Deep Dive: Notes About John 9:39-41


Note about v.39-41
After healing the blind man, Jesus gives insight into part of his purpose on earth; Jesus came both to pronounce God’s favor on the far off (Matt.5:1-11; Luk.4:18-19) and to pronounce judgement on those whose lips honored God but whose hearts were far from him (Matt.15:8-9). In John 9:39 Jesus says that he came to bring sight to those who do not see and to blind those who do see out of judgment. What’s he saying here? It seems as though Jesus is talking about the prophecy from Isaiah 6, which he quotes in Matthew 13:13-17, “’For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, that I would heal them.’” Jesus came to give sight to those who were blind to him (and in this passage, quite literally blind), a sign that would point to his authority as the Son of God. For those who observed such a thing, like the Pharisees, and failed to heed such a sign, this stood to condemn them for their unbelief. Simultaneously there were people like the Pharisees who plainly understood the law and had every reason to see Jesus for who he was: the Messiah. Since these people failed to see and perceive who Jesus was, God gave them over to their desires of not seeing and not hearing; every word of blessing that Jesus would have spoken to them became a word of judgment for their unbelief. That’s why Jesus said to the Pharisee, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt,” because he was guilty of not seeing what was right in front of him.

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