sin of disbelief remains.

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