July 16 – 22, 2017
“I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (John 9:39).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 470–475.
“It is not God that blinds the eyes of men or hardens their hearts. He sends them light to correct their errors, and to lead them in safe paths; it is by the rejection of this light that the eyes are blinded and the heart hardened.” The Desire of Ages, 322.
1 FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
- What question did the disciples ask Jesus when they saw the man who was born blind? John 9:1, 2.
- How did Satan profit from the erroneous idea that the Jews maintained concerning affliction? Job 9:34.
Note: “It was generally believed by the Jews that sin is punished in this life. Every affliction was regarded as the penalty of some wrongdoing, either of the sufferer himself or of his parents. It is true that all suffering results from the transgression of God’s law, but this truth had become perverted. Satan, the author of sin and all its results, had led men to look upon disease and death as proceeding from God—as punishment arbitrarily inflicted on account of sin. Hence one upon whom some great affliction or calamity had fallen had the additional burden of being regarded as a great sinner.” The Desire of Ages, 471.
- What answer of Jesus shed light on this erroneous idea? John 9:3–5.
- What did Christ do to illustrate His point, and how did the blind man cooperate with Him? John 9:6, 7.
- What were the varied reactions of the blind man’s neighbors? John 9:8–12.
- To whom did the men take the blind man, and why? Upon which day was he cured? John 9:13, 14.
- Describe the reaction of the Pharisees. John 9:15, 16.
Note: “ ‘Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because He keepeth not the Sabbath day’ (John 9:16). The Pharisees hoped to make Jesus out to be a sinner, and therefore not the Messiah. They knew not that it was He who had made the Sabbath and knew all its obligation, who had healed the blind man. They appeared wonderfully zealous for the observance of the Sabbath, yet were planning murder on that very day.” The Desire of Ages, 472.
- When the blind man’s parents were called before the council, how did they answer the question put to them? John 9:18–23.
Note: “The Pharisees had one hope left, and that was to intimidate the man’s parents. With apparent sincerity they asked, ‘How then doth he now see’ (John 9:19)? The parents feared to compromise themselves; for it had been declared that whoever should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ should be ‘put out of the synagogue;’ that is, should be excluded from the synagogue for thirty days. During this time no child could be circumcised nor dead be lamented in the offender’s home. The sentence was regarded as a great calamity; and if it failed to produce repentance, a far heavier penalty followed. The great work wrought for their son had brought conviction to the parents, yet they answered, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself’ (verses 20, 21). Thus they shifted all responsibility from themselves to their son; for they dared not confess Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 472, 473.
3 RENEWED INTERROGATION
- Upon summoning the young man for the second time, what did the Pharisees try to force him to do? John 9:24.
Note: “The Pharisees saw that they were giving publicity to the work done by Jesus. They could not deny the miracle. The blind man was filled with joy and gratitude; he beheld the wondrous things of nature, and was filled with delight at the beauty of earth and sky.” The Desire of Ages, 473.
- What irrefutable argument did the young man present? John 9:25.
- What did the Pharisees again ask the young man? John 9:26. What did they really intend to do with the young man?
Note: “Then they questioned again, ‘What did He to thee? how opened He thine eyes’ (John 9:26)? With many words they tried to confuse him, so that he might think himself deluded. Satan and his evil angels were on the side of the Pharisees, and united their energies and subtlety with man’s reasoning in order to counteract the influence of Christ. They blunted the convictions that were deepening in many minds.” The Desire of Ages, 473.
- How did the young man answer them, and who stood by his side to thus inspire him? John 9:27.
Note: “Angels of God were also on the ground to strengthen the man who had had his sight restored.
“The Pharisees did not realize that they had to deal with any other than the uneducated man who had been born blind; they knew not Him with whom they were in controversy. Divine light shone into the chambers of the blind man’s soul. As these hypocrites tried to make him disbelieve, God helped him to show, by the vigor and pointedness of his replies, that he was not to be ensnared.” The Desire of Ages, 473, 474.
4 CONSCIOUS BLINDNESS
- As they were unable to deceive the young man, how did the Pharisees treat him? John 9:28.
- What ignorance did they manifest? John 9:29.
- What else did the formerly blind man say? John 9:30–33.
- Since they were unwilling to accept the evidences, what did the angry Pharisees do with the young man? John 9:34.
Note: “The man had met his inquisitors on their own ground. His reasoning was unanswerable. The Pharisees were astonished, and they held their peace—spellbound before his pointed, determined words. For a few moments there was silence. Then the frowning priests and rabbis gathered about them their robes, as though they feared contamination from contact with him; they shook off the dust from their feet, and hurled denunciations against him—‘Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us’ (John 9:34)? And they excommunicated him.” The Desire of Ages, 474. [Emphasis author’s.]
- What words did the young man and Christ exchange following his excommunication? John 9:35–38.
Note: “To the Saviour’s question, ‘Dost thou believe on the Son of God?’ the blind man replied by asking, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?’ And Jesus said, ‘Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee’ (John 9:35–37). The man cast himself at the Saviour’s feet in worship. Not only had his natural sight been restored, but the eyes of his understanding had been opened. Christ had been revealed to his soul, and he received Him as the Sent of God.” The Desire of Ages, 475.
5 JUDGED BY THE LIGHT
- What did Jesus say concerning the results of His work? John 9:39.
Note: “A group of Pharisees had gathered near, and the sight of them brought to the mind of Jesus the contrast ever manifest in the effect of His words and works. … Christ had come to open the blind eyes, to give light to them that sit in darkness. He had declared Himself to be the light of the world, and the miracle just performed was in attestation of His mission. The people who beheld the Saviour at His advent were favored with a fuller manifestation of the divine presence than the world had ever enjoyed before. The knowledge of God was revealed more perfectly. But in this very revelation, judgment was passing upon men. Their character was tested, their destiny determined.” The Desire of Ages, 475.
- How did the Pharisees react to that declaration of Jesus? John 9:40. Why were they guilty of their own blindness? John 9:41.
Note: “The manifestation of divine power that had given to the blind man both natural and spiritual sight had left the Pharisees in yet deeper darkness. Some of His hearers, feeling that Christ’s words applied to them, inquired, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus answered, ‘If ye were blind, ye should have no sin.’ If God had made it impossible for you to see the truth, your ignorance would involve no guilt. ‘But now ye say, We see.’ You believe yourselves able to see, and reject the means through which alone you could receive sight. To all who realized their need, Christ came with infinite help. But the Pharisees would confess no need; they refused to come to Christ, and hence they were left in blindness—a blindness for which they were themselves guilty. Jesus said, ‘Your sin remaineth’ (John 9:40, 41).” The Desire of Ages, 475.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Of what did the Pharisees try to convince the formerly blind man?
2 Who was using the unbelieving Pharisees?
3 Who helped the young man give explicit and convincing answers?
4 What is the worst form of blindness?
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