John 9

Healing a Blind Man: Jesus as Light of the World Awakens a Remnant
John 9
John 9. In John 8 we saw that the Light (Jesus) “appeared in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.” By the end of John 8, the religious leaders heard His declaration “I AM” and have taken up stones to kill Him. “He came to his own, and his own received him not.” But in John 9 we find one that “received Him”, and to that poor man – a example of “those that believe on his name” – was given the right to know himself in the conscious relationship of “the children of God”. Why did the blind man receive the Lord Jesus? Because he was a superior specimen of mankind? No. Rather, it was because he had “been born, not of blood, nor of flesh’s will, nor of man’s will, but of God.” New birth is what opens the eyes of the spiritually blind. In this chapter we have the Son acting in sovereignty. In other places, as with blind Bartimaeus, the blind called out to the Lord, begging for compassion. But here, Jesus saw a blind man, and acted in compassion. A beautiful aspect of this chapter is to see that the opposition of the religious leaders draws out a display, in this blind man, of the Divine life that we have from new birth, and its qualities contrasted with the darkness of man’s religion. The Pharisees took the place of seeing spiritually, but are proven to be blind. The blind man stuck with what he knew, and rather than be dissuaded, he became more convinced of the little he knew. The opposition had the opposite effect of what the Pharisees intended!
Dispensational Overtones. While this chapter gives us a doctrinal picture of new birth leading to salvation, it also contains dispensational teaching. In ch.8 we had the rejection of Jesus as Jehovah by the nation of Israel. But in John 9 we have a single man healed from a condition of blindness, which is a figure of the Jewish remnant being awakened by the Lord. Just as this man was persecuted by the Sanhedrin, so the remnant will be persecuted by the apostate Jews under Antichrist. Like this blind man grew in his knowledge of the Lord, so the remnant, in the midst of great tribulation, will grow in their knowledge of Messiah, and finally be united with Him, and know truly that He is the Son of God.

Healing the Blind Man: The Light Awakens a Remnant (9:1-12)

The Cause of the Man’s Blindness (vv.1-3)

And as he passed on, he saw a man blind from birth. v.1 In the early chapters of John various individuals are brought before the Lord as object lessons, and through interaction with these individuals, the truth of the Son of God is declared. The man who becomes the object lesson in John 9 is a blind man from birth (see Psa. 51:5). This pictures the natural condition of Israel, and of all mankind: totally ignorant of God, and unable to lay hold of divine things. The miracle performed by the Lord in this chapter was a singular event, never having been done before this point. Physicians today are able to give sight to the blind in some cases, but never to those who are blind by birth defect, because the nerves themselves do not work. The blind man here had done his research; “Since time was, it has not been heard that any one opened the eyes of one born blind” (John 9:32). But the Son of God had that power (Psa. 146:8; Isa. 35:5).
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? v.2 In the first verse Jesus saw the blind man, and it is evident from the chapter that He looked on the man with compassion. The disciples did not look on the blind man this way, but rather as the object or reasoning questions. The Jews had a strange idea that God sometimes inflicts punishment anticipatively on one whose eventual sin He foresees. Obviously this is a false idea, but it was commonplace, as the disciples betray in their question to the Lord; “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents”? The only other possible reason for a birth defect that the Jews could conceive of, other than a person’s foreknown sin, was the sin of the parents. They would base this on passages like Exodus 20:5, which speaks of the iniquity of the fathers being visited upon the children. This condition of blindness would have cast the man’s family in a negative light. You can sense the resulting shame-complex that characterized his parents in the rest of the chapter.
3 Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned nor his parents, but that the works of God should be manifested in him. v.3 The Lord’s reply completely set aside both possibilities in their conceived notions about this man’s blindness. Their thoughts, which they assumed covered all possibilities, were really quite narrow. We need to be careful not to make assumptions about the cause of trials in the lives of others. It is true that the Father chastens His children for their blessing, but we are not to impute sin where there may be no sin, such as in this case. We can learn from the Lord’s response that the ultimate purpose of everything that happens in this life for the glory of God. God reserves His sovereignty in the circumstances of our birth; He does what He pleases (Exo. 4:11). Often the works of God are manifested more in the lives of those who continue to suffer than in those who are healed. In chapter 8 we had the Lord’s words displayed and rejected, in chapter 9 we have the “works of God” manifested and rejected.

The Lord’s Purpose in Working the Works of God (vv.4-5)

4 I must work the works of him that has 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. vv.4-5 As long as “the Light of the world” was present on earth, it was daytime in a moral sense. The Lord could work in grace, doing the works of the Father who sent Him (v.3), thus declaring God (John 1:18). He was undoing the works of the Devil, and this was a sample of what He will do in the Millennium. The Light could shine freely. But soon a “night” was coming; the night is when His rejection would be complete, and the Light would no longer be “in the world”. He is absent today, and the night has rolled on (Rom. 13:12). The Lord is not working is exactly the same way today. It is not the character of the day we are in. But a morning is coming. The Millennial Day approaches (Mal. 4:2)! While He is absent, “no man can work,” in that the flow of grace in its fullness from the Person of Christ on earth has been suspended in His absence. In the meantime, Christians are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14). As channels of grace in a world of darkness, room can still be made for God to work in the night. We can still work because we are “children of the day” (1 Thess. 5:5), and we have the “light of life” (John 8:12).1 However, the Lord is not working today in the same way as when He was here on earth, although there was a transition period in which “the powers of the world to come” (Heb. 6:5) were continued for a time as a demonstration of the Spirit of God to “confirm the word” (Mark 16:20; Heb. 2:4).

Healing of the Blind Man (vv.6-7)

vv.6-7 Neither this man nor his parents ask for help or healing. It was an act of pure grace to open the blind man’s eyes. So it is with each one of us. Before there was any motion in our hearts toward God, He quickened us by the Spirit. Recall from John 3 that new birth is needed to “see” or perceive the Kingdom of God. There is no spiritual eyesight apart from new birth!
6 Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud of the spittle, and put the mud, as ointment, on his eyes. 7 And he said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, which is interpreted, Sent. He went therefore and washed, and came seeing. vv.6-7 The Lord’s method in healing this blind man illustrates the way salvation comes to us, and the teaching of this chapter. If the Lord was going to heal this blind man, why not just do it? Why go through this procedure? He was illustrating the truth by His actions. There are two steps: (1) the application of the mud to the eyes, and (2) the washing in the pool of Siloam.
  1. Clay applied to the eyes. The mixture of spittle (representing the Divine come down to man) with earth (representing a human body) to make mud is a picture of the incarnation. The Son of God took manhood into His own person; a union was formed between His divine nature and His human nature. Applying the clay to the eyes speaks of Christ as a humble man presented to the eyes of men. However, the incarnation alone is not what gives life. If we only had the truth of the incarnation applied to us, our lost condition would only be exacerbated. To think of a perfect man who walked the earth only illuminates our fallen condition. The same is true with the blind man. He was still blind, but now blind with mud in his eyes. The mud would have made him feel the weight of his condition. Men use their spittle for the vilest of actions, but the Lord used His for blessing.
  2. Washing in the pool of Siloam. Healing only took place when water from the pool, which is interpreted “Sent”, was applied to the man’s eyes. How does a person get this? By being washed with water in a moral sense. By comparing with John 3:5, we see the new birth (eyes opened) is accomplished by “water and the Spirit”, or through the Word of God by the Spirit of God  (Titus 3:5-7). What does the Word of God say about Jesus? It presents Jesus as not merely as a man, but as the Sent One of God. When the water of God’s word is applied to the soul, by the power of the Spirit of God, the soul recognizes that Jesus was the Sent One of God, sent to do His will, and to glorify Him as to the question of sin. As we had in John 6, not only was the incarnation required (the “bread come down from heaven”), but the death of Christ for man to have life (His “flesh and blood”). It isn’t that the clay was unimportant. It is critical to see Christ as the incarnate Son of God, in His perfection as a man on earth. But then we must also see Christ as the Sent One of God, in order to know Him truly. There was something for the man to do: “Go and wash”. This is the activity of faith; to obey implicitly, without even being told he would be healed.

Reaction of the Neighbors (vv.8-12)

8 The neighbours therefore, and those who used to see him before, that he was a beggar, said, Is not this he that was sitting and begging? 9 Some said, It is he; others said, No, but he is like him: “he” said, It is I. vv.8-9 Here we find that the neighbors could not even recognize the man by his face. Perhaps “sightless” eyes have disfiguring effect on a person’s countenance? But now, his whole face had come alive! So it is with the sinner whose eyes are opened. Our friends and neighbors see a transformation of our lives! But it also could be a result of the way people tend to avert their eyes from handicapped people and beggars. The natural man can hardly bear to look upon a beggar for the shame it brings. But it was important that there were witnesses to this miracle, and as the discussion continued, the truth of his identity became clear. “He said, It is I”. There is no uncertainty with a soul whose eyes have been opened.
10 They said therefore to him, How have thine eyes been opened? 11 He answered and said, A man called Jesus made mud and anointed mine eyes, and said to me, Go to Siloam and wash: and having gone and washed, I saw. 12 They said therefore to him, Where is he? He says, I do not know. vv.10-12 The neighbors first want to know “how”, but the man’s first words are about “who”. What a precious privilege to confess Jesus! The man didn’t know the whereabouts of the One that had healed him. He wouldn’t answer what he didn’t know. When people ask you questions you don’t know about your new-found faith, you can simply say “I know not”.
A progression can be seen in this chapter in the blind man’s apprehension of the Lord. It is pictured in ch.10 as the Good Shepherd leading His sheep out from the fold of Judaism, into the flock of Christianity.
  • He knows the Lord only as “a man called Jesus” (v.11) 
  • He knows Jesus as “a prophet” (v.17) 
  • He recognizes that Jesus is one who “fears God” and does “His will” (v.31)
  • He sees that Jesus is a “man of God” (v.33)
  • He owns Jesus as “Lord” (v.36)
  • He owns Jesus as “the Son of God” (v.38) 
There is normal progression, ending with the soul becoming a worshiper:
  • He becomes a quickened soul (v.7) 
  • He becomes a confessor of Christ (v.11) 
  • He becomes a disciple of Christ (vv.24-28) 
  • He becomes a defender of Christ (vv.30-33) 
  • He becomes a worshipper of Christ (v.35)

Light Rejected: Investigation of the Pharisees (9:13-23)

Rejection by Religious Leaders. The neighbors were merely curious about the healing, but we see something different with the Pharisees. They had a positively antagonistic attitude toward the one that Christ had graciously healed. They had scoffed at Jesus at the end of John 8 when He claimed to be “I AM”. Now He had proven His deity by opening the eyes of the blind. This presented a real problem to them. Not only did our Lord’s words declare Him to be the Light, but His works did as well. Words in one sense were easier to contradict, but a public healing near the temple was much more difficult. There is nothing the religious world hates more, than when a sinner is healed by Jesus independent from the religious apparatus.

The Jews question the Formerly-Blind Man (vv.13-17)

13 They bring him who was before blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 The Pharisees therefore also again asked him how he received his sight. And he said to them, He put mud upon mine eyes, and I washed, and I see. vv.13-15 The Pharisees wanted to know how the Lord had healed the man. They were trying to find fault because this man had gotten blessing outside of the Pharisaical system. Was there any physical “work” involved? His response revealed that the Lord had indeed “labored” on the Sabbath; i.e. by mixing mud and daubing it on the man’s eyes. How sad. There was no rejoicing in this man’s healing, no interest in his well-being. The Jews merely were seeking incriminating evidence against Christ. This is always true of man’s religion. There is no love for God or man; and there is no value placed on true holiness. Zeal for God’s glory is a false pretense. Religion is merely a fire-escape from judgment, a license to pursue man’s own lusts, and a means to control others. The presence of the Son of God on earth was upsetting the entire religious edifice of the Jews.
16 Some of the Pharisees therefore said, This man is not of God, for he does not keep the sabbath. Others said, How can a sinful man perform such signs? And there was a division among them. v.16 Division among the Pharisees. We read of three divisions (“schisma”) in John; (1) John 7:43 is a division over His Person; (2) John 9:16 is a division over His works; and (3) John 10:19 is a division over His sayings. Here the division was between those who were more entrenched in the legal system, and those who were less entrenched. Those who were more legal could not even get past the Sabbath controversy, and showed that they were the more blinded. Jesus had previously refuted their accusation about breaking the Sabbath (John 5:17), but their spiritual blindness rendered them unteachable. For others who were more honest with themselves, the greatness of the Lord’s miracle was a startling testimony, and they questioned the judgment of the others. However, this doesn’t mean they were acknowledging His absolute holiness, or His identity as the Son of God.
17 They say therefore again to the blind man, What dost thou say of him, that he has opened thine eyes? And he said, He is a prophet. v.17 What is Your Opinion of Jesus? In v.15 the Pharisees had learned the facts of the case, but spiritual darkness is not merely passive (John 1:5); it is restlessly active in its hatred of the light. They next wanted to force the formerly-blind man to express his opinion of the Savior. The Pharisees’ motive was to uncover grounds to condemn the Lord, and were willing to even condemn the one who was healed to get at the Lord. In his response, we see that the formerly-blind man had grown in his apprehension of Jesus, although still far short of the truth. “He is a prophet” indicates that he knew that the Lord’s words as well as His miracles were of God.

The Jews Question the Formerly-Blind Man’s Parents (vv.18-23)

18 The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him that he was blind and had received sight, until they had called the parents of him that had received sight. v.18 The natural man will not believe the goodness of God (Rom. 2:4), and will doggedly search for some disproof of the facts. The Jews had assumed the man’s history in v.17, but upon getting an unsatisfactory answer they switched tactics. Such is the heart of man.
19 And they asked them saying, This is your son, of whom ye say that he was born blind: how then does he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees we do not know, or who has opened his eyes we do not know. “He” is of age: ask “him”; “he” will speak concerning himself. 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if any one confessed him to be the Christ, he should be excommunicated from the synagogue. 23 On this account his parents said, He is of age: ask “him”. vv.19-23 The Jews began to question the formerly-blind man’s parents. The man’s parents did not want to get involved because they feared the Sanhedrin. The fear of man is always a bad motive, and often brings a snare (Prov. 29:25). The Jewish leaders had the authority to excommunicate ones from the communion of Judaism; and this was the price to be paid for confessing Jesus as the Messiah. The parents’ unbelief caused them to deflect the blow back to their son, which they ought to have shared with him, if not taken on themselves as his parents. They cared more for their own status in the community than for their son! They answered as little as they could and still get themselves off the hook. How sad. We need to stand for what is right, and stand with those who speak the truth. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psa. 27:10). This is what we see in this chapter; one who did not have the support of his parents. When the man was cast out, the Lord (who had already been cast out) found him, and took him up.

The Remnant Excommunicated by an Apostate Nation (9:24-34)

vv.24-34 What is different about this second “inquisition”? In vv.13-23 the Jews were questioning the formerly-blind man and his parents for the purpose of incriminating Jesus. But in vv.24-34 they called the man “a second time” to force a confession from him, in hopes of silencing his mouth as a witness. The facts of the case had previously been established beyond any reasonable doubt. The man was blind, and Jesus had healed him. The Pharisees could not contest the facts, but they also could not bear the logical consequence: they could lose their position among the Jews in the face of One with a greater spiritual claim. It manifested that they were spiritually blind, and would not believe no matter how great the evidence was. This explains why they dropped the line of questioning with regard to the miracle. They instead began to attack the Person of Christ, and the one who confessed Him.

Spiritual High Ground to Take Glory from Christ (vv.24-25)

24 They called therefore a second time the man who had been blind, and said to him, Give glory to God: we know that this man is sinful. v.24 After previously seeking to deny that a miracle had been performed, they now seem to acknowledge that a healing had been done. But they wanted this man to condemn the Lord. They said it in a pious way, but they wanted this man to separate giving God glory and giving Jesus glory. They wanted him to give God the credit without giving Jesus the credit. The Jews say “we know” showing their high thoughts of themselves. They demand that this man agree with their foregone conclusion about Jesus. That “they” could be wrong was inconceivable to them, and they threw their weight around among the people. They preface their ultimatum with “give glory to God“, making it out to be a simply binary choice. To agree with the sentence of the Sanhedrin was to glorify God, according to them. They were claiming to honor the Father while they denied the Son. “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father” (1 John 2:23). But is it any different today? Do not men claim Divine ground to teach evil doctrine? This is a form of ecclesiastical evil prevalent in certain parts of Christendom.
25 He answered therefore, If he is sinful I know not. One thing I know, that, being blind before, now I see. v.25 His answer is simple and beautiful. Firstly, he could not confirm what they had unqualifiedly insisted on. Second, he could confirm – and would not be persuaded to deny what he knew – that he was blind before, and now saw. This was the elephant in the room, and he was pointing to it! The truth sets you free. It was the Pharisees that were jumping through hoops to deny the evidence. Note: once a person comes to know the Lord, they will positively reject the assertion they He was sinful, or even that He could have sinned. But the process of learning Christ is gradual, and we do well – like this man – to only state what we positively know to be true.

Repetitive Questioning to Probe for more Evidence (vv.26-27)

26 And they said to him again, What did he do to thee? how opened he thine eyes? v.26 Unbelief is dogged and restless. They repeat the same questions as in v.15, hoping that in hearing his response, they might find some other evidence or support for their ambitions. The evidence of the Lord’s deity was undeniable, but they proceeded in willful unbelief.
27 He answered them, I told you already and ye did not hear: why do ye desire to hear again? do ye also wish to become his disciples? v.27 Rather than buckle under the relentless pressure, instead the courage of faith is manifested! Mr. Kelly remarks on this man’s courage by responding to their questions of “what” and “how” with a much deeper “why”. He knew that if the Pharisees had genuine faith, they would have believed his earlier testimony. Here a worthless beggar is calling the elite among the Jews out on the carpet for their inconsistency!

Religious Elitism to Disparage Christ’s Person (vv.28-33)

28 They railed at him, and said, Thou art his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. v.28 They now have lost their temper, and begun to rail against (or, insult) the formerly blind man. They claimed to be Moses’ disciples, but Moses wrote prophetically of Christ, whom they were rejecting! And not only Moses, but all the Old Testament scriptures spoke of Him. The Rabbis knew from the scriptures that only Jehovah could open the eyes of the blind (Psa. 146:8). How often men will leverage “big names” in Christendom to justify a false position.
29 We know that God spoke to Moses; but as to this man, we know not whence he is. v.29 They identify themselves with Moses whom God had recognized, but if they had lived in Moses day they would have murmured against him like their stiff-necked forefathers! Yet they talk down about the Lord, doubting about His origin. This wasn’t ignorance… it was the scorn of unbelief. They took the agnostic position about Jesus. The agnostic position is a slap in the face to God. Their will was opposed.
30 The man answered and said to them, Now in this is a wonderful thing, that “ye” do not know whence he is, and he has opened mine eyes. v.30 It is a striking incongruity that men can see the evidence before them, and still not believe. The truth is, they knew that Jesus was from God, but didn’t want to admit it.
31 But we know that God does not hear sinners; but if any one be God-fearing and do his will, him he hears. 32 Since time was, it has not been heard that any one opened the eyes of one born blind. 33 If this man were not of God he would be able to do nothing. vv.31-33 The formerly blind man proceeds to lay out a very logical argument concluding that Jesus was sent from God. He had more understanding than his teachers (Psa. 119:99). I wonder if perhaps he had often heard the Rabbis in the temple presenting these very same arguments. His premise is a scriptural one; “them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed” (1 Sam. 2:30). Also, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me, but verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer” (Psa. 66:19). “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth” (Psa 34:16). God would not invest a sinner with miraculous powers, but has in the past given special powers to “men of God” such as Elijah. Now this man Jesus had just done a miracle that was beyond the abilities of any Old Testament miracle-worker; opening the eyes of one born blind. In fact, we never read of any blind eyes being opened in the Old Testament; that power was reserved for the Son of David (Isa. 35:5). This would be impossible… unless Jesus was of God. This miracle showed that Jesus was at least approved of God (Acts 2:22).

The Formerly Blind Man Condemned and Excommunicated (v.34)

34 They answered and said to him, Thou hast been wholly born in sins, and thou teachest us? And they cast him out. v.34 Their anger now rises to a feverish pitch. In their spiteful reply “thou hast been wholly born in sins” they reveal that the natural man is blind to his own spiritual condition. They thought that his being born blind meant that he was a particularly bad specimen of mankind, compared to themselves. What ignorance! The refused to be taught (what they knew to be true) from one whom they despised. The word “cast out” is really the same as “excommunicated”. This one was shut out from the whole system of Judaism. But it is not a bad thing to be outside the camp if you are outside with Jesus (Heb. 13:13)! This is an example of the Good Shepherd “putting forth” His own sheep (John 10:3). In the book of Acts we read of those who, by persecution, were forced to leave the earthly center of Judaism. At the end of this experience, the excommunication was a blessed thing.
And should the surges rise—
Should sore afflictions come,
Blest is the sorrow, kind the storm,
That drives us nearer home.2

A Remnant Brought to Know Christ, the Nation Blinded (9:35-41)

He Gains a Personal Belief and Relationship With Jesus (vv.35-38)

vv.35-38 This man’s rejection by the leaders of Israel is exchanged for sweetness of fellowship with the rejected Christ. Mr. Kelly remarked that in casting the man out, the Jews unwittingly cast him into the arms of the Lord.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him, he said to him, Thou, dost thou believe on the Son of God? v.35 It says that Jesus “heard they had cast him out”. Having borne the sorrow and carried the grief, He could perfectly sympathize with the rejected remnant. The Lord “found him”; a touching proof of the Savior’s love. In the beginning of the chapter the blind man’s eyes were opened, and he began to learn things about the Lord, but a far greater work was needed. He needed a personal knowledge of the Lord in His eternal identity as the Son of God.

In scripture there is a difference between "believing", "believing in", and "believing on". If you "believe" someone, you accept what they say as truth. If you "believe in" someone, you have confidence in their character; i.e. it has to do with who they are, although it also includes that they are honest. If you "believe on" someone, they become an object for your faith, and this also includes both confidence in their character and in their words, but goes far higher.

The earlier event is a picture of new birth; but this answers to salvation.
36 He answered and said, And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him? 37 And Jesus said to him, Thou hast both seen him, and he that speaks with thee is he. 38 And he said, I believe, Lord: and he did him homage. vv.36-38 The question put to him in v.35 was an abstract one, leading the man to ask for the Son as an object; where is He that I might believe? At the Lord’s answer, the final puzzle piece slides into place. When we recognize that the man Christ Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, and we believe on Him… we are saved. When that happens, the soul comes to rest on the full expression of God in the Person of the Son. We have three things is his confession:
  1. I Believe” – His faith rose up to receive the testimony of God. 
  2. Lord” – He confessed Jesus as Lord of his life. 
  3. He did Him homage” – He had the glory of the Person of Christ before his soul, and it made him a worshiper.

The Lord’s Purpose in Coming Into the World (v.39)

39 And Jesus said, For judgment am I come into this world, that they which see not may see, and they which see may become blind. v.39 A great reversal was taking place; a “judgment” that was consequent upon Jesus coming into the world.
  • Natural blindness. Those that were born blind (the poor, the Gentiles) would have their eyes opened in a spiritual sense. The man in John 9 is a type of this remnant. 
  • Governmental blindness. Those that were born seeing (the Jews) would be blinded for rejecting the Son (Rom. 11:7; Acts 28:25-27) 

There are only two categories that a person can be in: those that see, and those that do not see.

The Proud Nation Blinded (vv.40-41)

40 And some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and they said to him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said to them, If ye were blind ye would not have sin; but now ye say, We see, your sin remains. vv.40-41 Some of the Pharisees scoffed at the Lord’s words, being fully “confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, etc.” (Rom. 2:19). The Lord says that if they had genuinely acknowledged their true moral condition of blindness, they would not be guilty of this particular sin of rejecting the Son. But because they were blind but said that they could see, there was no evidence of a broken will, and therefore no forgiveness, and so their sin remained.
  1. He must needs work, but He must needs work while it is day. The day is the time of the presence of the light. But while Christ was in the world He was its Light. The night is His absence. We are not of the night, but of the day; but as being dead to the estate of Christ’s absence, and believing in the light, having the light of life. The night is far spent, the day is at hand, says the apostle. This, however, had its direct application to the Jews, with whom He was concerned in Person, yet so as that therein, as the apostle ever carefully by the Spirit presents Him, as we have seen, He was the Light of the world. – Darby, J.N. The Gospel of John. Notes and Comments, Volume 6.
  2. Toplady, A. Though in a Foreign Land. Little Flock Hymnbook #177
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