Sunday Feb 19, 2023 Sunday School
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Delivered By
John Kepple
Delivered On
February 19, 2023 at 10:30 AM
Central Passage
JOHN 9:24-38
You Have Seen Him
Attached Document

You Have Seen Him
Jesus reveals truth to those who seek Him.
JOHN 9:24-38
Many of us take endless photos on our phones, each with a story. Some photos carry greater
significance than others, especially if the scene is a once-in-a-lifetime moment or our first time to
see a place, thing, or person. We can get frustrated when others do not find our photos important
or if they question the image. A man born blind was granted sight by Jesus, while some who had
sight became blinded to the truth and tried to discredit him.
What is your favorite personal photograph? Why do you treasure that image?
JOHN 9:1-41
Following His confrontation with the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus left the temple and
encountered a man who had been born blind. His disciples posed a theological question that
revealed their lack of spiritual understanding. Like many people, they associated illness with sin.
With their limited insight, the disciples were looking for cause and effect. Certainly, sin results in
God’s chastisement, but not all illness is triggered by sin.
Jesus revealed that God allows some conditions to occur to demonstrate His glory. Sometimes
the Lord gains praise through healing, as He did with this man. In other situations, Christians
glorify God by the way they respond to His grace during their infirmity. This story not only
magnifies God’s power as the blind man gained sight, but also the greater blessing of his
becoming a believer in Christ.
Jesus made mud from dust and spit to apply on the man’s eyelids. Perhaps the combination of
submitting to this strange application and the act of washing tested the man’s willingness to
believe and obey.
As with other healings on Sabbath days, Jesus’s action provoked the Pharisees when they learned
of the healing. With self-righteous superiority, they rebuked the healed man for his testimony
about Jesus. They even brought the man’s parents into the dispute, not accepting the fact that he
was born blind. Finally, because of the man’s persistent affirmation of Jesus, the Pharisees threw
him out of the synagogue.
Compassionately, Jesus sought the man and revealed Himself as the Messiah. The man believed
Jesus and received a greater blessing than physical sight. The unbelieving Pharisees, however,
remained spiritually blind because of the hardness of their hearts.
As you read John 9:24-38, identify words and phrases that are expressions of faith in Jesus. How
does the faith of the formerly blind man grow?
I CAN SEE! (JOHN 9:24-25)
24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we
know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know
not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
VERSES 24-25
The backdrop for the story in John 9 was the belief in a connection between sin and suffering.
Jews believed if a person was suffering, he must have sinned; and if a person sinned, he would
suffer. Deuteronomy 28 stated that if the Israelites walked in disobedience, the Lord would
afflict them with blindness (v. 28). By the time of the New Testament, Jews had come to believe
if someone was born blind, either the parents or the newborn must have sinned.
Jesus and the disciples saw a beggar who was blind from birth. Jesus explained to His disciples
that the man had been born blind not because of sin but “that the works of God should be made
manifest in him” (John 9:3). He made a mud mixture with His own saliva, put it on the man’s
eyes, and sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam. After doing so, the man returned, seeing.
The Pharisees interrogated the man whom Jesus healed. Not getting the answers they sought,
they interrogated the man’s parents. Fearful of being excluded from the synagogue, the father
and mother simply attested to the fact that their son was born blind and now was able to see. The
Pharisees turned their attention once again to the man who could now see and interrogated him
The religious leaders gave the man an imperative: Give God the praise. They were instructing the
man to give credit to God rather than to Jesus. Additionally, this was a demand that the man
honor God with truthful words rather than continue with what they thought was an obvious lie
about how he had been healed.
Next, the Pharisees emphatically declared about Jesus: We know that this man is a sinner. The
basis for this statement was the fact Jesus had healed the blind man on the Sabbath, which meant
He certainly was “not of God” (v. 16).
Jewish interpretation of the law would allow someone to perform an action to save a person’s life
on the Sabbath if the individual was in danger. This man faced no such threat. Jewish law
prohibited putting a saliva mixture on one’s eyes on the Sabbath. Additionally, to make mud by
mixing saliva and dirt was viewed as kneading dough, which was also prohibited on the Sabbath.
To violate the Sabbath in such a way was seen as rebellion against God. The Pharisees were
certain they were on solid footing when they referred to Jesus as a sinner.
The man, though, stood his ground. He refused to say whether the One who healed him was a
sinner. Instead, he stubbornly held to and proclaimed the one fact he knew for certain: I was
blind, now I see.
The man who had been born blind was not ready for a theological discussion. He could, though,
testify about what had happened to him. Jesus had moved him from the realm of darkness to
How did the Pharisees’ traditions and beliefs keep them from seeing the truth about Jesus? How
can our beliefs and traditions get in the way of accepting the truth?
YOU CAN’T SEE? (JOHN 9:26-34)
26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered
them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also
be his disciples? 28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’
disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence
he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know
not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not
sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the
world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this
man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast
altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
VERSES 26-27
The Pharisees maintained their united front, they asked him exactly what had happened. Unfazed
by their authority and social importance, this beggar stood up to one of the most respected,
established, and intimidating Jewish groups of his day. They had to be caught off guard when the
man masterfully turned the tables, challenged their motives, and put them on the offensive.
Reading verse 27, one can imagine the religious leaders’ anger upon hearing the man’s correction, I have told you already, and ye did not hear. How dare he disrespect them! The beggar, though, was not finished; he delivered his strongest punch: will ye also be his disciples?
VERSES 28-29
These two verses get at the heart of the conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders. The Jewish religious leaders claimed their authority came directly from God; after all, the Lord had spoken with Moses face to face. The Lord gave His covenant directly to Moses (Ex. 33:11; 34:10-28). This was the authority on which these leaders stood.
What these leaders did not understand, though, was that Jesus was God in the flesh. He was not competing against Moses. In fact, Moses had written about Him (John 5:45-46).
The man had hit a nerve. The Pharisees, trying to regain their footing, mocked the uneducated beggar: thou art his disciple. One can sense the contempt in their words. They then stated why they considered themselves superior: we are Moses’ disciples.
In saying we know, the Pharisees were maintaining their united and dogmatic front. Again, they were highlighting their authority as opposed to this beggar’s feeble status. The Pharisees knew where Moses’s words had come from: God spake unto Moses Himself. Where Jesus had come from—wherever that was—comparatively had to be completely insignificant. Therefore, they thought His words were inconsequential.
VERSES 30-34
The healed man continued to prove himself well versed in Jewish teachings. He pointed out that God heareth not sinners (see Isa. 1:15)—but He does listen to the worshipper of God who obey Him (see Prov. 15:29). The Pharisees likely agreed with what the man was saying, so far. The healed man continued, pointing out that the miracle he had experienced was unique in all of history. He concluded by stating that for Jesus to have done what He did, He had to be of God. The man argued that the fact Jesus opened his eyes was proof that God was with Him. The Pharisees’ attacks on Jesus failed because the evidence could not be refuted. A man born blind was conversing with them with full capability of sight. He maintained, If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
Trapped by the man’s logic, the Pharisees responded by attacking the man himself. They hurled at the beggar the accusation they had made about Jesus—both were sinners (v. 24). They went further, saying the man had been altogether born in sins, the possibility the disciples had raised (v. 2). How dare this illiterate beggar try to teach these theological teachers theology! Having nothing else in their arsenal, they cast him out, meaning out of the synagogue (see v. 22).
Tragically, the Pharisees had become so engulfed in their own anger that they failed to remember God had promised that the blind would receive sight at the dawn of the messianic age (Isa. 35:1-5; 42:5-7). Rather than recognize the moment for what it was, they focused only on preserving their piety, status, and authority—even if doing so meant they failed to recognize the Messiah, the Son of God. People may debate theological points, but they cannot deny the change Jesus
works in us. The most effective apologetic may not lie in doctrinal arguments, but in the witness
of a transformed life.
What makes a person’s changed life a powerful means for sharing about Jesus?
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost
thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe
on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
VERSES 35-36
Reading through the other Gospels, we see more instances of Jesus healing blind people than any
other miracle. (See Matt. 9:27-31; 12:22-23; 15:29-31; 21:14; Mark 8:22-26; 10:46-52; Luke
7:20-22.) Yet what Jesus did with this man who had been born blind was unique—He afterwards
looked until he found him.
As He commonly did, Jesus began the conversation with a question. To believe did not mean
simply to accept facts about the Son of Man. Jesus was asking the man if he put his trust in Him,
the Son of Man, for forgiveness and salvation.
BIBLE SKILL: Use multiple Scripture passages to understand a major doctrine.
Use a concordance to make a list of the occurrences of the title “Son of God” and “Son of Man”
in the Gospel of John. Review the verses, paying attention to the surrounding passages. How do
these passages help you understand Jesus’s teaching about Himself? Write a summary of your
Maybe the blind man had earlier heard Jesus refer to Himself as the “light of the world” (v. 5).
Yet, after he was healed, he referred to Jesus by name and later called Him “a prophet” (vv.
11,17). What he did not know, however, was that Jesus was the long-awaited Son of Man. The
question, who is he, indicated the man was longing to place his faith in Him and to leave behind
the cultural and religious traditions of his day. The man was prepared to follow the Son of God.
(Some Greek manuscripts read “Son of man,” as in John 1:51; 3:14; 5:27; 8:28; 12:23,34.)
How does knowing Jesus’s identity move a person to have faith in Him?
VERSES 37-38
Jesus could have responded, “I am He.” Instead, He referred to the man’s healing as one
evidence of the Messiah’s identity: Thou hast both seen him. Lest there be any doubt as to His
meaning, Jesus told the man, it is he that talketh with thee. He used a similar statement in His
encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:26). Jesus wanted the man to
understand exactly who He was.
Realizing Jesus was the Son of Man, the man responded in two ways. First, he believed, meaning
he accepted the truth of who Jesus was. Second, he worshiped Jesus. Interestingly, this is the
only occurrence in John’s Gospel of someone worshiping Jesus before His crucifixion and
resurrection (20:24-28). This man’s response is a reminder that worship is the natural response
for anyone who has had a life-changing experience with Jesus.
The unnamed beggar had begun the day both physically and spiritually blind. All that changed
because of his encounter with Jesus.
Why is worship the natural response of one whose life has been changed because of Jesus?
KEY DOCTRINE: Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus
Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. (See Isaiah 49:6; John 20:21.)
• Believers must examine their beliefs in light of the Scriptures.
• Believers can share with others the difference Jesus makes in their lives.
• Believers can worship Jesus in faith and action.
How can your Bible study group help those who are seeking to know the truth about Jesus? What
actions can the group take to find and engage with people wanting to know about Jesus?
Not everybody has a dramatic story to tell about how they met Jesus. How was your life changed
because of Jesus? Who do you think might benefit from hearing about how you came to be a
follower of Jesus? Share with them.