Wesley's Notes on the Bible
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
9:2 Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? - That is, was it for his own sins, or the sins of his parents? They suppose (as many of the Jews did, though without any ground from Scripture) that he might have sinned in a pre - existent state, before he came into the world.
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents - It was not the manner of our Lord to answer any questions that were of no use, but to gratify an idle curiosity. Therefore he determines nothing concerning this. The scope of his answer is, It was neither for any sins of his own, nor yet of his parents; but that the power of God might be displayed.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
9:4 The night is coming - Christ is the light. When the light is withdrawn night comes, when no man can work - No man can do any thing toward working out his salvation after this life is ended. Yet Christ can work always. But he was not to work upon earth, only during the day, or season which was appointed for him.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
9:5 I am the light of the world - I teach men inwardly by my Spirit, and outwardly by my preaching, what is the will of God; and I show them, by my example, how they must do it.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
9:6 He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay - This might almost have blinded a man that had sight. But what could it do toward curing the blind? It reminds us that God is no farther from the event, when he works either with, or without means, and that all the creatures are only that which his almighty operation makes them.
And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
9:7 Go, wash at the pool of Siloam - Perhaps our Lord intended to make the miracle more taken notice of. For a crowd of people would naturally gather round him to observe the event of so strange a prescription, and it is exceeding probable, the guide who must have led him in traversing a great part of the city, would mention the errand he was going upon, and so call all those who saw him to a greater attention. From the fountain of Siloam, which was without the walls of Jerusalem, a little stream flowed into the city, and was received in a kind of basin, near the temple, and called the pool of Siloam. Which is, by interpretation, Sent - And so was a type of the Messiah, who was sent of God. He went and washed, and came seeing - He believed, and obeyed, and found a blessing. Had he been wise in his own eyes, and reasoned, like Naaman, on the impropriety of the means, he had justly been left in darkness. Lord, may our proud hearts be subdued to the methods of thy recovering grace! May we leave thee to choose how thou wilt bestow favours, which it is our highest interest to receive on any terms.
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
9:11 A man called Jesus - He seems to have been before totally ignorant of him.
Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
9:14 Anointing the eyes - With any kind of medicine on the Sabbath, was particularly forbidden by the tradition of the elders.
Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
9:16 This man is not of God - Not sent of God. How can a man that is a sinner - That is, one living in wilful sin, do such miracles?
They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
9:17 What sayest thou of him, for that he hath opened thine eyes? - What inference dost thou draw herefrom?
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
His parents answered them and said, 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.
These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
9:22 He should be put out of the synagogue - That is be excommunicated.
Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
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.
Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
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?
9:27 Are ye also - As well as I, at length convinced and willing to be his disciples?
Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.
We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
9:29 We know not whence he is - By what power and authority he does these things.
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.
9:30 The man answered - Utterly illiterate as he was. And with what strength and clearness of reason! So had God opened the eyes of his understanding, as well as his bodily eyes. Why, herein is a marvellous thing, that ye - The teachers and guides of the people, should not know, that a man who has wrought a miracle, the like of which was never heard of before, must be from heaven, sent by God.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
9:31 We - Even we of the populace, know that God heareth not sinners - Not impenitent sinners, so as to answer their prayers in this manner. The honest courage of this man in adhering to the truth, though he knew the consequence, John 9:22, gives him claim to the title of a confessor.
Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.
If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
9:33 He could do nothing - Of this kind; nothing miraculous.
They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
9:34 Born in sin - And therefore, they supposed, born blind. They cast him out - Of the synagogue; excommunicated him.
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?
9:35 Having found him - For he had sought him.
He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
9:36 Who is he, that I may believe? - This implies some degree of faith already. He was ready to receive whatever Jesus said.
And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
9:37 Lord, I believe - What an excellent spirit was this man of! Of so deep and strong an understanding; (as he had just shown to the confusion of the Pharisees,) and yet of so teachable a temper!
And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
9:39 For judgment am I come into the world - That is, the consequence of my coming will be, that by the just judgment of God, while the blind in body and soul receive their sight, they who boast they see, will be given up to still greater blindness than before.
And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
9:41 If ye had been blind - Invincibly ignorant; if ye had not had so many means of knowing: ye would have had no sin - Comparatively to what ye have now. But now ye say - Ye yourselves acknowledge, Ye see, therefore your sin remaineth - Without excuse, without remedy.