John 11:6-19 – Lazarus Is Dead



When the Lord suggested returning to Judaea to help Lazarus (v.7) the apostles pointed out they recently tried to kill Him there (v.8). Somehow He must convince them of the importance of going back anyway, and so He speaks to them about walking in light and not stumbling (v.9,10). John defines these words as speaking of a love for your brother (IJo.2:9-11) even to the point of dying for them (IJo.3:11-16). You see, He was willing to die to help Laza-rus, and is trying to teach the apostles to feel the same way.

This was part of their training. Remember, when the Lord realized they were going to kill Him, He stopped preaching to the crowds and began to train the apostles to carry on after He was gone. This was training they would need for the Tribulation, which they would have entered had the dispensation of grace not interrupted the prophetic pro-gram. In that day, believers won’t be able to buy food without the mark of the beast, and other believers must help them even if it costs them their life (Luke 11:3-8 cf. I John 3:16,17). If they didn’t learn to walk in this light now, they would stumble later.

They weren’t just afraid the Jews would kill Him if they returned to Judaea, they were afraid they’d be killed too. We know this because the Lord reminded them that Lazarus was their friend too (John 11:11), so they too should be willing to die for him (John 15:13).

The Lord could have raised Lazarus from the dead from a distance (cf. John 4:46-50), but said “I go, that I may awake him.” When He spoke of going in the gospel of John, it was always a reference to dying and rising and going to His Father (John 7:33; 13:33,36; 14:12; 16:5,7,10, 16,17). Since Lazarus was a type of Israel, going to raise Lazarus from the dead was symbolic of how He had to die and go to His Father to someday raise Israel from the dead.

If Lazarus’ sisters had to tell the Lord he was sick (11:3), showing He was not omniscient while He was here on earth, how did the Lord now know he was dead without being told (11:12-14)? He was a prophet (Deut.18:15), and prophets knew things that other men could not know.

The Lord was glad He wasn’t there when Lazarus died (11:15) for had He been there, he would not have died. No one ever died in the presence of the Prince of Life (Acts 3:15). But how was it good for their sakes (John 11:15) to let Lazarus die if they loved him as a friend too? The Lord always does what is best for us spiritually. Without any heartache or sorrow you’d be a mess (Rom.5:3,4). When it says He was glad for their sakes that they might believe (John 11:15), they already believed He was Christ (2:11), they just didn’t know the extent of His power (Lu. 8:24,25).

Thomas’ statement of faith (John 11:16) contrasts with his later unbelief (20:24,25), but he was living up to his name. “Thomas” was the Hebrew word for twin (Gen.25:24), and Didymus was Greek for twofold or twain, speaking of his split personality. He was two men in one—kind of like us, sometimes strong in faith, sometimes not. His faith wavered because like the two on Emmaus Road, he didn’t believe the Lord when He said He’d die and rise again (Luke 24:17-21), so when He died they thought He couldn’t have been their Messiah. Failure to believe God’s Word always results in wavering faith! Believing Acts 14:22 will keep your faith strong when you are troubled.

Resurrection is usually associated with the 3rd day (Hos.6: 2) not the 4th, but Lazarus’ 4th day resurrection represented the delay that must now come in Israel’s scheduled resur-rection due to their unbelief. Of course, corruption starts on the 4th day (cf. Acts 2:31), so this represents the corruption that Israel lies in to this day. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. The Lord raised someone who just died (Mark 5:22), then one on the way to the grave (Luke 7:14), now Lazarus, symbolizing their progressive corruption.

Finally, the Jews gathered for a funeral for Lazarus, a type of how Jews today mourn the death of their nation, and how God doesn’t seem to work miracles for them any more. But when Israel dies because of her sin, God doesn’t want her mourned (Jerm.16:5).

John 10:31-11:5 – Predicting the Future



The Lord didn’t have to be a prophet to predict that they were about to stone Him (v.31). He didn’t try to talk them out of it because He was afraid to die (Ps.88:14,15), it just wasn’t time yet (John 2:4); He hadn’t yet prepared the 12 to carry on in His absence.

But who were these “gods” of whom He spoke (10:34)? Moses was a god to Aaron (Ex.4:14-16), his ultimate authority, and a god to Pharaoh (7:1). The gods of Exodus 22:28 were the governmental rulers under their main ruler. Even Gentile rulers were gods (Ps.138:1,4). That’s why we shouldn’t rebel against them (Rom.13:1) even when they rule contrary to the constitution, the law of our land (Acts 23:1-5). The gods of Psalm 82:1 are obviously Israel’s judges, who were judging unfairly (v.1-4).

So when the Jews got upset that the Lord called Himself God, He quoted Psalm 82:6,7 to point out that according to the Law they were gods! He argued, “If God called them gods unto whom the Word of God came (i.e., the Jews, [see Rom.3:1,2]), why is it blasphemy for Me to say I’m God? The Scripture says leaders are gods, and the Scripture can’t be broken.” All such gods were sons of God (Ps.82:6), so why couldn’t He call Himself the Son of God?

So far He was saying He was god in the same sense they were, just to get them to put the stones down, which they did. But He can’t have them thinking He was only a god in that sense, so He says that God “sanctified” Him (10:36), i.e., set Him apart from the other gods by sending Him into the world. They weren’t pre-existent like He was.

Next the Lord talked about something else that set Him apart from the other gods, His “works” (v.37), i.e., His miracles. In the previous chapter He healed a blind man, something only God could do (Ps. 146:8; John 9:32). We tell unbelievers who don’t believe there is a God to believe His works (Hebrews 1:10; 4:4), for His works leave them “without excuse” for believing (Romans 1:22). Here in John 10:38, the Lord asked the Jews to do the same thing.

If they didn’t believe He was God, believe His works!

Once they realized He was again claiming to be the God, they again tried to kill Him (v.39), but He escaped, and returned to a remote area (v.40) to begin to train the 12. This shows He knew His Bible. Isaiah predicted that Israel would reject Him (Isa.8:14,15 cf. Rom.9:31,32), and that in response He should bind the testimony among the disciples (Isa.8:16). This shows He ordered His life by God’s Word. If that was a good idea for Him, how about for you?

Once secluded, the Lord continued to work miracles. We know this because John said that He would (Mt. 3:11), and John 9:41 says the people found that what John had said was true. Since “many believed on Him there” (10:42), we know He was working miracles (cf. 2:23; 11:45).

“Mary” (11:1) is the one who anointed the Lord (v.2 cf. 12:1-3). The Lord has to be told Lazarus was sick (11:3) because He was not omniscient while here on earth. Some say if the Lord loves you, you won’t be sick, but Lazarus proved otherwise!

The Lord loved Lazarus (10:3), making him a type of Israel (Deut.7:7-9). But one of the things that parental love does is let children make bad decisions, and Israel had made so many bad decisions that they were spiritually sick (Isaiah 1:5,6). The Lord said their sickness was not unto death, as typified here by Lazarus (John 11:4). But how could the Lord say this if Lazarus ended up dying?

Well, let’s think about how he represented Israel. When they crucified the Lord, it seemed like they were as good as dead. But the Lord here is saying that things aren’t always as they seem. He was going to let Israel “die” so He could be glorified when one day He raises her from her spiritual “death,” as He did for Lazarus.

When the Lord heard Lazarus was sick, He purposely waited two days to go to him (11:5,6), a type of how He let Israel die while staying out of sight with His apostles, training them.

John 10:23-32 – Preaching From The Porch



People were divided (10:19) when the Lord preached from Solomon’s porch (v.23), but united when the apostles preached there (Acts 5:12)—not because they were better preachers, but because Acts 5 is Pentecost, a taste of the kingdom of heaven on eart, where the Jews will be united.

God wants us to be of one accord now (Phil. 2:2) despite our differences. How, when we are so different? Well, the nations put their differences aside to oppose Israel (Joshua 9:1,2), and the Pharisees, Saducees and Herodians likewise united to oppose God’s messenger (Acts 7:57), so why can’t we put our differences aside to promote Paul, God’s messenger for the Gentiles (Romans 11:15; 15:16).

Notice the Jews blame the Lord for their doubt (John 10:24) just as Adam blamed God for giving him Eve (Gen. 3:12). And they weren’t asking Him to plainly say He was Christ so they could worship Him, but to trap Him. We know this because while the Lord plainly told the blind man (John 9:35,36), He just reminded these Jews that He’d already told them (10:25 cf. 5:18; 8:58). Since they refused to believe His words, He pointed them to His works (10:25)

Yet they believed not (John 10:26), even though others did when they saw His miracles (2:23; 11:45), because they were not of His sheep (10:26). The Jews were sheep (Mt.10:6) but only believing Jews (Rom. 2:29; 9:6). Unbe-lieving Jews didn’t hear His voice, but believing Jews did (John 10:27) and followed Him (v.27) by selling all they had in order to be saved (Luke 18:18-22 cf. Mt.19;27-29).

If they had to follow Him to be saved, how could the Lord say eternal life was a gift, i.e., something He’d “give” be-lievers (John 10:28)? Well, if I say I’ll give you $100, but I want you to show that you believe I’ll give it to you by blinking, did you earn the $100 by blinking? Neither did they earn eternal life by selling all, they just showed they believed the Lord when He said He’d give them eternal life

The same word “eternal” that describes our life is used to

describe God (Deut.33:27), so if our life can end, so can He. It can’t end because it is His life. Unbelievers are alienated from the life of God (Eph.4:18) which means believers partake of it. Your life can’t end because it is Christ’s life (Col.3:4). Because of this you’ll “never perish,” which doesn’t mean annihilation. Here it is set in contrast to eternal life, but elsewhere eternal life is contrasted to “everlasting punishment” (Mt.25:46), equating perishing with everlasting punishment.

The Pharisees could pluck and cast the blind man out of the synagogue (John 9:22,34), but they couldn’t cast him out of Christ’s hand (10:28). Eternal security opponents say we can pluck ourselves out, but that would mean our eternal life is in our hands, as the witch’s physical life was in her hands (ISa.28:21). But Christ said our life is in His hands.

No man can pluck us out of the Father’s hand because He is “greater” than all men (John 10:29) and the devil and his host (Ex.18:11 cf. Romans 8:38,39). It was nothing new for believing Jews to be in the Father’s hand (Deut.33:3). How safe is that? Psalm 31:5 sounds safe, and the Lord quoted this when He died, and you know He was safe!

If not being able to pluck believers out of the Lord’s hand or the Father’s hand makes it sound like they are one, they are (John 10:30). People today doubt that He was claiming to be God, but the Jews on the scene didn’t (10: 31). They were ready to stone Him for what He said, and they weren’t allowed to stone people just because they didn’t like them; they believed He was guilty of blasphemy. Every time they thought He blasphemed they tried to kill Him (5:18; 8:58,59 cf. Mt.26:64-66). So when men today refuse to believe He was God, the stones they would have used to stone Him cry out to proclaim Him God (cf. Luke 19:40).

“Was it because I healed the sick that you want to stone Me, or when I cast out devils, etc.” the Lord asked (10:32). He learned this kind of reasoning from His Father, who asked Israel if she was rewarding the good He did for them with evil (Deut.32:5,6; Jer.2:5; Micah 6:3). How about you? Do you reward the One who redeemed you with sin?

John 10:19-22 – The Great Divide



The truth always divides people (10:19 cf. l7:43; 9:16) into two categories: those who believe it and those who don’t. God’s people get discouraged about this, but the Lord not only expected it, it’s why He came (Luke 12:51-53).

People sometimes reject the truth you share with them be-cause of where you are from (Jo.7:41-43), specially if you aren’t from an institution of higher learning. They rejected the truth the Lord taught when they thought He had sinned (9:14-16), and they will reject the truth you try to share with them if you sin, so adorn the doctrine of God with good behavior (Titus 2:10). People reject the truth when their minds are “evil affected” by others, but sometimes this backfires. Some folks recently found the truth when their pastor warned them against Berean Bible Society!

If you are wondering how to feel about the different divisions in the grace movement, Paul put aside his major differences with the Pharisees to stand with them against the Sadducees over the issue of the resurrection (Acts 23:6-8). We may have minor differences with those in other grace camps, but we stand with them against those who oppose Paul’s gospel.

Ever have someone say you’d have to be crazy or demon possessed to believe what you believe? The Lord did (John 10:20, since He talked about laying down His life and taking it again (v.18). This is an apologetic proof of His deity. He could have been a demon who knew he wasn’t God, but lied. He could have been a lunatic who thought he was God, but wasn’t. Or He could have been the Lord! Those are the only possibilities! Some say He was a good man but not God, but a good man wouldn’t claim to be God if he wasn’t! Some say He was a good teacher but not God, but a lunatic doesn’t make for a very good teacher!

Their words “why hear ye Him” (9:20) show their motive in saying he was crazy or possessed—to get people to stop listening to Him. That’s also why people say that about what you believe and teach.

The Lord’s “words” proved He wasn’t a devil (10:21). A possessed man might claim he was God, but wouldn’t speak about dying for people (10:18). The Lord’s works al-so proved He wasn’t a devil. A devil can open the eyes of the blind (IIThes.2:9 cf.Rev.13:1-3) but they didn’t know it. Up until that time, devils had only tormented people, they hadn’t healed them. As far as they knew, only God could heal the blind (Ps.146:8) and Messiah (Isa.35:4-6). Most people determine if a man is of God only by his works, but these people knew Deuteronomy 13:1-3. So while “many” didn’t believe on Him (John 9:20), these “others” did (v.21)

The feast of the dedication (v.22) was held in “winter,” so it probably wasn’t an observance of the dedication of Solo-mon’s temple, that took place in fall (I Ki.8:2,63), or of Ezra’s temple, a spring event (Ez.6:15,16). This could have been an observance of the rededication of the temple, said to have taken place after Antiochus sacrificed a pig on the altar, a winter holiday called Hanukah Jews still observe.

The Bible never mentions the season an event takes place, so there is a symbolic reason it does here. By “winter” all the crops are gathered into the barn, but the Jewish leaders were refusing to be gathered into the barn of the kingdom (Mt.13:30; 37-43 cf. Jer.8:20). The Lord is at a turning point in His ministry. So He makes a change, symbolized by that word “dedication” (John 10:22). Once He knew they would reject Him, He started saying He would die (Mt.16:21). And He didn’t just resign Himself to dying, He dedicated Himself to it, symbolized by this feast of dedication. He set His face to go and die for us (Luke 9:51) like a flint, as Isaiah predicted (50:6,7). A flint is a stone, and “stone-faced” means emotionless. We’d be terrified—the Lord was dedicated. This feast of dedication spoke of the dedication of the temple of His body (Jo.2:19-21), which like the first tabernacle had to be dedicated with blood (Heb.9:18). All symbolized by this feast of dedica-tion, the Lord’s response to the “winter” of their rejection.

Are you as dedicated to the Lord as He was to you? Are you as dedicated to live for Him as He was to die for you (IICor.5:15; Rom.12:1)?

John 10:12-18 – The Hireling



A man hired to watch the sheep is not going to care as much for the sheep as the shepherd who owns them (10:11-13). If you are wondering about the point of this parable, the Lord has already identified Himself as the good shepherd (v.11,14), and the hirelings are the Pharisees He was addressing here (9:40,41). When the “wolves” of false prophets came (v.12cf.Mt.7:15) the Pharisees left the sheep (Mt.9:36), while the good shepherd gives His life for them.

Israel often had leaders like this (Isa.56:9-11; Ezek.34:2-10). Of course, there’s nothing wrong with shepherds feeding themselves of the flock as long as they feed the flock. Just as there’s nothing wrong with getting paid to pastor a church (ICor.9:14) as long as the pastor feeds the flock with the Word. Otherwise he’s just a hireling. The Greek word for pastor means shepherd, and shepherds should feed God’s people (Zech.11:4,5; Acts 20:28).

God knew what to do about the shepherd problem in Israel; He sent His Son to be the good shepherd (Isa.40:10,11). We need more shepherds like Him and Timothy, who “naturally” care for the sheep (Phil.2:19-21).

Though sheep all look alike to us, a good shepherd knows who his sheep are (John 10:14 cf. IITim.2:19), and knows their works (Rev.2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15), i.e., knows all about them. They know Him too, and this knowledge justifies them (Isa.53:11; John 17:3). How well do the Lord and His sheep know each other? As well as the Father and the Son know one another (John 10:15).

Since the Lord says He’d lay down His life for the sheep (10:15) and the Pharisees weren’t sheep (10:26), our Calvinist friends teach He didn’t die for unbelievers, only for the elect. They argue there’s no sense in wasting His blood on the unsaved who are going to hell. But the sheep aren’t the elect, they are Israel (Mt.15:24). As far as anyo-ne knew, the Lord came to die only for Isaiah’s people, Israel (53:8), who were also the Lord’s people (Mt.1:21 cf. 20:28). Not til Paul do we read He died for “all” (ITim.2:6)

How did a sacrifice intended for the Jews get broadened to include the Gentiles? Well, to die for the Jews He had to become a Jew (Heb.2:14-16), but to become a Jew to die for Jews, He also had to become a man, and so He could also die for men.

We see this pictured in Matthew 13:44. The treasure is Israel (Ex.19:3-5), and the field is the world (Mt.13:38). So in this parable the Lord came to earth looking for Israel and found her in the field of the world. Since He owned nothing but His life, when it says he sold all He had to buy the field, it means He gave His life to buy—not just the treasure, but the field of the world! To buy the treasure of Israel He had to buy the field of the world. To buy the Jews, He had to buy the Gentiles. To die for Jews He had to become a Jew, to become a Jew He had to become a man

Most commentaries think the “other sheep” are Gentiles, but the Gentiles were dogs (Mt.15:26). Since the Lord was ministering to the two tribes of Judah here, the other sheep were the 10 tribes of Israel. In saying this, the Lord was thinking of Ezekiel 37:19-24, and how in the kingdom the two “folds” of both of these houses of Israel will be one under His leadership, and He had come to unite them.

The “therefore” of John 10:17 shows that if the Lord didn’t lay down His life for the sheep, the Father wouldn’t love Him. Remember, God’s standard for men—even the God-man—is perfect obedience, and God sent Christ to die for us (IJo.4:10). To not die for us would be to disobey.

It looked like they took the Lord’s life when they nailed Him to a cross, but He says otherwise (Jo.10:18). They were only able to kill Him because He let them. They tried to kill Him many times, but couldn’t (Lu.4:28-30; Jo.8:59; 10:39 cf. 18:4-6; Mt.26:53). He had the power to lay down His life and take it again (Jo.10:18 cf. 2:19-21).

The Lord here claims He raised Himself from the dead, but Romans 6:4 says the Father raised Him, and Romans 8:11 says the Spirit raised Him. Far from a contradiction, this is one of the many proofs of the trinity in the Bible.


John 10:1-11 – The Good Shepherd



A “sheepfold” (v.1) was a pen for the sheep made of sticks or stones with an opening for a door. If a man climbed over the wall to get to the sheep, you knew he was a thief. If he went through the door, you knew he was the shepherd.

The sheep in this parable represent Israel (Mt.15:24), and the sheepfold would be the wall the Lord put around Israel, the law (Eph.2:14, 15). The shepherd was the Lord (John 10:11) and the thieves were the false Christ’s that came before the Lord, men like Theudas (Acts 5:36). The “door” was the only way through the wall, and the only way through the Law was to be perfect (James 2:10,11). All the false Christs before the Lord couldn’t meet that standard, and so had to climb over the wall to get to the sheep.

But when the Lord showed up at the wall of the Law, the “porter” let Him in. Porters are men in charge of a door, and in Scripture the doorkeepers guarded the gates of the temple (IIChron.8:12-14) to prevent unclean men from entering (23:19). They would use the Law of course to determine who was clean and who was unclean (Lev.5:2, 13:44, etc.) So the porter here in John 10 represents the Law that examined the Lord and let Him approach the sheep, because He was of course clean in every way.

Then the sheep heard His voice (John 10:3). Didn’t everyone? Not the disobedient (Ezek.12:2) No wonder the Lord said what He said in Mt.11:15! Of course, it is God who allows men to hear (Deut.29:4), not just elect men, as Calvinism teaches, but men who hear the Word (John 18:37 cf. 6:45). The Lord calls the sheep by name (John 10:3), i.e., by the names of the sons of Israel (Ex.28:9-12 cf. Isa. 43:1), believing Israel (Rom.2:28), whom He will someday give a new name (Rev.3:12) when He marries Israel (Rev. 19:7). His name in that day will be “the Lord our right-eousness” (Jer.23:5,6), a name He’ll give to Israel (33:16).

The Lord leads the sheep out of the sheepfold (John 10:3), i.e., out from under the Old Covenant of the Law into the New Covenant (Mt.26:28). Then He “putteth forth His own sheep” (John 10:4) from the rest of apostate Israel (cf. Ex.33:7, Acts 2:40, Heb.13:13).

The sheep know the Lord’s voice (John 10:4) because they study His Word. They don’t know strangers voices (10:5) because they don’t study their words, unlike Christians today who insist on studying false religions and cults.

When the Pharisees (9:40,41) didn’t understand this parable (10:6), the Lord explained that while the door of the sheepfold was the Law, He was the door of the sheep (10:7). You see, it’s not enough to get out the door of the Law, you must go through the door of Christ to be saved (Rev.3:7,8). The key to this door is knowledge (Luke 11:52), for knowing Christ saves us (John 17:3). Most people think they have to climb over high walls to be saved, but it’s not. How hard is it to walk through a door? Of course, you do have to notice that the Lord didn’t say that He was just one of many doors. Noah’s ark only had one door, as did the tabernacle. If you wanted to be saved in those days there was only one door, as is the case today.

Once saved, a Jew was no longer locked up under the law (Acts 15:10) and could “go in and out” (John 10:9). We see this pictured when the Jews that escaped Babylon rebuilt Jerusalem and the only gate that didn’t have locks and bars was the sheep gate (Neh.3:1-15), something that pictured the freedom they’ll have in the “pasture” (John 10:9) of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Up until now the Lord talked about thieves and robbers plural in the past tense. He now warned about one “thief” to come (10:10), the Antichrist, who is described as a shepherd who receives a deadly wound (Zech.11:17 cf. Rev.13:1,2). He will steal the hearts of the Jews by pretending to care for the sheep, as typified in II Samuel 15:1-6. The Lord didn’t come to steal, but to give “abundant” life (John 10:10) in the kingdom (IIPe.1:11).

A good shepherd gives his life for the sheep (John 10:11), a great shepherd rises again (Heb.13:20), and a chief shepherd returns to show who’s boss (IPet.5:4cf.ITim.6:15)

John 9:24-41 – Sometimes What You Know Just Isn’t So



The Pharisees knew the Lord was a sinner (9:24)—not because they’d seen Him sin, but because they’d seen Him heal on the Sabbath. But as the Lord told them, this was lawful (Luke 6:9; 14:3).

You may not be able to explain all the ins and outs of your salvation, but you can say with the blind man, “whereas I was blind, now I see” (9:25).

The Pharisees again ask the man how the Lord healed him (v.26), trying to get him to say He made the clay with which He anointed him, to have further proof He “worked” on the Sabbath, but he wouldn’t bite (v.27). Instead he gives them a bit of sarcasm. The blind man had not said he was a disciple of the Lord, but they figured it out from what he was saying (v.28). This will be true of you too!

Being a disciple of Moses (v.28) was good in the Old Tes-tament, but once God began to change the program to the kingdom program, the Pharisees needed to change too. Instead, they were stuck in the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy. Today, God has changed the kingdom pro-gram to the grace program, but most Christians are stuck in the kingdom books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Pharisees first boasted of their noble birth (John 8:33), and now they were boasting of their religious education under Moses. People today boast they were born Jewish, or Dutch, etc., then boast of their religious education. The word “fellow” (John 9:29) means equal, as in Zechariah 13:7, so in using this name for the Lord, the Pharisees were saying that He was no better than they were, and certainly no better than Moses!

Now when the Pharisees said of the Lord that they didn’t know “whence he is,” that didn’t mean they didn’t know where He was born and raised. Everyone knew that (John 7:27). What they were saying was that they knew that Moses was from God, but they didn’t know who’d been talking to Christ (9:29).

The blind man then serves up more sarcasm (v.30), then gives them a Bible lesson. He begins by pointing out that God “heareth not sinners” (v.31), i.e., doesn’t answer their prayers (cf. Gen.20:1-7). He is arguing that if Jesus was not of God, God would not have heard Him pray for his healing. Next, he reminds them that no one in the history of the world had ever healed a man born blind (v.32). Here he argues that the Lord was the greatest man who ever lived—greater even than Moses! He then rightly concludes if the Lord were not of God, He could do nothing (v.33).

We know the Pharisees could not refute his arguments, since they resorted to name-calling (v.34). When they told him he was “born in sins,” they weren’t talking about how he inherited Adam’s sin and condemnation (Romans 5). They were referring to the current thinking that when a man is born blind, either he sinned or his parents sinned (John 9:1,2). Either way, as a man born blind because of sin, he was in no position to teach them! Or so they argued. When they “cast him out” of the synagogue (9:34 cf. 9:22), I hope he knew Isaiah 66:5, which says that when men cast you out saying “Let God be glorified,” as they had done to him (John 9:30), the Lord will appear to your glory and their shame. Knowing this verse would bring the blind man much comfort, which knowing the Word always does!

The Lord “heard” they cast him out, meaning He didn’t know it happened. While He could tap into omniscience while He was here, this verse proves He was fully man.

You’d think the blind man would believe on the Son of God, but he was very cautious (John 9:35,36). Remember, he never saw who healed him, as the Lord had anointed his eyes, but he couldn’t see until later after he had washed in Siloam. In this, he was a type of the Tribulation saint, who will know he has been healed of his sins by someone he never saw. Of him it will be true: “whom having not seen, ye love” (I Peter 1:8).

While Peter and angels refused to be worshipped (Acts 10:25; Rev.19:10; 22:8,9), the Lord accepted worship from the blind man, proving He was God (John 9:38).

John 9:12-23 – A Drive By Healing



The Lord healed the blind man then disappeared (John 9:12), just as He’d done before (5:13). This was symbolic of how the Lord came to Israel and did some healing, then disappeared for 2,000 years. When He returns to the nation that He healed physically, He will heal them spiritually in the kingdom (Rom. 11:26). We see this pictured with this blind man when the Lord healed him physically, then healed him spiritually after He reappeared (9:35-38).

But before the kingdom must come the Tribulation, and we see this pictured in John 9:13, where the blind man’s neighbors haul him before the authorities. Matthew 10:17 predicts that Trib saints will someday likewise be hauled before religious “councils,” and in the Lord’s day, the Pharisees met in such councils (Mt. 12:14). So when the blind man was dragged before the council of the Pharisees, it was a type of the Trib saint getting hauled before the religious councils of that day.

In that day, Antichrist will claim to be Christ. To do that, he will have to discredit the Lord Jesus somehow. I believe we see this pictured in John 9:14, where the Lord is said to have healed on the Sabbath. There was nothing wrong with this (cf. Luke 14:3-5), but it was the only “dirt” they could find on the Lord, and they used it often, and Antichrist will probably use it as well. The Pharisees asked the blind man “how” the Lord had healed him, hoping to trap him into saying the Lord had worked on the Sabbath. In recounting the story he gave in 9:10,11, the blind man purposely omits the part about how the Lord “made” the clay, which they would consider work. But they charge Him with breaking the Sabbath anyway (9:16).

Some of the Pharisees are not convinced He is bad (9:16), which is how it will be in the Tribulation as well. Because of that, not all unbelievers will want to fight the Lord at Armageddon, but all must fight and die there. How will the Lord convince them to show up? Luke 17:34-36 sounds like the Rapture, but is actually a sort of reverse Rapture. At the Rapture, believers are taken to heaven, and unbelievers are left to go through the Tribulation. Here in Luke 16, the ones “taken” are taken to where the eagles are gathered (v.37), to Armageddon (Revelation 19:17-20).

Asked who he thought healed him, the blind man carefully identified the Lord as only “a prophet” (John 9:17). Old Testament prophets like Elijah and Elisha did some heal-ing, so he thought the Lord might be a prophet. Even this took a lot of faith; there hadn’t been a prophet in Israel for 400 years. Men were not yet sure about John the Baptist.

The word “until” in John 9:18 means the Pharisees did believe he’d been healed after they talked to his parents—but they continued to oppose Him! Some say they’d believe if they only saw a miracle, but they really wouldn’t.

In John 9:19, they try to get the blind man’s family to testify against him, another picture of the Tribulation (Mt.10:21 cf. Micah 7:5,6). There will be many dangers in the Tribulation, wars, famines, 100-pound hailstones, demons from the pit of hell roaming the earth. But believers needn’t fear these things. Tribulation judgments will mirror the 10 plagues on Egypt, and Israel was exempt from those. No, the only thing Trib believers will have to fear is family. And we see this pictured as the Pharisees interrogate the blind man’s family.

The careful wording of the response of the parents in John 9:20 reminds me of a trial. Only in trials do they worry whether or not someone is “of age” (v.21). All this pictures the “3rd degree” that family members of Trib saints will get.

Those who confess Christ will be put out of the synagogue 9:22,23. This meant more than just not being able to go to church. Being banned from the synagogue meant being banned from Jewish society. This is why the parents “feared the Jews” (9:22), and this is why the “fearful” top the list of people in hell, with even “unbelieving” coming in second (Rev. 21:8). The fear of the parents is a type of the fear of Antichrist that Trib saints must resist. This kind of fear will send men to hell (Luke 12:4,5) for being like the blind man’s parents, fearful to confess Christ (v.8,9).

John 9:7-11 – The Soak of Siloam



Let’s begin by noticing that the Lord didn’t tell the blind man to go wash in just any body of water, He was very specific about the pool of Siloam. This reminds us of how when Elisha told Naaman to wash in the Jordan, the leper was insulted. He figured the rivers in his country could cleanse him better, but he remained a leper until he washed in the river of Israel. This was symbolic of how Gentiles had to forsake the cleansing found in their own country’s religion and turn to the religion of Israel to be cleansed.

Here in John 9, there is similar symbolism. John tells us that “Siloam” means Sent, and so speaks of the Son that God sent into the world (John 3:17,34; 5:23; 6:40; 10:36). The blind man’s washing in this pool symbolized how sinners must be washed from their sins by Christ. People often say, “My religion can cleanse me just as well as Christ, but like Naaman, they will remain uncleansed until they come to Christ. Since John’s gospel is a book of symbols about Israel, he was also a symbol of how the spiritually blind nation must be cleansed by Christ.

The name Siloam is the New Testament version of the word Shiloh, a name that is defined by the law of first reference in Genesis 49:10, where Jacob predicted that Judah would spawn a line of kings that would stretch “until Shiloh come.” Since Shiloh is defined as one to whom the people of Israel would someday gather, we know that this is a reference to Christ, the lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5). The name Shiloh means place of rest, and the Lord offered rest to the weary and heavy laden (Mt.11:28). Shiloh was also a city, where the ark of the covenant once rested (ISam. 4:3,4). The ark was the dwelling place of God in the Old Testament, and Christ was the dwelling place of God in the New Testament. So there is no doubt that Shiloh was a type of Christ, sent by God to give us rest. Are you resting in what He did for you on the Cross?

When doctors restore a man’s sight, he has to be introduced to light gradually, but this man “came seeing” after washing (John 9:7), a type of how Israel will see the light all at once in a day, the day the Lord returns for them. And when we see a blind man “healed” by a healer on TV, we rightly wonder if he was really blind. That’s why John adds that this blind man was well known (John 9:8). John 9:9 proves that for those who will not believe, no proof is possible. They refused to believe he was the blind man they knew, until he said “I am he.” Here he uses the name of God (Ex. 3:14) and Christ (John 8:58), symbolizing how when you get saved, you are identified with Christ.

In John 9:10, these same skeptics wonder how the blind man had really been healed. Skeptics always ask this, when confronted with a miracle. Some of the Corinthians had stopped believing in resurrection, and so asked how the dead are raised (ICor.15:35). Since Paul answers “thou fool” (v.36), you know this was asked by skeptics who re-fused to believe in resurrection because they couldn’t explain it. So how’d Paul explain it? He doesn’t even try, instead just compares it to the growth of a seed (v.36,37). No farmer or botanist can explain how a seed grows; some things God does you just can’t explain, like the growth of a fetus (Eccl.11:5). Men can’t explain it; they can’t even explain the growth of a simplest seed (Mark 4:26,27).

There is something else man can’t explain. In Jeremiah 36:1-4, Baruch is caused to write the Word of God through Jeremiah. And what was God’s message through the prophet? That Israel was so bad, God was about to punish her (v.3). This was not a popular message, especially among the leaders who were responsible for Israel’s spirit-uality. So when the leaders asked that it be read to them (v.14-16), they then asked how Baruch wrote the words (v.17). They didn’t like the message, so they questioned whether his words were actually the words of God. How does Baruch explain it? “God spoke through the prophet and I wrote it down” (v.18)! You can’t explain inspiration any more than you can explain the growth of a seed or baby

The blind man was a beggar who didn’t know much, but he could tell what had happened to him (John 9:11). You may not know much about the finer points of salvation, but you can tell people what happened when you got saved!

Berean Searchlight – March 2016

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