A Voice in the
"Jesus answered, Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. It is necessary for Me to work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one is able to work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world." (Jn9:3-5)
The previous chapter closes with Jesus proclaiming to the Jews, "..before Abraham came to be, I AM." (vs58) While such a statement is complete, in and of itself, since Jesus came from the Father who is the eternally existing "Jehovah" (Ex3:14); typically an existence is demonstrated by characteristics and attributes. One knows a river exists by the flowing of the water. A car is known by its shape and ability to move down the road. A musician is known by the aesthetics of their performance. A chef by the aroma and taste of the cuisine.
Jesus, the One who made all things (Jn1:3), is certainly known by creation: "The heavens declare the glory of the Mighty God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Day unto day pours forth speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor words where their voice is not heard." (Ps19:1-3) The "invisible God" (Col1:15) is known by "the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.." (Rom1:20) and manifested Himself to humanity through the Son. (Heb1:2-3)
But even people are known as -individuals- by certain qualities and characteristics. People are known for their honesty, deviousness, graciousness, perversity, caring, intellect, physical strength, skill, etc. While a person can recognize another person by sight or appearance and many often "fall in love - at first sight", the true makeup of a person is what is in their soul, and those things which come "out of the heart". (Mt15:19), and their works which manifest that which is within. (Jacob2:14-26)
Jesus has already proclaimed Himself to be the "Bread of Life" after He fed the people (Jn6:35,48), and the "living waters". (Jn4:14, 7:38) These living waters, however, is even a redirection, and indication of the Holy Spirit. Just as the Father is manifest to humanity through the Son; as the Son is presently with the Father, the Son is manifest to us through the Holy Spirit. We'll see this in greater depth when we get to chapter 16.
Thus, it is one thing for Jesus to proclaim, "I AM". But all that the people see is someone who looks to be, merely, 'human'. One of the things prophesied about the coming of Messiah was, "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened..." (Is35:5) But also notice -Who- is able to open blind eyes: "-Jehovah- opens the eyes of the blind.." (Ps146:8) And notice the argument of the one whose eyes were opened, "Since the world began it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind." (vs32) Who else, besides God Himself, could do such a work? Jesus has done a work only God can do. Thus: Jesus is God.
What causes a person to be born blind? I expect an eye specialist could expound on numerous reasons: deformities due to lack of certain critical eye parts, like; eyeball, optical nerves, retina within the eyeball, eyelids formed in such a way that they could not open; perhaps even a total lack of an eye socket? This was not a person who at one time had seen, but due to disease, had 'lost' his sight. He was -born- without sight. Same as if a person had been born without an arm, or some other such deformity. The parts were never there to function to begin with, and only merely needing "fixing". He was born not ever knowing what "light" was.
Not long ago in visiting with some people, the topic of "generational curses" came up. The sins of the parents, and how those sins and their accompanying cover-up lies affect the children. Indeed, God promised a generational curse for various things, foremost of which was idolatry. (Ex20:5) Of course, we know the curses upon children of mothers who drink or do drugs during pregnancy. Or, some other abuse is inflicted upon the child when they are at a helpless age. I was just reading recently of the 24% of the births of those living today around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area, being born deformed.
Certainly, these kinds of births are not the fault of the baby! The baby could not help it that it was conceived by its parents, under the circumstances that it was. And many people also REALLY balk at the concept that babies are -born- "sinners". (Ps51:5) So much do some reject this truth, that one person recently even suggested that, while a baby may be "conceived" in sin (as the Psalmist says), they are "-born- innocent". My thought: does not birth follow conception? So, what sort of "salvation" happens within the womb of the sinful mother, to give birth to a "righteous" baby? It doesn't. Nevertheless, babies are born into this world, in all sorts of circumstances; some at a great -physical- disadvantage.
The people ask Jesus, "..who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (vs2) I suspect they are covering all possibilities by including "this man" in their question. How could he -have- sinned prior to being born? Perhaps the parents were upstanding citizens; 'good' people? So, the age-old question, "Why?" Why do bad things happen to (seemingly) 'good' people?
"..that the works of God should be revealed in him.." (vs3)
In this instance it was not any sin. Remember how God is the "Potter" and we are the clay? (Rom ch9) This man was a 'lump' the Potter formed with a "marr" in it; which the Potter then took and "..made it again into another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.."(Jer18:4)
What better way to illustrate Jesus being the "Light of the World", than with a physical demonstration of giving sight (light) to one born blind! This miracle would stick in people's minds. As they contemplate Jesus' preaching, they will be gauging it against this miracle. If His preaching is 'from demons', then how does one explain the fact that He could open the blind eyes? (10:21) Something which only God can do? And it will also be part of the 'package', in their minds, when He raises Lazarus from the dead. (11:37)
However, is "light" merely a sight with -physical- eyes? With the -physical- He demonstrates His authority over the -spiritual-. The world, whose "deeds are evil", are spoken of as being in "darkness". (3:19) The enacting of sin is also called, "works of darkness". (Rom13:12, Eph5:11) And so, as Jesus forgives the woman caught "in the very act" of sin, He exhorts her, "go and sin no more"; and authenticates His authority in not condemning her and forgiving her with: "I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of Life." (8:4,11-12)
When a person is born from above (Jn3:3), we then "walk in the light as He is in the light". (1Jn1:7) When a Believer is "in Christ" (2Cor5:17) they are in Christ's Light. Their deeds are no longer evil and in darkness, hiding away from God's 'reproving' light; but they "[come] to the Light, that [their] deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been worked in God." (Jn3:20-21)
This comes about because Salvation comes through Jesus Christ. (Jn14:6, Acts4:12) Of Jesus' coming it had been prophesied: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light has shined." (Is9:2)
But mere words are not enough. Anybody can speak words. How are words proved? Through actions.
Now, the one who received sight, received a double blessing. Not only did he receive -physical- sight, he also received -spiritual- sight.
"Do you believe into the Son of God? Who is He, Lord, that I may believe into Him? You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you. Lord, I believe! And he worshiped Him." (vs35-38)
And Jesus sums up the whole lesson of this miraculous sign:
"For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." (vs39) And as the self-righteous pharisees taunt Him, He replies (and today's pharisees should take this to heart), "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, We see. Therefore your sin remains." (vs40-41)
The invitation is given to Israel prophetically, and is also given to you who are yet in rebellion: "O house of Jacob (lit: supplanter), come and let us walk in the light of Jehovah." (Is2:5)