Structural Outlines of the Fourth Gospel
by Rev. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

Jesus Gives Sight to a Man Blind since Birth (9:1-41)
[full NAB text]
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Sin & Disability: The Man Born Blind (John 9:1-41)


The Blind Man Grows in his Belief (what he says about or to Jesus):
  1. ["How were your eyes opened?"]  "The man called Jesus made mud..." (v. 11)
  2. ["What do you say about him?"]  "He is a prophet." (v. 17)
  3. "We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." (vv. 31-33)
  4. [Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"] "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped him. (vv. 35-38)

The Authorities Harden in their Opposition (what they say to the formerly-blind man and/or about Jesus):

  1. Neighbors: "Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?"  "How were your eyes opened?"  "Where is he [Jesus]?" (vv. 8-12)
  2. Some Pharisees: "This man [Jesus] is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath."
    Others:
    "How can a sinner perform such signs?" They: "What do you say about him [Jesus]? It was your eyes he opened." (vv. 13-17)
  3. [Narrator]: The authorities, not believing that he had been born blind, question his parents. The Jews had already decided that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. (vv. 18-23)
  4. Pharisees: "Swear to God! We know this man [Jesus] is a sinner." (v. 24) "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" (v. 26) Then they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." (vv. 28-29) "You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?" And they drove him out. (v. 34)
  5. Pharisees [to Jesus]: "Surely we are not blind, are we?" (v. 40)
    Jesus:
    "If you were blind (physically), you would not have sin. But since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains." (v. 41)

Note: The contrasts between Jesus and the Pharisees are polemically continued and illustrated through the imagery comparing the Good Shepherd with the Thieves and Robbers in John 10:1-21. 

 

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