No one works at night (Jn 9:4-9:4)

“We must work

The works

Of him who sent me,

While it is still the day.

Night is coming

When no one

Can work.”

ἡμᾶς δεῖ ἐργάζεσθαι τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πέμψαντός με ἕως ἡμέρα ἐστίν· ἔρχεται νὺξ ὅτε οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐργάζεσθαι.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus said that he must work (ἡμᾶς δεῖ ἐργάζεσθαι) the works (τὰ ἔργα) of him who sent him (τοῦ πέμψαντός με), the Father, while it was still daylight (ἕως ἡμέρα ἐστίν).  Night was coming (ἔρχεται νὺξ) when no one would be able to work (ὅτε οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐργάζεσθαι).  This might be a reference to the night of Jesus’ death, when no more work could be done.  Thus, there was an urgency to get things done in the daylight before evening and night came when nothing could be done.  This also was like the symbolic movement of this blind person from the darkness of blindness to the daytime light of sight.  Now the blindman would be able to work in the daylight of sight, while he could not do anything in the darkness of blindness.  We could move from spiritual darkness to spiritual light, from unbelief to belief.  Did you ever try to work in the dark?

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The work of God in him (Jn 9:3-9:3)

“Jesus answered.

‘Neither this man

Nor his parents

Sinned.

He was born blind

So that God’s works

Might be revealed

In him.’”

ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς Οὔτε οὗτος ἥμαρτεν οὔτε οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ’ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus (Ἰησοῦς) answered (ἀπεκρίθη) his disciples.  He said that neither this man (Οὔτε οὗτος) nor his parents (οὔτε οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ) had sinned (ἥμαρτεν).  He was born blind, so that God’s works (τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Θεοῦ) might be revealed, shown, or displayed (ἀλλ’ ἵνα φανερωθῇ) in him (ἐν αὐτῷ).  Jesus seemed to brush aside the idea that there was a connection between sin and illness.  He said that neither this blind man nor his parents had sinned.  This man was blind, so that God’s work would be shown or revealed to him and others.  Do you try to find out what caused a person to get sick?

Who sinned? (Jn 9:2-9:2)

“The disciples

Of Jesus

Asked him.

‘Rabbi!

Who sinned?

Did this man

Or his parents?

Why was he

Born blind?’”

καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Ῥαββεί, τίς ἥμαρτεν, οὗτος ἢ οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἵνα τυφλὸς γεννηθῇ;

John uniquely indicated that the disciples of Jesus (οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) addressed Jesus as Rabbi (Ῥαββεί).  They asked Jesus (καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν) who had sinned (τίς ἥμαρτεν)?  Was it this man (οὗτος) or his parents (ἢ οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ) that made him born blind (ἵνα τυφλὸς γεννηθῇ)?  These disciples were expressing the common belief that illness, sickness, and disability came from a sinful act.  We sometimes do that today when we talk about sexual diseases that come from sinful acts.  Sickness was a direct consequence of sin.  Who had sinned here, his parents or this man?  It had to be his parents, since he was born blind.  Could he sin while he was in the womb?  His disciples called Jesus “rabbi.”  This was a developing term in the first century CE among the Jewish leaders since this term was never used in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Generally, it meant a great one or teacher, as a sign of respect.  Do you assign blame when someone gets sick?

The man born blind (Jn 9:1-9:1)

“As Jesus walked along,

He saw a man

Blind from his birth.”

Καὶ παράγων εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον τυφλὸν ἐκ γενετῆς.

John had Jesus leave the Jerusalem Temple and begin walking.  Although there are many healings in Mark, Matthew, and Luke, this appears to be a unique healing here in John.  As Jesus walked or passed along (Καὶ παράγων), he saw a man (εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον) who was blind (τυφλὸν) from his birth (ἐκ γενετῆς).  It is not clear how he knew that this man was blind his whole life.  He clearly was a blind man near a path or road, where Jesus was walking, perhaps still in Jerusalem.  Do you know a blind person?

Jesus hid himself (Jn 8:59-8:59)

“Thus,

They picked up stones

To throw

At Jesus.

But Jesus hid himself.

He went out

Of the Temple.”

ἦραν οὖν λίθους ἵνα βάλωσιν ἐπ’ αὐτόν· Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἐκρύβη καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ.

John uniquely indicated that after Jesus made this assertion that he was God, the Jewish leaders picked up stones (ἦραν οὖν λίθους) to throw at Jesus (ἵνα βάλωσιν ἐπ’ αὐτόν).  However, Jesus (Ἰησοῦς) hid himself (δὲ ἐκρύβη).  He went out (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν) of the Temple (ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  This statement by Jesus that he was eternal like Yahweh really upset the Jewish people.  They were going to stone him.  However, Jesus escaped, as he often did in the synoptics also.  Have you ever hidden yourself?

Before Abraham (Jn 8:58-8:58)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Truly!

Truly!

I say to you!

Before Abraham was,

I am.’”

εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus responded to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς) with a solemn pronouncement (Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that he existed before Abraham (πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι), using the divine phrase “I am (ἐγὼ εἰμί).”  This was a clear assertion of the divinity of Jesus.  He had existed before Abraham came into being because he was eternal and always was, is, and will be.  He used the famous phrase from the meeting of Yahweh and Moses at the burning bush from Exodus, chapter 3:14.  Yahweh said that “I am (ἐγὼ εἰμί).”  With this statement, Jesus was claiming to be Yahweh, God.  Jesus was not ambiguous.  He is God, case closed.  Do you accept Jesus as God?

Have you seen Abraham? (Jn 8:57-8:57)

“Then the Jewish leaders

Said to Jesus.

‘You are not yet

Fifty years old!

Have you seen Abraham?’”

εἶπαν οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι πρὸς αὐτόν Πεντήκοντα ἔτη οὔπω ἔχεις καὶ Ἀβραὰμ ἑώρακας;

John uniquely indicated that the Jewish leaders (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι) were skeptical of Jesus.  They said to Jesus (εἶπαν οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι πρὸς αὐτόν) that he was not yet 50 years old (Πεντήκοντα ἔτη οὔπω ἔχεις) and yet he had seen Abraham (καὶ Ἀβραὰμ ἑώρακας).  These Jewish leaders considered that Jesus was too young to have seen Abraham.  He was not yet 50, probably in his early 30s.  How would he have come in contact with Abraham?  Do people doubt you because of your young age?