John 9 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of John 9)

Verse 3

[3] Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

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.

Verse 4

[4] I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

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 When the light is withdrawn night comes, when no man can work - No man can do any thing toward working out his salvation after this life is ended.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.

Verse 5

[5] As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

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.

Verse 6

[6] 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,

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.

Verse 7

[7] 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.

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.

Verse 11

[11] 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.

A man called Jesus — He seems to have been before totally ignorant of him.

Verse 14

[14] And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

Anointing the eyes — With any kind of medicine on the Sabbath, was particularly forbidden by the tradition of the elders.

Verse 16

[16] 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.

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?

Verse 17

[17] They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.

What sayest thou of him, for that he hath opened thine eyes? — What inference dost thou draw herefrom?

Verse 22

[22] 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.

He should be put out of the synagogue — That is be excommunicated.

Verse 27

[27] 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?

Are ye also — As well as I, at length convinced and willing to be his disciples?

Verse 29

[29] We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

We know not whence he is — By what power and authority he does these things.

Verse 30

[30] 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.

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.

Verse 31

[31] Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

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.

Verse 33

[33] If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

He could do nothing — Of this kind; nothing miraculous.

Verse 34

[34] They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

Born in sin — And therefore, they supposed, born blind.

They cast him out — Of the synagogue; excommunicated him.

Verse 35

[35] 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?

Having found him — For he had sought him.

Verse 36

[36] He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?

Who is he, that I may believe? — This implies some degree of faith already. He was ready to receive whatever Jesus said.

Verse 37

[37] And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.

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!

Verse 39

[39] 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.

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.

Verse 41

[41] Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

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.