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John 9 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Jesus and blindness, physical and spiritual

Later, as Jesus walked along he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

“Master, whose sin caused this man’s blindness,” asked the disciples, “his own or his parents’?”

3-5 “He was not born blind because of his own sin or that of his parents,” returned Jesus, “but to show the power of God at work in him. We must carry on the work of him who sent me while the daylight lasts. Night is coming, when no one can work. I am the world’s light as long as I am in it.”

6-7 Having said this, he spat on the ground and made a sort of clay with the saliva. This he applied to the man’s eyes and said, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” (Siloam means “one who has been sent”.) So the man went off and washed and came home with his sight restored.

His neighbours and the people who had often seen him before as a beggar remarked, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”

“Yes, that’s the one,” said some. Others said, “No, but he’s very like him.” But he himself said, “I’m the man all right!”

10 “Then how was your blindness cured?” they asked.

11 “The man called Jesus made some clay and smeared it on my eyes,” he replied, “and then he said, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So off I went and washed—and that’s how I got my sight!”

12 “Where is he now?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he returned.

13-15 So they brought the man who had once been blind before the Pharisees. (It should be noted that Jesus made the clay and restored his sight on a Sabbath day.) The Pharisees asked the question all over again as to how he had become able to see. “He put clay on my eyes; I washed it off; now I can see—that’s all,” he replied.

16-17 Some of the Pharisees commented, “This man cannot be from God since he does not observe the Sabbath.” “But how can a sinner give such wonderful signs as these?” others demurred. And they were in two minds about him. Finally, they asked the blind man again, “And what do you say about him? You’re the one whose sight was restored.” “I believe he is a prophet,” he replied.

18-19 The Jews did not really believe that the man had been blind and then had become able to see, until they had summoned his parents and asked them, “Is this your son who you say was born blind? How does it happen that he can now see?”

20-21 “We know that this is our son, and we know that he was born blind,” returned his parents, “but how he can see now, or who made him able to see, we have no idea. Why don’t you ask him? He is a grown-up man; he can speak for himself.”

22-23 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews who had already agreed that anybody who admitted that Christ had done this thing should be excommunicated. It was this fear which made his parents say, “Ask him, he is a grown-up man.”

24 So, once again they summoned the man who had been born blind and said to him, “You should ‘give God the glory’ for what has happened to you. We know that this man is a sinner.”

25 “Whether he is a sinner or not, I couldn’t tell, but one thing I am sure of,” the man replied, “I used to be blind, now I can see!”

26 “But what did he do to you—how did he make you see?” they continued.

27 “I’ve told you before,” he replied. “Weren’t you listening? Why do you want to hear it all over again? Are you wanting to be his disciples too?”

28-29 At this, they turned on him furiously. “You’re the one who is his disciple! We are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t even know where he came from.”

30-33 “Now here’s the extraordinary thing,” he retorted, “you don’t know where he came from and yet he gave me the gift of sight. Everybody knows that God does not listen to sinners. It is the man who has a proper respect for God and does what God wants him to do—he’s the one God listens to. Why, since the world began, nobody’s ever heard of a man who was born blind being given his sight. If this man did not come from God, he couldn’t do such a thing!”

34 “You misbegotten wretch!” they flung back at him. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had expelled him and when he had found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “And who is he, sir?” the man replied. “Tell me, so that I can believe in him.”

37 “You have seen him,” replied Jesus. “It is the one who is talking to you now.”

38 “Lord, I do believe,” he said, and worshipped him.

39 Then Jesus said, “My coming into this world is itself a judgment—those who cannot see have their eyes opened and those who think they can see become blind.”

40 Some of the Pharisees near him overheard this and said, “So we’re blind, too, are we?”

41 “If you were blind,” returned Jesus, “nobody could blame you, but, as you insist ‘We can see’, your guilt remains.”

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.

John 9 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said.

The Pharisees Investigate the Healing

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”

20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Spiritual Blindness

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Footnotes:

  1. John 9:39 Some early manuscripts do not have Then the man said … 39 Jesus said.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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