Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #862 MP3 Audio File Video File

I Am the One

John 9:8-41

Delivered 06/18/17

This Fourth Gospel is built around seven miraculous signs. And it is Lazarus' intent that by the reading and studying of the signs men might come to see that Yeshua is the Christ, the Son of God, and that in believing in Him they might have life through His name.

The entire 9th chapter is built around one of these signs; Yeshua's healing of the blind man. And the chapter is devoted to the miracle and the ensuing discussion over Yeshua's authority, identity, and origin. Robert Kysar, in his commentary on John, identifies seven segments of the story, which he calls the scenes of the mini-drama of chapter 9. We're going to follow his outline.

John 9:1-7 - Scene 1 - Healing the Blind Man

In chapter 9 Yeshua is still in Jerusalem. He is most likely near one of the Temple gates when He comes across a blind man who has been blind from birth. Because of his blindness he is reduced to being a beggar. So, he sits there with the rest of the beggars at the Temple entrance because that's where he is most likely to find someone who will help him out financially. The man does what Yeshua tells him and comes back seeing:

and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. John 9:7 NABS

This man who was blind from birth, who had never seen anything, now for the first time in his life sees. Can you even imagine what this man was thinking and feeling! This was an unheard of miracle.

Yeshua didn't perform this healing because the man believed that He was God's Son or even the Messiah. It was simply an expression of God's grace that became an opportunity for teaching. Throughout the Bible blindness is used metaphorically to represent the human condition of spiritual death, the inability to comprehend God and divine truth. In Isaiah 43:8, we read of the people who are blind even though they have eyes. Jeremiah says:

'Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see; Who have ears but do not hear. Jeremiah 5:21 NABS

In Isaiah 56:10, the corrupt leaders of Israel are described as watchmen who are blind, he says, "All of them know nothing." According to Acts 26, Paul was sent with the Gospel to the nations "to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light." So, the Bible speaks of blindness as a metaphor for spiritual ignorance, spiritual darkness.

The Tanakh talks about the Messiah coming to bring light. Isaiah 9, Isaiah 29, Isaiah 42, Isaiah chapter 60. All of those places, the Messiah is seen as the one who brings spiritual light to the world in the midst of darkness. In our text Yeshua has said that He is the Light of the World, and then He demonstrates it by giving sight to the blind man. This whole chapter is about spiritual blindness and spiritual sight. Only Yeshua can give spiritual sight to the blind. To have spiritual sight is to have eternal life. Apart from His sovereign act of grace, men remain in their darkness and die in their sins.

In the end of scene 1 the blind man is given sight, but as he returns Yeshua is no longer there. Yeshua had healed the man, and then He fades out of the story, and the man is questioned by his neighbors.

John 9:8-12 - Scene 2 - Questioning by the Neighbors

Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, "Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?" Others were saying, "This is he," still others were saying, "No, but he is like him." He kept saying, "I am the one." John 9:8-9 NABS

A miracle like this cannot be kept quiet for long. Everyone is talking about it. The neighbors and others who had often seen him begging ask, "Isn't this the guy who used to sit and beg?" The Greek construction of their question shows that a positive answer is expected. It is almost an exclamation.

The man was a fixture in the area. People who are used to seeing him are astonished at his healing; some even deny that it can be the same man. It shows that the change in him was so remarkable that even some people who knew him well could not believe that he was the same man!

So they were saying to him, "How then were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man who is called Yeshua made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went away and washed, and I received sight." They said to him, "Where is He?" He said, "I do not know." John 9:10-12 NABS

Yeshua had not accompanied the man to the pool, so he could not point Him out to the crowd as his Healer, he had never seen Yeshua.

"Where is He?"this may indicate a desire to check out their neighbor's story, or it my be simply a desire to meet the man who had performed such an astonishing miracle. I would be asking, "Where is He?" for both reasons.

John 9:13-17 - Scene 3 - First Interrogation by the Pharisees:

They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. John 9:13 NABS

Why did the formerly blind man's neighbors bring him to the Pharisees? There seems to be no explanation in the text as to why they take this man to the Pharisees. But I think that something this man says may point us in the right direction:

"Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. John 9:32 NABS

What Yeshua did to this man was unheard of. And they no doubt had heard of Yeshua and other miracles that He was doing so they take this formerly blind man to the religious leaders most likely for an explanation of what happened. The neighbors are seeking religious help in understanding this miraculous event. They were looking for some theological explanation from the theological elites of Israel.

The former beggar is brought before what seems to be an official gathering of the Pharisees. This could be a meeting of the Sanhedrin. Israel was a religious society and also a society in which the religious authorities were the authority, the ultimate authority, it was a theocracy. The Pharisees were the religious and civil authorities.

The Pharisees had been continually discrediting Yeshua, continually saying that He has a demon, He is insane, He is of Satan, He is not of God. The Sanhedrin had passed a law that anyone who confessed Yeshua to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. So maybe these neighbors knew the Tanakh, they knew that when Messiah came He would heal the blind. And Yeshua seemed to fit that bill. but the religious officials have said that He is not of God. So they take this man to the Pharisees to see how they explain this one. How does a man who is not of God heal a man of blindness?

Lazarus inserts a note for clarification:

Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Yeshua made the clay and opened his eyes. John 9:14 NABS

Several things that Yeshua did in the healing process could be accounted as Sabbath breaking under Rabbinic Law. To make clay violated the injunction against kneading. Lifting or carrying enough water to wash eye ointment off the eye was forbidden. Putting an ointment on an eye was forbidden by some rabbis.

According to Rabbinic Law, intervention to prevent death was permitted, but intervention to make life better was not permitted. Rabbi Samuel commented, "Man shall live through the precepts of the Thora, but he should not die in consequence of the same." So the rub with Yeshua was that He intervened to heal a person whose life was not in danger. He had not prevented death, he had improved life and that was forbidden!

They had taken the Sabbath rest and turned it into the Sabbath burden. According to Rabbinic Law, you couldn't fill a lamp with oil on the Sabbath. You couldn't light a wick on the Sabbath. If a man extinguished a lamp on the Sabbath to spare the lamp to save the oil and conserve the wick, he was guilty of violating the Sabbath. They had laws that said a man may not go out on the Sabbath with sandals shod with nails because nails constitute a burden, and he's carrying a weight on the Sabbath, and that's a violation.

There is even a rabbinical statute recorded by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon commonly known as Maimonides, specifically prohibiting the spreading of saliva on anyone on the Sabbath because they believed saliva had some kind of medicinal value, and they weren't allowed to spread the saliva on the Sabbath according to Maimonides. Maimon was much later that Yeshua, but it shows what they did with the Sabbath.

Their self imposed rules have distorted the Law to the point that these rules have taken precedence over their obligations to justice and charity and have resulted in a rule of fanaticism that blinds them from recognizing the work of God in action.

Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, "He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see." Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, "This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." But others were saying, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?" And there was a division among them. John 9:15-16 NABS

"Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, 'This man is not from God'"— Notice what they call Yeshua, "this man". The Pharisees never refer to Yeshua by name. Why? I think it's because Yeshua means, "Yahweh saves."

"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 NABS

In the Greek here the name Iesou, (which can be translated into Latin as Jesus) neither of which have meaning, they are simply names. But the Hebrew name Yeshua means: "Yahweh saves."

They didn't want to call Him "Yahweh saves," because it's hard to say that Yahweh saves is not of Yahweh! And so throughout this entire interrogation process, we see Yeshua always referred to indirectly, rather than by name. Hebrew names have meaning.

"This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath"—they are attempting to us syllogistic reasoning. A syllogism is a valid deductive argument having two premises and a conclusion. Their major premise: all people who are from God keep the Sabbath. Their minor premise: Yeshua doesn't keep the Sabbath. Conclusion: Yeshua is not from God. That's their syllogism.

So while this would be a valid argument, if their premises are true, it's not really a sound argument since the premises are not true. Their wrong presupposition was: "Our rules are equal to God's Law." And one of the things they said was that a man could not be healed on the Sabbath Day. Convinced that their interpretation of the Sabbath is correct they therefore see Yeshua in violation of the Law of God. But because their major premise was wrong, understood as they understood it, therefore their conclusion is false.

"Others were saying, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?"—the "others" here are other Pharisees. This could have included Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea, both of whom were on the Council, but later stepped up to provide for Yeshua's burial. We saw in our study of chapter 3 that Nicodemus had said to Yeshua, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him." So, here some of the Pharisees object to the syllogism given asking, "How can a man who is not of God perform such signs?"

They had their own logical syllogism. It went like this. Major Premise: Only God can open blind eyes. Minor Premise: Yeshua opened the eyes of this man born blind. Conclusion: Yeshua is from God. Because it's obviously true that miracles must be ultimately performed by the power of God. And so evidently this man has some relationship with the Lord that enables Him to do the miraculous. And so we have a schism among the Pharisees. This group that sees Yeshua as from God must be the minority, we don't hear from them again.

So they said to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?" And he said, "He is a prophet." John 9:17 NABS

"What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?"—the question is not designed to elicit the man's opinion. It is a technique to force him to one side of the issue or the other. In the context it is a heavy handed way of saying to the man, "Agree with us; say He is a sinner, say He's a Sabbath breaker."

"And he said, "He is a prophet"we have seen through this Gospel that many viewed Yeshua as a Prophet. So this man most likely heard this in the synagogue. He knows that a work of God was done in his life, and therefore the human agent must be an extraordinary individual, a Prophet of God. He most likely saw Yeshua as "a Prophet" similar to other miracle-working Old Covenant prophets like Moses and Elijah (e.g., 2 Kings 2:19-22; 4:18-44; 5:1-14).

John 9:18-23 - Scene 4 - Interrogation of the Man's Parents

The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, and questioned them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?" John 9:18-19 NABS

"The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight"—now remember, they've heard from the man, and they have heard from the man's neighbor and friends. But they still don't believe. They may have been thinking, "A man who was good enough to perform the miracle would not have performed it on the Sabbath. There must therefore be a mistake somewhere, and it was probably in the man's story." So they call his parents.

His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself." John 9:20-21 NABS

The parents must be scared to death of the Pharisees and don't want to mention Yeshua's name. But they do admit that a miracle has taken place. They admit that it is their son, and he was born blind. This is the third witness to this miracle.

"But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know"I doubt that this is true. They, of all people, know what has happened to their son. They have no doubt asked what has happened to him, and he has surely told them that a man named Yeshua is the one who has healed him. But they are not going to answer because they are afraid of the Pharisees.

Assuming they meant that he was of age to make a legal response, it simply means he was more than thirteen years old.

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, "He is of age; ask him." John 9:22-23 NABS

The Pharisees are now being called Jews. In the Gospel of John, the term Jew implies hostility.

"Put out of the synagogue"—the Greek word here is aposynagogos. It means: "expelled from the synagogue." It appears only in John in the entire New Testament and only three times in John. By the time this Gospel was written that word was being used to describe Christians who had been expelled from worshiping God at the synagogue.

The Pharisees have the power to excommunicate a person, to expel them from the synagogue. The institution of the synagogue seems to have been formed during the 70 years of the Babylonian exile when the people were completely cut off from the Temple (6th century BC). After the return from exile the synagogue, as a community of believers, was established in every village. The 1st century AD Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus reported that Jerusalem had 130 synagogues, many of which were formed around trade communities like the Baker's Synagogue, the Mason's Synagogue, etc. Membership in one of the faith communities not only provided spiritual nourishment in the study of sacred Scripture, but provided a community support group, an extended family that made life easier in difficult times. A permanent expulsion from the synagogue resulted in a curse on the offender that left him or her completely isolated from the community. The excommunicated member could not participate in the religious services in the synagogue and was to be shunned when passed on the street. Since it was both a spiritual and economic boycott the person who was excommunicated was essentially "dead" to the community—a very fearful condition.

John 9:24-34 - Scene 5 - Second Interrogation by the Pharisees

So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner." John 9:24 NABS

"So a second time they called the man who had been blind"—the Pharisees had the evidence of the neighbors, the parents, and the man himself that he had been born blind and that Yeshua had healed him on the Sabbath. But what they really wanted was evidence that would refute the evidence that they had been given, which they didn't like. So, they called the man a second time and said:

"Give glory to God"—this does not mean something like "Praise God for what He has done in your life."This is a biblical phrase which places a person being questioned under oath to tell the truth much like we use the phrase in our court system to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

"Give glory to God" is a direct quote from Joshua 7:19. Joshua comes to Achan, who has stolen all of this stuff, and buried it in his tent and says to him, "Give Glory to the Lord the God of Israel and tell me what you've done." These Pharisees know that story very well. That story says, God is glorified when you tell the truth.

The Pharisees assumed that glorifying God and glorifying Yeshua were mutually exclusive, when actually to not glorify the Son is to not glorify the Father:

so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. John 5:23 NABS

As another example of irony here: the Jewish religious leaders, who thought of themselves as enlightened, are trying to pressure the man who was born blind into denying that he had received sight!

He then answered, "Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." So they said to him, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?" He answered them, "I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?" John 9:25-27 NABS

"So they said to him, 'What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?'"—do you see what they just did? They just admitted that he was healed of blindness.

"Why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?"—the Greek grammatical form expects a "no" answer, but the very asking of the question is sarcasm and shows the wit of this formally blind beggar. This response indicates that the man felt no intimidation from these Pharisees. He shows no fear of the possibility of being put out of the synagogue. Having been born blind and therefore considered by many to be a sinner, he must have been ostracized all of his life.

They reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. "We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from." John 9:28-29 NABS

"We are disciples of Moses"—they are not disciples of Moses. Because Yeshua said in John 5:46, "If you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me."

It's interesting that the Scribes and Pharisees held Moses in great esteem as the Law giver and claim to be his disciples, but this wasn't the attitude of the Israelites of Moses' generation. The Israelites of the Exodus experience rebuked Moses, disobeyed him and at times the people even threatened to kill Moses.

"As for this man, we do not know where He is from"—here are the religious leaders saying they don't know where Yeshua is from when He is going around doing miracles over and over. In John 6 when He preached the sermon on the bread of life, He said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven. I have come down from heaven to give My life for the world." He had said again, and again, and again, "I come from heaven," and His miracles demonstrated it.

I love these next two verses, here we see a mere beggar standing up to the religious and civil authorities of the land!

The man answered and said to them, "Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. John 9:30-31 NABS

This guy has some guts. He is saying you are a people that put themselves forth as the authoritative interpreters of God's Word, and you don't know anything about this man who does the work of God. This man does something the Tanakh says only God can do, open blind eyes. He opened my eyes, but you don't know where He is from, amazing!

Their unbelief in view of the evidence was incredible to him. The proof that Yeshua had come from God was His ability to perform such a powerful and constructive miracle as giving sight to the blind.

Remember their syllogism, they've been saying that a man who is of God doesn't heal on the Sabbath Day. Yeshua heals on the Sabbath Day; therefore Yeshua is not of God. So now he gives them a syllogism of his own: "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him."—this is something that every Jew should know. It is a truth to which some Pharisees have already pointed in verse 16. It is a truth often taught in the Bible:

If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; Psalms 66:18 NABS
The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29 NABS

That's an Old Covenant principle. This man knew His Tanakh.

The Pharisees taught that God blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked. They taught that God will hear the prayers of the righteous, but not those of the wicked. If Yeshua is a sinner as the Pharisees insist, then how do they explain the miracles Yeshua has performed?

So this former blind man gives his own syllogism. Major Premise: We know that God does not hear sinners. Minor premise. God has heard this man Yeshua. He has healed me of my blindness. Conclusion: Therefore this man is not a sinner. He's a beggar defeating a Pharisee with the Pharisee's own syllogistic weapons:

"Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. "If this man were not from God, He could do nothing." John 9:32-33 NABS

Jewish tradition reports one or two instances of the blind being healed (Tobit 2:10; 11:10-13). But nowhere is there a report of a healing of a man born blind. There is no miracle of the giving of sight to the blind in the Tanakh. But the Tanakh teaches that God is the One who has the ability to give sight to the blind:

The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous; Psalms 146:8 NABS

They cannot accept Yeshua's divinity, which is the only possible correct interpretation of this miracle.

"If this man were not from God, He could do nothing"—"If" is a second class conditional sentence which is called "contrary to fact." It should be understood as, "If this man had not come from God, which He did, then He could not have done anything like this, but He did."

They answered him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" So they put him out. John 9:34 NABS

This poor man lost his privilege of participating in synagogue worship for taking his stand supporting Yeshua (cf. v. 22). Many other Jewish believers followed him in this fate throughout the years since this incident happened. This is the first persecution of Yeshua's followers that Lazarus recorded.

John 9:35-38 - Scene 6 - Spiritual Sight

Yeshua heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" Yeshua said to him, "You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you." And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him. John 9:35-38 NABS

There are some textual questions here. Several manuscripts omit all of v. 38, and "Yeshua said" from v. 39. But in view of the overwhelming textual evidence supporting inclusion of the words, it is best to judge them original.

Yeshua found him. This is how you receive spiritual sight. It all starts with the divine initiative. It all starts by the sovereign purpose in the mind of God. We have seen this over and over in this Gospel. In John 6:37, Yeshua says, "All that the Father gives me will come to me." And in verse 44, he says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." And in verse 65, He says, "No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." So coming to Yeshua is a gift. We don't do it on our own then get the gift. Our coming is the gift.

Yeshua hears that the blind man has been evicted from the synagogue, and, by implication, from mainstream Jewish cultural life, so He goes looking for him and finds him. Can you imagine the comfort this would give to those first readers of this history? It was written in a time when many Christians from Jewish backgrounds were facing severe persecution and alienation.

We need to remember that this man had never before seen Yeshua. The last time they met was when Yeshua had put mud on his eyes and told him to go and wash it off at the Pool of Siloam.

"Do you believe in the Son of Man?"—some early manuscripts and modern translations have "Son of God," but "Son of Man" has the better support. The ancient Greek uncial manuscripts A and L have "Son of God," but P66, P75, B, D, and W have "Son of Man." From John's usage and the manuscript evidence "Son of Man" is a far more appropriate, and probably original. The UBS4 gives "man" an "A" rating (certain).

Once again He is referring to the very well known vision of the prophet Daniel in Daniel 7:13-14. It is Daniel's vision of the divine Messiah who is to receive universal kingship and world-wide worship. The Son of Man in this vision must be divine because worship can only be given to God! This is an even greater title than "Son of God" to the 1st century AD Jew, and this is the 9th time Yeshua has used this title for Himself in John's Gospel. This Messianic title, "Son of Man: will be used 12 times in this Gospel.

The formally blind man, although he has never been able to read Sacred Scripture, clearly understands this title identifies Yeshua as the Messiah.

"And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him"the word used for "worship" here is proskyneo, to "prostrate" oneself. In the other six places in this Gospel where this word proskuneo is used, it means: "really 'worship,' not just 'fall down.'" Worship was something due to God alone, yet Yeshua does not prevent him, because Yeshua is Yahweh.

This man falls on his knees in adoration. This is the only place in this Gospel where we read that anyone "worshipped" Yeshua. This is quite different than the Pharisees response in verse 59 of chapter 8, when Yeshua declared who He was and they picked up stones to stone Him.

John 9:39-41 - Scene 7 - Spiritual Blindness

And Yeshua said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Yeshua said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains. John 9:39-41 NABS

For the first time in this chapter Yeshua and the Pharisees come face to face. It appears that Yeshua is alluding to:

"Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed." Isaiah 6:9-10 NABS

Yeshua's statements about judgment in John 5:22, 30; 8:15-16 and here in this passage seem to be two contradictory teachings. Sometimes Christ does not pass judgment as in 5:30 and later in 12:47, but at other times He does as in 5:22 and 9:39.

When Yeshua does judge, it is in the name of and as the agent of God the Father. When He says he does not judge, He means that He does not judge on His own, independent of the Father's will.

Yeshua is judging them and His judgment on these is reminiscent of the Old Covenant prophet's "covenant lawsuits" called through them by Yahweh on an apostate Israel/Judah. Called in Hebrew a riv, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Hosea all condemned the Old Covenant people for violations against the Covenant. In each case the riv resulted in the judgment of God and the destruction of Israel in 722 BC and Judah and the Temple in 587/6BC. Remember what Yeshua has already told these Pharisees:

And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." John 8:23-24 NABS

These Jewish leaders claim to be disciples of Moses, well notice what Moses said as Peter quotes him and then pronounces judgment on any who don't listen to Moses:

"Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. 'And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.' Acts 3:22-23 NABS

"The people" is a reference to true Israel. Peter here identifies the true Israel as those who follow Messiah. If you reject the Messiah, you will no longer be "the people."

This chapter advances the revelation of Yeshua's true identity, which was one of Lazarus' primary objectives in this Gospel. It also shows that as the light of this revelation became clearer, so did the darkness—because some people prefer the darkness to the light (3:19).

Hall Harris writes, "This is a story of how a man who sat in darkness was brought to see the light, not only physically but spiritually. On the other hand, it is also a tale of how those who thought they saw (the Pharisees) were blinding themselves to the light and plunging into darkness. The story starts in vs. 1 with a blind man who will gain his sight; it ends in vs. 41 with the Pharisees, who have become spiritually blind."

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