John 9:1-41 Worship and Preaching Resources

For an exhaustive list of resources on this text, I recommend you visit this page at The Text this Week, created and curated by Jenee Woodard.

The Text:
NRSV at Oremus Bible Browser.
New American Bible at new.usccb.org

Bulletin CoverMan Born Blind

Some Resources to Check Out

Sermon – Blind Spot by John Vella
Excerpt:  Most of us have blind spots, presumptions, ideas and perceptions that we don’t even think about changing. These blind spots are major roadblocks in our spiritual journey. They can cause untold harm to others and to ourselves. Even a quick reading of today’s Gospel shows us in a graphic way how blind the Pharisee’s were to Jesus and to his work. These religious leaders were leading people into the darkness, not into the light. Their interior lives had become hardened, like a rock. They had become so smug and sure of themselves that they were not able to recognize Goodness itself as it was shown to them in the person of Jesus. They were as blind as a person could be.

Exegetical Notes by Brian Stoffregen at CrossMarks
Excerpt:  By telling his story over and over again in this text, the blind man doesn’t seem to convert anyone — in fact he seems to have made the Pharisees somewhat angry; but he learns much about his faith through his witness to the doubting questioners. When he first talks to the Pharisees, he says that “a man named Jesus” healed him (v. 11). Later he calls him “a prophet” (v. 17). Finally he realizes that Jesus cannot be a sinner (v. 31) and that he has come from God (v. 33). A theme throughout the Gospel is “where is Jesus from.” The faithful recognized that he has come from God. Then Jesus takes him another step by helping him understand and confess that Jesus is the Son of Man, whom he then worships (vv. 35-38).

Jesus, the Blind Man, and Spiritual Vision  Reflections on John 9:1-41, Alyce McKenzie, Edgy Exegesis, Patheos, 2011
Excerpt:  The Pharisees came into this story of restored sight assuming they could see and the man was blind. They “saw” that people who were blind, ill, or poor were that way because they had sinned against God. They “saw” that their laws and stipulations were the path to life. Therefore, healings were not to take place on the Sabbath. They “saw” that Jesus could not be a genuine prophet or healer because he did not abide by their Sabbath laws. They “saw” that, since Jesus was a sinner the healing could not be genuine—the man must have been able to see already. They “saw” that because this man had been born blind, he was a sinner and could teach them nothing (9:34).

Sermon: That Which Blinds Us  by Dr. Frank Trotter
Excerpt:  Dr. Gail O’Day, a biblical scholar on the faculty at Candler School of  Theology in Atlanta, notes that “the man’s growing awareness of the truth of  Jesus’ identity… underscores one of the story’s central theological themes: Blindness is not determined simply by seeing or not seeing, but by recognizing the revelation of the works of God in Jesus.”

“Coping in Jesus’ Absence,” Dr. Fred Craddock, The Christian Century, 1990.
EBSCO ATLASerials, Religion Collection
EBSCO ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials
Excerpt:  However, this story is in one respect unique not only in John but in all the Gospels. John 9:1-41 consists of a sign action by Jesus followed by a series of dramatic actions growing out of Jesus’ action. Jesus himself appears only at the beginning (vv. l-7a) and at the end (vv. 34-41). In other words, Jesus heals the man, disappears from the narrative and reappears at the end to receive, confirm and vindicate the blind man now healed and a disciple. Most of the action occurs between Jesus’ two arrivals. It is difficult to believe it is coincidental that the form of the narrative corresponds to the form of the story of the church: Jesus comes with blessing and instruction, Jesus departs, Jesus will return with vindication for his church. The church is now living in the time of Jesus’ departure, the period between his first and his final manifestations. This Gospel is very sensitive to Jesus’ absence and responds with that most encouraging body of material between the Last Supper (John 13) and the arrest in the garden (John 18). This “farewell” section is clearly designed to instruct and encourage the church “in the meantime.” The story in chapter 9 reflects the same sensitivity to the life of the church between “a little while and you will not see me” and “a little while and you will see me.”

The Light of the World (John 9:1-41) Study By: Bob Deffinbaugh at bible.org
Excerpt:  I must also go on to say that this text exposes the real reason why men (sic) reject Jesus as their Savior. It is not an intellectual problem. Let me say it again; it is not, at its roots, an intellectual reason for which men reject Jesus. It is a moral problem. There was no deficiency in the evidence. The problem was that the Pharisees rejected the sheer weight of the evidence, because it did not conform to their preconceived ideas as to the conclusion. It was their presuppositions that killed them (so to speak). They had devised a religious system which outwardly seemed to comply with the Old Testament revelation, but which really defined a God under their control. The reason they rejected Jesus was because He did not conform to their preferences as to what God should be like. They had created a God after their own image, rather than conforming their theology to what God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.

Hymn Suggestions
Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast
Amazing Grace
Do Good Works  Mark Ryman from New Hymns for the Lectionary.
Christ is the World’s Light, Christ and None Other
Shine, Jesus, Shine
A Man Who Could Not See  Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
Heal Me Hands of Jesus
Open Our Eyes, Lord
O Christ, the Healer
When Jesus the Healer Passed Through Galilee
Be Thou My Vision

For Children
Jesus Heals the Blind Man  PDF from Higher Praise Christian Center.

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