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John 9:41

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

If ye were blind - If ye had not had sufficient opportunities to have acquainted yourselves with my Divine nature, by the unparalleled miracles which I have wrought before you? and the holy doctrine which I have preached, then your rejecting me could not be imputed to you as sin; but because ye say, we see - we are perfectly capable of judging between a true and false prophet, and can from the Scriptures point out the Messiah by his works - on this account you are guilty, and your sin is of no common nature, it remaineth, i.e. it shall not be expiated: as ye have rejected the Lord from being your deliverer, so the Lord has rejected you from being his people. When the Scripture speaks of sin remaining, it is always put in opposition to pardon; for pardon is termed the taking away of sin, John 1:29; Psalm 32:5. And this is the proper import of the phrase, αφεσις των ἁμαρτιων, which occurs so frequently in the sacred writings.

  1. The history of the man who was born blind and cured by our Lord is, in every point of view, instructive. His simplicity, his courage, his constancy, and his gratitude are all so many subjects worthy of attention and emulation. He certainly confessed the truth at the most imminent risk of his life; and therefore, as Stephen was the first martyr for Christianity, this man was the first confessor. The power and influence of Truth, in supporting its friends and confounding its adversaries, are well exemplified in him; and not less so, that providence of God by which he was preserved from the malice of these bad men. The whole story is related with inimitable simplicity, and cannot be read by the most cold-hearted without extorting the exclamation, How forcible are right words?
  • It has already been remarked that, since the world began, there is no evidence that any man born blind was ever restored to sight by surgical means, till the days of Mr. Cheselden, who was a celebrated surgeon at St. Thomas's Hospital, London. For though, even before the Christian era, there is reason to believe that both the Greek and Roman physicians performed operations to remove blindness occasioned by the cataract, yet we know of none of these ever attempted on the eyes of those who had been born blind, much less of any such persons being restored to sight. The cure before us must have been wholly miraculous - no appropriate means were used to effect it. What was done had rather a tendency to prevent and destroy sight than to help or restore it. The blindness in question was probably occasioned by a morbid structure of the organs of sight; and our Lord, by his sovereign power, instantaneously restored them to perfect soundness, without the intervention of any healing process. In this case there could be neither deception nor collusion.
  • Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    If ye were blind - If you were really blind had had no opportunities of learning the truth. If you were truly ignorant, and were willing to confess it, and to come to me for instruction.

    No sin - You would not be guilty. Sin is measured by the capacities or ability of people, and by their opportunities of knowing the truth. If people had no ability to do the will of God, they could incur no blame. If they have all proper ability, and no disposition, God holds them to be guilty. This passage teaches conclusively:

    1.that people are not condemned for what they cannot do.

    2.that the reason why they are condemned is that they are not disposed to receive the truth.

    3.that pride and self-confidence are the sources of condemnation.

    4.that if people are condemned, they, and not God, will be to blame.

    We see - We have knowledge of the law of God. This they had pretended when they professed to understand the law respecting the Sabbath better than Jesus, and had condemned him for healing on that day.

    Your sin remaineth - You are guilty, and your sin is unpardoned. People‘s sins will always be unpardoned while they are proud, and self-sufficient, and confident of their own wisdom. If they will come with humble hearts and confess their ignorance, God will forgive, enlighten, and guide them in the path to heaven.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Christ came into the world to give sight to those who were spiritually blind. Also, that those who see might be made blind; that those who have a high conceit of their own wisdom, might be sealed up in ignorance. The preaching of the cross was thought to be folly by such as by carnal wisdom knew not God. Nothing fortifies men's corrupt hearts against the convictions of the word, more than the high opinion which others have of them; as if all that gained applause with men, must obtain acceptance with God. Christ silenced them. But the sin of the self-conceited and self-confident remains; they reject the gospel of grace, therefore the guilt of their sin remains unpardoned, and the power of their sin remains unbroken.
    Ellen G. White
    Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 124

    Will the Israel of God awake? Will all who profess godliness seek to put away every wrong, to confess to God every secret sin, and afflict the soul before Him? Will they, with great humility, investigate the motives of every action, and know that the eye of God reads all, searches out every hidden thing? Let the work be thorough, the consecration to God entire. He calls for a full surrender of all that we have and are. Ministers and people need a new conversion, a transformation of the mind, without which we are not savors of life unto life, but of death unto death. Great privileges belong to the people of God. Great light has been given them, that they may attain to their high calling in Christ Jesus; yet they are not what God would have them to be and what He designs they shall be. 2T 124.1

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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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