Lesson 47: John 9:12-23 – A Drive By Healing

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 47 from the sermon series "The Gospel of John" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



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).

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