9:1 And 1 as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth.
(1) Sin is even the beginning of all bodily
diseases, and yet it does not follow that in punishing, even very severely,
that God is punishing because of sin.
9:3 Jesus answered, a
Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should
be made manifest in him.
(a) Christ reasons here as his disciples thought,
who presupposed that no diseases came except for the reason of sins: as a
result of this he answers that there was another cause of this man's
blindness, and that was in order that God's work might be seen.
9:4 2 I must
work the works of him that sent me, while it is b
day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
(2) The works of Christ are is it were a light,
which enlighten the darkness of the world.
(b) By "day" is meant the light, that
is, the enlightening doctrine of the heavenly truth: and by night is meant the
darkness which comes by the obscurity of the same doctrine.
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,
(3) Christ healing the man born blind by taking
the symbol of clay, and afterward the symbol of the fountain of Siloam (which
signifies "sent") shows that as he at the beginning made man, so
does he again restore both his body and soul: and yet in such a way that he
himself comes first of his own accord to heal us.
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind,
said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
(4) A true image of all men, who as they are
naturally blind do not themselves receive the light that is offered unto them,
nor endure it in another, and yet make a great fuss among themselves.
9:10 Therefore said they unto
him, How were thine eyes c opened?
(c) This is a Hebrew idiom, for they call a
man's eyes shut when they cannot receive any light: and therefore blind men
who are made to see are said to have their eyes opened.
5 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
(5) Religion is assaulted most by the pretence of
religion: but the more it is pressed down, the more it rises up.
Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, d
Give God the praise: we know that this man is a e
(d) A solemn order, by which men were put under
oath in ancient time to acknowledge their fault before God, as if it was said
to them, "Consider that you are before God, who knows the entire matter,
and therefore be sure that you revere his majesty, and do him this honour and
confess the whole matter openly rather than to lie before him"; (Joshua
7:19; 1 Samuel
(e) He is called a sinner in the Hebrew language,
who is a wicked man, and someone who makes an art of sinning.
6 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou
art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.
(6) Eventually, proud wickedness must necessarily
break forth, which lies vainly hidden under a zeal of godliness.
They answered and said unto him, f Thou
wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
(f) You are wicked even from your cradle, and as
we used to say, there is nothing in you but sin.
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?
(7) Most happy is their state who are cast
furthest out of the Church of the wicked (who themselves proudly boast to be
of the Church) so that Christ may come nearer to them.
8 And Jesus said, For g
judgment I am come into this world, that they h
which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
(8) Christ enlightens all those by the preaching
of the Gospel who acknowledge their own darkness, but those who seem to
themselves to see clearly enough, those he altogether blinds: and these latter
ones are often those who have the highest place in the Church.
(g) With great power and authority, to do what is
righteous and just: as if he said, "These men take upon themselves to
govern the people of God after their own desire, as though they saw all
things, and no one else did: but I will rule much differently than these men
do: for those whom they consider as blind men, them will I enlighten, and
those who take themselves to be wisest, them will I drown in most abundant
darkness of ignorance.
(h) In these words of seeing and not seeing there
is a secret taunting and rebuff to the Pharisees: for they thought all men to
be blind but themselves.