John 9:1 | God's Work Through Affliction

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EXPLANATION: In chapter 8, Jesus had a show down in the Temple with the Pharisees.
He didn’t beat around the bush like some preachers do.
If Jesus were preaching today, I don’t know if He would be welcome in most Baptist churches.
They wouldn’t be able to handle His pointed preaching.
In v.34, He preached against sin
John 8:34 KJV 1900
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
In v.44, He really got on them
John 8:44 KJV 1900
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Then in v.56-58, He got them all stirred up
John 8:56–58 KJV 1900
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Religion says that Christ is another Gog, a good man, or a prophet.
That’s what the disciples said the world said of Him in Matthew 16:14
Matthew 16:14 KJV 1900
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
But in v.58, Christ quoted two words from the OT that the Pharisees would have been very familiar with… “I AM”
And with the invitation given we find the Pharisee’s response in v.59
John 8:59 KJV 1900
59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Now in our Bibles there is a chapter break.
But as we have discussed in previous studies the verse numbers and chapter headings aren’t inspired, they are just there to help us as we read, study, and preach.
No, the story continues into v.1
John 9:1–3 KJV 1900
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
The disciples ask what we would perceive is a very rude and cruel questions
But they were trying to show off their spirituality
The Pharisees held a belief that if someone was born with either a physical or mental ailment it was for one of two reasons:
Either the parent had sinned
Or the child had sinned in the womb
But Jesus straightens them out right away and explains the reason for the mans blindness in v.3
Jesus says “there are some works I want to accomplish, some lessons I want to teach, and that is the reason this man was born blind.”
He was saying, “There is a purpose for the affliction.”
APPLICATION: Have you ever asked the questions, “Why Lord?”
I’m sure during the course of this man’s life he must have asked that question, “Why?”
For years he had spend begging for alms, wondering why he was born blind.
Sometimes we wonder, “Why did I grow up in the home I grew up in?”
“Why did I lose my parents so young?”
“Why did I have to go through that painful disease?”
Many times it may be years before you understand.
Sometime it isn’t until you enter the presence of the Lord one day.
But in John 9, Jesus pulls back the veil for a moment and tells us why He allowed this man to be born blind.
He says it was for the works of God to be manifest in him.
And here we are some 2000 years later and we find this incredible account and see a few of those works that Jesus tells this man he was blind for.
We get a glimpse of How God Worked Through a Blind Man’s Affliction:


EXPLANATION: This blind man was sitting outside of the temple begging for alms.
When Christ walked up to him, he had no idea that his entire life was about to change
In fact, he never asked Christ to heal his blindness
Actually he never said anything at all!
Christ spit in the dirt and made some mud and began to rub it in his eyes.
And then He tells the man to go and wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam.
He could have said:
“But that’s a long walk.”
“But can’t I just go pout some water on my eyes”
“I don’t see how that’s going to work”
“That’s not the way I’ve done things in the past.”
“What about the money it’s going to cost.”
He was sitting outside the temple and all the religious scholars tell me the Pool of Siloam was a little over 3000 feet away.
That means for him to make a trip to the pool and back would have been a little over 6000 feet
The Pharisees had a law that on the Sabbath day, you were only allowed to walk a little over 6000 feet.
I kind think… maybe hope… that it was at least a few steps past what their law said!
He wasn’t concerned with the religious crowd, or what anyone else had to say.
He was only concerned with what Christ had told him.
He had gone to religion before and it had left him empty!
But there was something about the Words of Jesus, that made him get up and go!
When he followed God’s Word by faith, he found just how powerful that faith is!
Can you imagine as he washed his eyes what the scene must have been like when he saw for the very first time!
APPLICATION: Isn’t it ironic that the Lord says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”
Hebrews 11:6 KJV 1900
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11 is full of story after story of those who “by faith” saw the power of God!
By faith, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph.”
They all saw God do great things when the responded in their lives “By faith.”
God allows us to go through the times of testing and affliction so that BY FAITH we can respond and see the power of God!
EXPLANATION: I’m sure when this man first heard what Jesus told him to do, there was probably doubt in his mind… But he obeyed anyway.
APPLICATION: Sometimes we get in our mind that faith is having full unwavering confidence in God’s commands and plans
But in reality, faith is being willing to follow God’s commands and plans even through our doubts!
Mark 9:24 KJV 1900
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
It’s keeping our eyes on the “Author and Finisher of our faith!”


EXPLANATION: Everywhere this guy went, he would tell people about what Jesus had done!
He would say, “Once I was blind, but now I see.”
Can you imagine how this guy would have been at work that next week?
“Do you need me to read that for you?”
“Once I was blind but now I see.”
Can you imagine what it was like a few weeks later when he got pulled over in his chariot.
“Sir, your license says you can’t drive… you’re blind!”
“Oh officers, that license is a little out of date… you see once I was blind, but now I see!”
Can you imagine what it was like years down the road when this guy’s grandkids were sitting on his knee?
A lot of grandparents like to talk about how great they were when they were young.
But not this guys, he told the same story over and over and over again… “Once I was blind, but now I see.”
APPLICATION: Friend we talked about it last week, but the praise of God ought to always be on our lips!
Talking about the goodness of Christ ought to be our regular conversation!
James 1:17 KJV 1900
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Psalm 35:18 KJV 1900
18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
You ask, “Well what should I praise Him for?”
We should praise Him because He forgives sin!
Psalm 51:15 KJV 1900
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; And my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
He forgives your sins when you get saved… and He forgives your sins so you can have a sweet relationship with Him!
1 John 1:9 KJV 1900
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We should praise Him because we are created by Him!
Psalm 139:14 KJV 1900
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.
God created and designed you for a purpose!
In a world that fails to value the sanctity of life, praise him because you are precious in His sight!
We should praise Him because He is a personal God.
Psalm 118:28 KJV 1900
28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: Thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
He’s not just the God of the universe… He’s my God!
We could start praising God for Who He is and all He’s done and go on and on!
And everyone would agree with that sentiment… but sadly, often there is very little praise that comes from our mouth!
ILLUSTRATION: When you squeeze a sponge, what comes out is what it’s been soaking in.
APPLICATION: Friend when you get squeezed in life, what comes out?
Matthew 12:34 KJV 1900
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
If we would spend more time soaking in the goodness of Who God is and in His Word, maybe instead of complaining, that is what would come out!


EXPLANATION: It’s funny how ofter we get our doctrine and belief of scripture from songs… because it sounds so good.
“Was blind, but now I see.” - Fanny Crosby
From that song we assume this man must have gotten saved when Jesus gave him sight.
But contrary to what some may say, I don’t believe that was when the man got saved.
And I believe that for two reasons.
John 9:25 KJV 1900
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.
The second reason is because I believe I know where He got saved:
John 9:35–38 KJV 1900
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.
It was his affliction that first introduced him to Jesus, and would eventually lead to him trusting Christ as His Savior
APPLICATION: This man had some pretty incredible experiences, but it wasn’t the experiences that saved him
He had some good answers for the religious crowd, John 9:27-34
John 9:27–34 KJV 1900
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.
He knew the right verbiage
He had some of the right answers
He may have been able to define some Bible words like “propitiation” and “justification”
He may be been able to recite the OT books in order
He was probably a good person
But in the end it wasn’t any of those things that saved him.
It was v.38
Colossians 2:9 KJV 1900
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
1 Timothy 3:16 KJV 1900
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Titus 2:13 KJV 1900
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
He recognized Jesus as God.
It wasn’t anything he could do that saved him from the payment of a lake of fire
Romans 3:10 KJV 1900
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Romans 3:23 KJV 1900
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 6:23 KJV 1900
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV 1900
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 4:4 KJV 1900
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Titus 3:5 KJV 1900
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
It was only by putting his faith and trust in Christ and Him alone to forgive his sins, that could save him.
Romans 4:5 KJV 1900
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
John 14:6 KJV 1900
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Romans 10:9–10 KJV 1900
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
APPLICATION: Friend, could it be today that God has brought you through trials and affliction to bring you here today.
To hear this message
to hear this point
So that you can get it settled once and for all
It doesn’t matter what experiences you have had
It matters not how good of a person you have been.
ILLUSTRATION: Trying to get into the lounge but not having the right pass
APPLICATION: There is only one what you are getting into heaven
Today, as Jesus asked the blind man healed of his blindness, “Do you believe?”
I don’t know what you may be saying “Why God” about today.
But maybe it’s so the works of God can be manifest in your life!
And I know we can learn from a blind man in Scripture that God doesn’t waste the trial… No, God works through affliction!
Is your faith wavering?
How often do you talk about Jesus and what He has done?
Today is the day… don’t put it off!
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