John 9:8
At this, his neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging began to ask, "Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?"
Sermons
Characteristics of BlindnessM. G. Pearse.John 9:1-25
Characteristics of the MiracleBp. Ryle.John 9:1-25
Christ and the Blind ManDe Witt S. Clark.John 9:1-25
Christ and the Blind ManBoston HomiliesJohn 9:1-25
Christ's Sight of SinnersC. H. Spurgeon.John 9:1-25
Congenital BlindnessL. W. Bacon, D. D.John 9:1-25
General Remarks on the MiracleW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 9:1-25
Instances of BlindnessJohn 9:1-25
Jesus and the Blind ManS. S. TimesJohn 9:1-25
Jesus and the Blind ManSermons by the Monday ClubJohn 9:1-25
Miracle AuthenticatedJ. J. Van Oosterzee, D. D.John 9:1-25
Opening the Eyes of One Blind from His BirthJohn 9:1-25
Spiritual BlindnessJohn 9:1-25
The Compassion of ChristJ. Trapp.John 9:1-25
The Healing of the Man Born BlindW. Kirkman.John 9:1-25
The History of the Man Who was Born BlindJ. P. Lange, D. D.John 9:1-25
The Light of the WorldChristian AgeJohn 9:1-25
The Opening of the Eyes of a Man Born BlindW. M. Taylor.John 9:1-25
The Saviour and the SuffererJ. L. Hurlbut.John 9:1-25
Types of Character in Relation to ChristD. Thomas D. D.John 9:1-25
The Passage of a Soul from Darkness into LightJ.R. Thomson John 9:1-41
Blindness a Talent to be Used for God's GloryJohn 9:2-8
Blindness Leading to Spiritual SightJohn 9:2-8
Blindness not JudgmentJ. F. B. Tinling, B. A.John 9:2-8
Christ and the Blind ManHistory, Prophecy, and GospelJohn 9:2-8
Christ's Explanation of SufferingC. Vince.John 9:2-8
Explanations of the Disciples' QuestionBishop Ryle.John 9:2-8
Origin of EvilR. Cecil, M. A.John 9:2-8
Our Proper Attitude Towards MysteriesT. Arnold, D. D.John 9:2-8
Suffering: its Causes and PrivilegesJ. W. Diggle, M. A.John 9:2-8
The Blind Man's Eyes Opened; Or, Practical ChristianityC. H. Spurgeon.John 9:2-8
The Purpose of Chronic SufferingC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 9:2-8
What the Master and What the Disciples SawM. G. Pearse.John 9:2-8
Converts Must Testify of ChristC. H. Spurgeon.John 9:8-13
How Christian Lost His BurdenJ. Bunyan.John 9:8-13
I am the Man MyselfStevens, History of Methodism.John 9:8-13
Jesus All in All to New ConvertsC. H. Spurgeon.John 9:8-13
The Change Effected in the ManBishop Hall.John 9:8-13
Types of Character in Relation to Christ's WorkD. Thomas, D. D.John 9:8-13
We Ought Boldly to Confess GhostC. H. Spurgeon.John 9:8-13
Very instructive and very encouraging is the way in which, in this passage, our Divine Lord associates his people with himself. In assuming our nature he accepted the ordinary conditions of our life, its duties and its limitations. Generally speaking, what no man could do he would not do; what all men must submit to he would submit to also. Neither then nor now is he ashamed to call us brethren. As Son of man, he partakes both our nature and our lot. His Spirit and his language assure us of this. Accordingly, his experience is not merely something for us to admire; it is for us so to ponder that we may share it. He partakes our conflict that we may partake his victory. In the words of the text these principles are made manifest, in their application to the "work" which gives meaning to human life.

I. THE CHARACTER OF THE EARTHLY SERVICE. The works themselves to which Jesus here referred were special. By "works" he undoubtedly intended miracles, signs, wonders - such deeds of power and mercy as that which the condition of the blind man suggested that he should perform for his benefit. But our Lord often spoke of his "work" in a more general sense; and even here there is nothing exclusive of his spiritual ministry, to which this language certainly applies. This saying of Jesus casts light upon the character of the earthly service rendered by himself, and required of all his faithful disciples and followers.

1. Diligence is characteristic both of the Master and of his servants. No reader of the Gospels can fail to be impressed with the laboriousness of Christ's public life. There were times when he had no leisure even to eat; there never was a time when he neglected an opportunity of benevolence. Whether in teaching or in healing he was ever occupied, and occupied for purposes unselfish and brotherly.

2. His works were the proof of his obedience. Our Lord evidently lived a life of devotion to the Father who "sent" him. He did not his own will, but the Father's. It was his meat to do the will of him who sent him, and to finish his work. His advent, his ministry, his death, were all proofs of his obedience. Though a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. How much more must subjection to the Father's will befit us, who are the creatures of his power, the subjects of his dominion! It gives dignity to our life to feel that we too are sent into the world by God - that we are his messengers, his servants, his children, bound to do his behests, and to live as accountable to him.

3. Obligation characterizes all true service. Even the Son of God could say, "I must." On his part there was no compulsion. He of his own accord undertook a life of consecration and self-denial. What he did he "must needs" do, for the fulfillment of the Divine purposes, for the satisfaction of the benevolent yearnings of his own heart, and for the salvation of mankind. In our case there is a stringent moral obligation to serve God. As creatures, we are bound to obey a righteous Maker; as redeemed, emancipated freedmen, we are bound to glorify a Divine Deliverer. We are not our own. The duty that binds us to service is indeed a duty sweetened by grateful love, but a duty it cannot cease to be.

II. THE LIMITATION OF THE EARTHLY SERVICE. Our Lord condescended to accept the natural limits of human life. The day is for labor. Christ's day was from the dawn at Bethlehem to the evening on Olivet. There are those of his followers whose day is even shorter than his. There are many whose day is far longer. But in the case of every one of us there are limits which we cannot pass over. There are the "twelve hours" of the day, to which we cannot add. From this language we learn that the day, the period for our work on earth, is:

1. A prescribed, unalterable period. We cannot add a cubit to our stature, a year to our life. There is "an appointed time" for man upon earth.

2. A period during which the light still shines upon our path. If a man walk in the day he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of the world. Christians are favored with the light of revelation - with the light of the Spirit given during the gospel dispensation. It is for them to walk and to work while the daylight lasts.

3. A period during which strength is unspent. The laborer toils until the lengthening shadows tell him that the day's work is approaching the close. He needs repose with evening, but until the evening his vigor enables him to continue his efforts. Whilst the Christian lives, God gives him power to serve. God is not a hard Taskmaster; his demands do not exceed his gifts. The voice from eternity that speaks with authority bids us "work while it is day."

III. THE SPECIAL MOTIVE TO THE EARTHLY SERVICE. "The night cometh, when no man can work." There has never been spoken by human lips anything more solemn, and at the same time more precious, than this. We all, when we think upon the matter, feel this declaration to be so indisputably true. Yet we are all prone to overlook, sometimes almost anxious to forget it.

1. Consider this reflection as bearing upon Christ himself. He knew that the end of his earthly life and ministry was near. But he knew also that much remained for him yet to do and to suffer. There was a work for him to accomplish whilst he was still in this world - a work which he must accomplish within the swiftly closing day, or not at all. His advanced and final lessons to his disciples, his last assertions of supernatural power, his crowning revelation of majestic meekness and patience, his mysterious sufferings, - these all had to be crowded into his last brief days. The cup had yet to be drained, the cross had yet to be borne. All must be finished before the twilight deepened into darkness. For the Father had given him all this to do; and he would leave undone nothing-that he had undertaken.

2. How powerfully does this reflection bear upon our own moral life! Every one of us who is alive to the real meaning of his existence, must feel, and does feel, that this short day of life is given us, not for pleasure, but for progress; not for ease, but for toil. If, through weakness and temptation, this feeling sometimes fails us, there is one effectual method of reviving it. "The night cometh!" Venit nox! There is much to be done that must be done before the sunset of life's day, if it is not to remain undone forever. Here or nowhere; now or never! That the future life will be a scene of service is not to be doubted. But earthly service must be rendered upon earth. Here the gospel must be embraced; here the new birth to spiritual realities must commence the life that is Divine. Now is the day of salvation. The earthly service must be rendered in this life. The voice comes, "Go, work today in my vineyard." Neglect or refuse to obey that summons, and that piece of work will remain undone. Yet the time is very short, and night is very near. Labor, before the hand be palsied. Give, before the substance be beyond control. Speak, before the tongue be forever silent. Do all as looking forward, onward, to the end.

APPLICATION. Let the laborious remember that not all labor is wise and blessed. Work for self, and such work will be consumed in the fire that shall try all things. But work for God shall stand; no power can destroy it. Let the indolent remember that time unredeemed can only witness against them at the last. Let the young remember that, if a lengthened day be given them, the greater will be their responsibility and the larger their opportunity of commending themselves as faithful laborers to the just and gracious Master. Let the aged remember that, near as is night for them, they have a witness yet to bear, and a memory of inspiration to leave behind. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." - T.







The neighbours, therefore...said, Is not this he that sat and begged.
As a stone cast into a lake throws the whole mass of water into agitation, producing circle after circle to its utmost bounds, this healing threw into excitement the whole social sphere in which it occurred. "No man liveth unto himself." What affects one will affect many. Society is a chain of which every man is a link, and the motion of one link may vibrate through the whole chain. Society is a body of which every man is a member; the pulsation of one heart will throb through every limb. The feelings produced in this case were various. Note, concerning inquiries of the class we here deal with —

I. THEIR LACK OF EARNESTNESS. They related —

1. To the identity of the man. The question (ver. 8) seems to have been asked out of mere curiosity. Their difficulty (ver. 9) arose partly from the change the opened eye would make in his countenance, giving it a new character; and partly from the unaccountableness of the result.

2. To the method of his restoration (ver 10). In this there is no ring of earnestness, only curiosity.

3. To the whereabouts of the Restorer (ver. 12). But what is He? All they meant was we should like to see this wonder worker. Those who have a mere speculative interest in Christianity are constantly asking such questions with no genuine thirst for truth.

II. THEIR LACK OF GENEROSITY. They utter no congratulatory word. Had they been true men, the event would have touched them into the enthusiasm of social affection. But there is not one spark of it. Their intellect seems to move in ice. So is it ever with this class. There is no heart exultation over the millions Christianity has blessed, only a cold inquiry about details.

III. THEIR LACK OF INDEPENDENCY (ver. 13). They brought Him to the judicial court to try the question of His identity. They were not in earnest enough to reach a conclusion that would satisfy themselves. Conclusion: How lamentable that there should be a class only speculatively interested in the wonderful works of Christ. What then men saw should have led them to hearty acceptance and consecration.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

The want or the sudden presence of an eye, much more of both, must needs make a great change in the face; those little balls of light, which no doubt were more clear than nature could have made them, could not but give a new life to the countenance. I marvel not if the neighbours, who had wont to see this dark visage led by a guide, and supported by a staff, seeing him now walking confidently alone out of his own inward light, and looking them cheerfully in the face, doubted whether this were he. The miraculous cures of God work a sensible alteration in men, not more in their own apprehension than in the judgment of others. So, in the redress of the spiritual blindness, the whole habit of the man is changed. Where before his face looked dull and earthly, now there is a sprightly cheerfulness in it, through the comfortable knowledge of God and heavenly things.

(Bishop Hall.)

In a town filled with Romanists, Gideon Ouseley, as was his custom, hired the bellman to announce through the streets the preaching in the evening. The man, afraid of opposition, uttered the announcement timidly and indistinctly. Ouseley, passing in the street, heard him, and taking the bell, rang it himself, proclaiming aloud, "This is to give notice, that Gideon Ouseley, the Irish Missionary, is to preach this evening in such a place, and at such an hour. And I am the man myself?"

(Stevens "History of Methodism.)

We do not bear enough testimony for our Lord. I am sure I felt quite taken aback the other day when a flyman said to me, "You believe that the Lord directs the way of His people, don't you, sir?" I said, "That I do. Do you know anything about it?" "Why," he said, "Yes. This morning I was praying the Lord to direct my way, and you engaged me; and I felt that it was a good beginning for the day." We began talking about the things of God directly. That flyman ought not to have been the first to speak: as a minister of the gospel I ought to have had the first word. We have much to blame ourselves for in this respect. We hold our tongues because we do not know how a word might be received; but we might as well make the experiment. No harm could come of trying. Suppose you were to go into a place where persons were sick and dying, and you have medicine about you which would heal them, would you not be anxious to give them some of it? Would you say nothing about it because you could not tell how it might be received? How could you know how it would be received except by making this offer? Tell poor souls about Jesus. Tell them how His grace healed you, and perhaps they will answer, "You are the very person I need; you have brought me the news I have longed to hear."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

He ran thus till he came to a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below in the bottom a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in and I saw it no more. Then was Christian glad and lightsome and said with a merry heart," He hath given me rest by His sorrows and life by His death."

(J. Bunyan.)

In this man's mind, as soon as ever he received sight, "a man that was named Jesus" came to the forefront. Jesus was to him the most important person in existence. All that he knew of Him at first was, that He was a man that was named Jesus; and under that character Jesus filled the whole horizon of His vision. He was more to him than those learned Pharisees, or than all his neighbours put together. Jesus was exceeding great, for He had opened his eyes. By-and-by, fixing his mind upon that figure, he saw more in it, and he declared, "He is a prophet." He boldly said this when he was running great risks by doing so. To their faces he told the carping Pharisees "He is a prophet." A little further on he came to this, that he believed Him to be the Son of God, and worshipped Him. Now, my dear friend, if you are saved by Jesus your star must set, but the star of Jesus must rise and increase in brilliance till it becomes no more a star, but a sun, making your day, and flooding your whole soul with light. If we are saved Christ Jesus must and will have the glory.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

After this man had received sight his testimony was all of Jesus. It was Jesus that spat, it was Jesus that made the clay, it was Jesus that anointed his eyes. So will it be in your mind with the gospel of your salvation: it will be "Jesus only." It is Jesus who became the surety of the covenant, Jesus who became the atoning Sacrifice, Jesus is the Priest, the Interposer, the Mediator, the Redeemer. We know Jesus as Alpha, and Jesus as Omega. He is the first, and He is the last. In your salvation there will be no mistake about it, and no mixture in it; you will have nothing to say about man, or man's merit, or man's will; but on the head which once was wounded with the thorns, you will put all your crowns. Jesus did it, did it all, and He must be praised.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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