Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 9:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He is a prophet - They had intended to lay snares for the poor man, that, getting him to acknowledge Christ for the Messiah, they might put him out of the synagogue, John 9:22, or put him to death, that such a witness to the Divine power of Christ might not appear against them. But, as the mercy of God had given him his sight, so the wisdom of God taught him how to escape the snares laid for his ruin. On all thy glory there shall be a defense, says the prophet, Isaiah 4:5. When God gives any particular mercy or grace, he sends power to preserve it, and wisdom to improve it. The man said, He is a prophet. Now, according to a Jewish maxim, a prophet might dispense with the observation of the Sabbath. See Grotius. If they allow that Jesus was a prophet, then, even in their sense, he might break the law of the Sabbath, and be guiltless: or, if they did not allow him to be a prophet, they must account for the miracle some other way than by the power of God; as from Satan or his agents no good can proceed - to do this it was impossible. So the wisdom of God taught the poor man to give them such an answer as put them into a complete dilemma, from which they could not possibly extricate themselves.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

What sayest thou of him? … - The translation here expresses the sense obscurely. The meaning is, “What sayest thou of him for giving thee sight?” (Campbell); or, “What opinion of him hath this work of power and mercy to thee wrought in thee?” (Hammond).

He is a prophet - That is “I think that the power to work such a miracle proves that he is sent from God. And though this has been done on the Sabbath, yet it proves that he must have been sent by God, for such a power could never have proceeded from man.” We see here:

1.A noble confession made by the man who was healed, in the face of the rulers of the people, and when he doubtless knew that they were opposed to Jesus. We should never be ashamed, before any class of men, to acknowledge the favors which we have received from Christ, and to express our belief of his power and of the truth of his doctrine.

2.The works of Jesus were such as to prove that he came from God, however much he may have appeared to oppose the previous notions of men, the interpretation of the law by the Pharisees, or the deductions of reason. People should yield their own views of religion to the teachings of God, and believe that he that could open the eyes of the blind and raise the dead was fitted to declare his will.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ not only worked miracles on the sabbath, but in such a manner as would give offence to the Jews, for he would not seem to yield to the scribes and Pharisees. Their zeal for mere rites consumed the substantial matters of religion; therefore Christ would not give place to them. Also, works of necessity and mercy are allowed, and the sabbath rest is to be kept, in order to the sabbath work. How many blind eyes have been opened by the preaching of the gospel on the Lord's day! how many impotent souls cured on that day! Much unrighteous and uncharitable judging comes from men's adding their own fancies to God's appointments. How perfect in wisdom and holiness was our Redeemer, when his enemies could find nothing against him, but the oft-refuted charge of breaking the sabbath! May we be enabled, by well-doing, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 148.1

Satan will leave no means untried to accomplish his object, to conceal and obscure truth and establish error. This has been done. God has been dishonored; truth and righteousness have languished through unholy confederacy. Oh, the deceptions that Satan will practice in order to destroy the soul! Through the love of money, conscience has been sold for gain; there has been a violation of principle, of honor, of integrity. God knows every work, and it will all be brought into judgment. Oh, that the blind eyes may be opened!—Letter 71, 1894. PM 148.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 470-5

Again the priests and rabbis cried out against Jesus as a blasphemer. His claim to be one with God had before stirred them to take His life, and a few months later they plainly declared, “For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.” John 10:33. Because He was, and avowed Himself to be, the Son of God, they were bent on destroying Him. Now many of the people, siding with the priests and rabbis, took up stones to cast at Him. “But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” DA 470.1

The Light was shining in darkness; but “the darkness apprehended it not.” John 1:5, R. V. DA 470.2

“As Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.... 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, 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.” DA 470.3

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 207.5

Oh, that we might comprehend the love of God, and even to a faint degree take in the compassion that has been manifested toward fallen man! How would we look and live! By beholding Christ man becomes changed and transformed in character from glory to glory. The conflict between light and darkness is entered upon. Look, poor sinner, represented by the lost sheep after whom the shepherd is seeking, look to the cross! ... In the poor blind man restored to sight by the compassionate Shepherd was one whom the self-righteous Pharisees thought only worthy of ... hatred (The Signs of the Times, November 20, 1893). LHU 207.5

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