He Saw a Man Blind from Birth
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: Jesus and His disciples saw a man who was blind from birth, which raised the question about the cause of his blindness and led to the miracle enabling him to see. The disciples treat the man’s condition with curiosity, inquiring whether the man or his parents were the cause of his disability. Jesus dismisses their assumptions with a more positive view of the man’s condition, noting that his inability to see provides an opportunity for the works of God to be displayed. Jesus then declares that He is the light of the world and backs His claim by granting the man born blind the ability to see. Although such healing miracles and Christological claims are unique to Jesus’ ministry, the brokenness of the world is ever before us, and Jesus calls us to perform works of mercy while the opportunity to do so still remains.
01. Jesus teaches us to view people with disabilities with empathy rather than curiosity.
02. Jesus encourages us to serve people with disabilities in various ways using various means.
03. Jesus shows us that all people are disabled spiritually and in need of His saving grace.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Consider what life was like for the man who was born blind. How would he have been able to function in a society without special accommodations for people with disabilities? What accommodations for disabilities are available for people who are blind today? How do such accommodations point us to the mercy of God?
2. What assumptions lay behind the question of the disciples in verse 2? How are similar assumptions made today regarding people with disabilities? How does false teaching, such as Karma or health and wealth gospels, promote the idea that suffering occurs because of something someone has done to deserve it? What does the Bible teach about the origin of sin in the world and its consequences?
3. How did Jesus use this occasion to redirect the disciples’ curiosity to engage the man born blind with empathy? In what ways can we show empathy to people with various disabilities? Discuss ways in which people in our church can assist people with disabilities and their families. How might the Lord use you as a means of mercy in their lives?
4. What does Jesus mean by saying, “I am the light of the world.” In what ways does the world lie in darkness? How does Jesus back up His claim? What other claims does He make in the gospels that show His unique identity as the Son of God and Savior of the world?
5. Why did Jesus use the method of spitting on the ground and placing mud on the man’s eyes, then sending him to the Pool of Siloam in order to regain His sight? How important is it for us to trust the Lord regardless of whether His commands and teaching make sense? Would this man have been healed if he decided not to follow Jesus’ instructions?
For Further Reading: Amos Yong, The Bible, Disability, and the Church (Eerdmans, 2011). A helpful read but requires discernment and the willingness to disagree with occasional hermeneutical stretches.