|John 9:10-42 - Blindness was a physical disease Jesus healed. A common belief in Jewish culture was that calamity or suffering was the result of some great sin. But Christ used one man’s blindness to teach others about faith and his Father. We live in a world where good behavior is not always rewarded and bad behavior is not always punished. Therefore innocent people sometimes suffer. If God took suffering away whenever we asked, we would follow him for comfort and convenience, not out of love and devotion. But the real focus of this passage is the spiritual blindness that Jesus wants to heal in all of our lives.
Reflect on Your Life
1. Close your eyes and imagine what it would be like to be totally blind. How would your blindness affect your work and your family life?
2. Now imagine that you were blind and all alone in the world with no means of support. What would you do? How would you live? How would you feel?
Read the Passage
Read John 9:1-10:42.
3. What were the doubts of the neighbors?
4. What were the doubts of the Pharisees?
5. How did both these groups respond to their doubts?
6. How did the former blind man describe Jesus?
7. How did the Pharisees respond to this description of Jesus and his questions?
8. How did the former blind man respond when he saw Jesus?
9. In what ways were the Pharisees blind?
Realize the Principle
Physical blindness is considered a handicap. It is a world of darkness that many have learned to overcome. Spiritual blindness is a darkness of another kind. It is caused by unbelief. A person can receive spiritual sight just as the blind man received his physical sight—through faith and obedience. He believed the words of Jesus and obeyed him. He went to the pool of Siloam and washed his eyes. Then hearing that Jesus was the Messiah, he readily believed and worshiped. You and I can receive spiritual sight by hearing the words of Jesus, believing, and responding in obedience. Listen carefully to his words. They are light and sight to the one who hears and obeys.
10. How can we be spiritually blind?
Respond to the Message
11. What part does doubt play in spiritual blindness? How has Jesus been a light to you?
12. What unanswered questions or doubts are hindering you from fully trusting the words of Jesus?
13. How has God opened your eyes? What spiritual insights about yourself has God helped you clearly see?
14. What are some areas of spiritual blindness in your life that friends or family have pointed out to you?
Resolve to Take Action
15. Pray this week that God would show you one area of your life where you have been blind to his teaching. (This could be a relationship, a habit, or a thought pattern.) Write it here and describe how you believe God wants you to deal with that blindness.
16. What will you do this week to begin to resolve your doubts?
A. What evidence for Jesus’ deity does John appeal to in these verses?
B. Why was the man born blind? What are some of the reasons God allows suffering and pain in the world? How do you respond to an illness or difficult situation? How could a difficult experience in your life bring glory to God?
C. What is the difference between a shepherd and a hired hand? Why does Jesus call himself “the good shepherd”? How can you have life to the full?
D. Why did the people find it so difficult to accept the proof for Jesus’ divinity? What would it take to convince people today that Jesus is God?
E. Why did the Pharisees want to kill Jesus?
This study is adapted from John: A Life Application Bible Study (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1998), available everywhere books are sold.