John 9 – Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

Upon passing a man who was born blind, some of Jesus’ disciples ask a question in verse 2 that seems strange to most of us now – “who sinned, this man or his parents…?”  But this mistaken belief about sin and suffering was not uncommon; and we see in verse 34 that the religious leaders that opposed Jesus held the view that the man was born in sin.  We know differently, and Ezekiel 18:20 specifically says otherwise, so they should have known as well.  Jesus corrects them, letting them know in verses 3-4 that his disability will be used for the glory of God.

The Blind Man Washes in the Pool of Siloam

The Blind Man Washes in the Pool of Siloam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We know (and have already read of specific examples) that Jesus could have given the man his sight without even touching him.  Some writers have postulated several theories as to why He used the mud that He made from His spittle, before sending the man to the pool of Siloam to wash.  Some see a symbolic connection between the scripture’s use of the Verb for the word “anoint” to describe how Jesus applied it to his eyes (“Christ” and “Messiah” mean “anointed one”). Others see Jesus purposely making mud (or clay) using his spittle as an analogy to kneading dough, in order to challenge the Pharisees. But we really do not know.  There was purpose in everything that Jesus did; and as this was once again on the Sabbath, the point He was making no doubt had its desired effect at that time on those around Him – and the religious leaders that it angered.

At any rate, there is division among these religious leaders at one point (verse 16); and his parents are sent for, and questioned.  They confirmed that the man was their son and that he had been born blind.  But despite the previously mentioned division, the leaders had made it known that anyone who said that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah), they would be put out of the synagogue.  So the man’s parents in verses 21-23 seem to be disingenuous as to knowing how he gained his vision; and they pass the buck back to their son. The blind man is interviewed by the Pharisees and other religious leaders for the second time, and was “cast out” of the synagogue for his comments in verses 30-33.  He found it amazing that they did not know where Jesus came from.  So do we…

Side note: Details and pictures of discoveries at the excavations at the Pool of Siloam are in this article at BiblePlaces.com.  That one is a well-written, but older article.  A more recent article can be found at this link to BiblicalArchaeology.org.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Kings 20 – Hezekiah and the Babylonian Envoys

As is sometimes the case with the scriptures, part of chapter 20 occurs chronologically before chapter 19.  This chapter starts in verses 1-19 at about 713 BC – about twelve years before Sennacherib’s invasion 15 years before Hezekiah’s death (verse 6).  Hezekiah had become sick, and Isaiah has told him to set his house in order, as he was about to die.  Hezekiah’s tearful prayer in verses 2-3 is heard by the Lord, and He sends Isaiah back to let him know that he has been given 15 more years, and will be healed.   It is here also, that He promises to deliver Hezekiah and the city out of the hands of the Assyrians.  2 Kings 18:2 tells us that Hezekiah was 25 when he took the throne, and that he reigned 29 years – so we can deduce that he was only 39 at this time.  His beautiful, grateful psalm to the Lord is recorded in Isaiah 38.

Hezekiah's Tunnel נקבת השילוח

Hezekiah’s Tunnel נקבת השילוח (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The king of Babylon, Merodach-baladan, heard of Hezekiah’s sickness, and sent envoys with gifts (verse 12).  Verse 13 records Hezekiah’s pride at work, as he shows those envoys all the wealth in his house.  It is then that Isaiah informs him that Babylon will carry all of it away, and his sons will become eunuchs in their palace.  Hezekiah’s complacency at that news is both baffling and troubling, but a man who had just been miraculously healed would probably have a unique view about the will of God.

Side note:

Verse 20 refers to the tunnel that Hezekiah had cut, diverting water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, which laid within the city walls.  An inscription was cut into the conduit wall and is known as the Siloam Tunnel Inscription, commemorating that construction.  Ferrell Jenkins has several great photos and information about Hezekiah’s tunnel at this link to his Biblical Studies Info Page.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.