Jesus Wept

John 11:28-37 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and call for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou had been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 

‘The Master is come, and call for thee.’ Jesus had evidently requested Mary to be present so she could witness the resurrection of her brother. Jesus waited for her to come before proceeding to the grave.

Jewish burying places were outside the towns and villages. It was the custom of relatives and friends to go often to the grave to weep during the three days of mourning and four days of lamentation. It was about time for the spirit to leave the grave, as the rabbis taught.

‘If thou had been here, my brother had not died’ She also expressed faith in what would have happened if Jesus had arrived before her brother died. She made no request concerning the resurrection.

‘He groaned’ Greek word embrimaomai, be very angry, moved with indignation (John 11:33, 38; Mat. 9:30; Mark 1:43; 14:5). What He was moved against here was no doubt the satanic powers that had Lazarus in their grip (Heb. 2:14-15). He became troubled, Greek word tarasso meaning to stir or agitate) in mind. He faced a conflict with satan, the power of death.

‘Jesus wept.’ The shortest verse in the Bible but very expressive of the humanity of Jesus is generous and sympathetic feelings for His friends. He wept with those who wept and caused even His enemies to acknowledge His love and compassion (John 11:33, 36; Isa. 53:3; Heb. 2:16-18; 4:15; Rom.12:15). Another cause of His weeping might have been the fearful and universal ravages of sin and death, and the ever-darkening shadows of unbelief of His race that would lead them to the final rejection of Him and total destruction of the nation (John 11:46-54; Luke 13:34-35; 19:41; Mat. 23:37-39).

‘Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?’ Certainly He could! They had no idea that a greater miracle was about to be performed than healing the blind.

Resurrection and Life

John 11:17-27 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou had been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever live and believeth in me shall never die. Believe thou this? She said unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 

‘Four days’ – two days after Jesus received the message from the sisters. At least one day was spent on the road and another when the messenger went from the sisters. Bethany was about three kilometres from Jerusalem.

The rabbis had an idea that the spirit wandered about the sepulchre for three days, called days of weeping, seeking an opportunity to return to the body. When decomposition set in on the fourth day, the spirit left the grave and the people beat their breasts in loud lamentations four days, making seven days of mourning (Gen. 27:41).

It was a custom for formal visitations of friends to last several days. As soon as they returned from the grave the mourners stood in a long row, and their friends passed by, each speaking a word of comfort while passing. There were afterwards several visits of sympathy at the house. ‘Sat still in the house’ this was a customary posture in time of grief (Ps. 137:1; Isa. 47:1; Luke 1:79; Mat. 27:61).

‘Whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee’ Jesus had demonstrated His success in getting answers to prayer for years, even to raising the dead, so her statement was backed by many historical proofs. This is exactly the kind of answers Jesus promised every believer without exception (John 14:1-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26). Jesus also knew this to be a fact, hence His absolute confidence that He was going to raise Lazarus (John 11:11-16). Martha did not ask such a favor in direct terms; she only expressed the faith in His ability to do it. This is why many prayers today are not answered.

In Him is all life (1Jn. 5:11-12; John 1:4; 3:15-20, 36; 5:24; 14:6). ‘Though he were dead, yet shall he live’ even though Lazarus died physically (Heb. 9:27), yet he will be resurrected physically to live forever (1Cor. 15:20-23, 51-58; 1Thes. 4:13-18). Whosoever believes in Jesus in this life will live eternally.

‘Believe thou this?’ The answer confirmed Martha’s faith in His Messiahship and Sonship, but her faith went no further concerning the pressing need of her brother. She was like many others who stop short of a direct request and absolute faith for what they want.

Lazarus Sleeps

John 11:5-16 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that said he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goes thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumble not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him. These things said he: and after that he said unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleep; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. 

‘Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus’ – this statement proofs that Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus and that He was not neglecting His love, but awaiting the time to demonstrate greater love and power to them. Thus Jesus waited two more days after He was told of Lazarus and thereafter said to His disciples that they must go into Judaea again.

The disciples were worried because the Jews wanted to stone Jesus but Jesus explained that if any man walks in the day, he will not stumble because he sees the light of this world; but if he walks in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.

Jewish days are as follows: sunrise to sunset: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., or 12 equal parts, but they varied in length according to the season of the year (Matt. 20:3-12). The night was also divided into 12 equal parts or 4 watches of 3 equal parts or 3 hours each. The longest summer day would be about 14 hours and 12 minutes and the shortest 9 hours and 48 minutes.

Jesus then said to them that their friend Lazarus sleeps; and that He must go to wake Him from His sleep (referring here to death). The disciples took Lazarus’ sleep for rest and stated that he would get better if he rests. Jesus then said to them plainly that Lazarus was dead, indicating he died the day the messenger was sent. Jesus knew it by revelation.

Jesus was glad for their sakes that He was with Lazarus so that the disciples and others can believe in God. This miracle, like all others, was to confirm further His claims to His disciples that He was in reality the Messiah.

Introducing Thomas, called Didymus, or twin – it was customary for Jews to take a Greek or Latin name similar to their own when going to a foreign land or having much interaction with Greeks or Romans. He was one of the 12 apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13-14). Thomas said that they must risk their lives, and if need be, dies with Jesus. Jesus, through love of His friends in Bethany, exposed Himself to death by His implacable enemies in Jerusalem. Thomas thought it certain death to venture again to this city.

The Glory of God

John 11:1-4 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou love is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 

Lazarus means God helps. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and her sister Martha, who was ministers to Jesus (Luke 10:38-42; John 12:2) and friends of Him (John 11:5). This is not the same man as in Luke 16:19-31 who had died sometime before this Lazarus did.

Bethany (is called Eizariyya today) is a village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, nearly three kilometres from Jerusalem. Jesus attended a feast here (Matt. 26:6-13) and the colt on which He rode into Jerusalem with, was from here (Mark 11:1-11).

This is the same Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. It does not prove she did this before this event. John is simply recording this many years later.

A messenger was ‘sent’ (Greek word apostello = to send a messenger) to say that Lazarus was weakening or sinking fast. They thought this would not fail to bring Him to them, but Christ by divine guidance had other plans.

Lazarus’s sickness was not unto death and corruption, but God will permit [allow, not cause it] a temporary death so that the glory of God can be manifest by a resurrection. This was the message sent back to the sisters. Jesus was only about 29 kilometres away.

Had Lazarus not been resurrected there would have been no glory to God. So today, God does not get glory out of sickness, but out of healing the sick. God may get some glory in spite of some sickness, but the sickness itself is no glory. Anyone, young or old, can certainly glorify God better and do more work for Him when well than when sick. Let no person be deceived in thinking he is sick for God’s glory, for there is no scriptural foundation for such modern fallacy.

Hear His Voice

John 10:27-42 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, make thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say you of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blaspheme; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though you believe not me, believe the works: that you may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there. 

Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice, and He knows them, and they follow Him and He gives them eternal life, and they shall never perish or be plucked out of His hand.

The Father is greater than all the united forces of men, fallen angels, demons, and all enemies, so no one need to fear of being snatched out of God’s hand. The only thing one must do is come to God and permit His salvation and keeping power to be manifested. God cannot keep one contrary to his will any more than He kept Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-14; 1Tim. 3:6), angels (2Pet. 2:4; Jud. 1:6-7), pre-Adamites (Jer. 4:23-26; 2Pet. 3:5-7), demons (Matt. 8:29), Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1-24; Rom. 5:12-21), and many others who willed to sin.

‘I and my Father are one’ One in unity (John 17:11, 21-23), not one in person or individuality (Dan. 7:9-14; 1Jn. 5:7; Acts 7:55; Rom. 8:34; 1Cor. 8:6; 11:3; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:1-6; 1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2; 1Pet. 3:22).

They attempted to stone Jesus again for blasphemy (John 8:59; Lev. 24:14-16) for stating He was in unity with the Father. ‘For which of those works do you stone me?’ Jesus healed their sick, casted out demons, cleansed lepers, raised the dead, fed multitudes, and taught them the truth at all times without charge. And this was His reward: being stoned.

‘You are gods?’ Quoted from Psalm 82:6. The word ‘law’ is sometimes used of all sacred writings (John 12:34; 15:25). If ordinary judges were called gods, why should it be blasphemy of Jesus to claim deity when He was the Son of God and one with God?

Jesus was sanctified by the Father and sent into the world by Him but the Jews said He blasphemed because He said He is the Son of God. Jesus asked them to judge Him on the basis of the works He did and to believe the works so that they might know and believe that He is one [in unity] with the Father.

They sought again to arrest Him (John 7:30, 32, 44). How He escaped is not stated. Jesus went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized and He stayed here opposite Jericho from December to the time of going back to Bethany to resurrect Lazarus. Then He went to Ephraim until April when He was crucified (John 11:54).

Many turned to Jesus for help and said John did no miracles but all things that he spoke of Jesus were true. There is no record of any miracle by John; but he had the power to do some, for he had Elijah’s power (Luke 1:17).

You Believed Not

John 10:22-26 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But you believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

‘The feast of the dedication’ the feast was appointed by Judas Maccabaeus to commemorate the purification of the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes on the 25th of Chisleu (December), 164 B.C. He offered a sow on the altar and polluted the temple by sprinkling its broth all around (1 Macc. 4:52-59). It lasted 2 days and could be celebrated elsewhere. It was about 3 1/2 months after the feast of tabernacles of John 7:2 and about 4 months before the passover and the crucifixion.

‘Solomon’s porch’ the outer court of the temple or court of the Gentiles was surrounded by cloisters supported upon ranges of marble columns. They were called porches and were used by the Jews and strangers as public promenades. The eastern side of the court was called Solomon’s porch, built by him and left standing, when Nebuchadnezzar took the city, probably because of its grandeur and beauty. It was over 800 feet long.

The Jews confronted Jesus and asked Him how long He was going to make them doubt. They felt that He held them in suspense, and excite their expectations. They really wanted Him to declare Himself as King of the Jews so they could then accuse Him to Pilate.

Jesus told them who He was, and what the Father sent Him to do, but they did not want to believe Him, therefore, they cannot be His sheep. All His works were done in the name of His Father (John 5:43).

Three things men must do and continue in to receive eternal life: believe, which implies complete and continued obedience; hear His voice, and be not hearers only, but also doers of His Word (Jas. 1:22-27; 2:9-26); and follow Christ, not only at the beginning of a Christian experience, but daily and throughout life (Luke 9:23). To claim eternal life when one does not follow is like these Jews claiming to know God and have eternal life. Jesus declared such was not true (John 5:37-47; 8:54-55).

Jesus Is

John 10:6-21 This parable spoke Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spoke unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? 

The parable here used by Jesus was the Greek word paroimia which means wayside saying; proverb; a saying deviating from the usual manner of speaking. It is translated “proverb” in John 16:25, 29; 2Pet. 2:22 and “parable” here. The record the truths here taught are: Jesus is the door [way to the Truth] of the sheep (vv. 7, 9); Jesus is the way to salvation (vv. 9; 3:15-20, 36; 5:24; 14:6); anyone can go in and out and be perfectly free (v. 9; 8:32); all previously announced messiahs were false (v8); the devil’s work is to steal (Luke 8:12), kill (Heb. 2:14), and destroy (John 10:10; Mark 9:22; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38; Job. 2:7); Jesus came that men might have abundant life (John 10:10; Matt. 4:23; 8:17; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38; 1Pet. 2:24; Heb. 2:14; Isa. 53:1-12); He is the good shepherd: the chief shepherd, and great shepherd (vv. 11, 14; 1Pet. 5:4; Heb. 13:20); Jesus redeemed the sheep by dying in their place (vv. 11, 15, 17-18; Isa. 53:1-12; 1Pet. 2:24); hireling shepherds flee from danger and leave the sheep to death, destruction, and division (vv. 10:12-13; Acts 20:28-31; Rom. 16:17; 2Cor. 11:14-15; 1Tim. 4:1-16; 2Tim. 4:1-22); Jesus knows His sheep and they know Him (vv. 14, 27; 17:1-3); He knows the Father and the Father knows Him (v. 15; 7:29; 8:55); Jesus has other sheep (Gentiles = other nations) which are not of this (Jewish) fold. They will hear His voice and come into the fold, having one shepherd (v. 16; Rom. 10:12; 1Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 1:10; 2:11-22; 3:6-15); The Father loves Him because He sacrificed His life for the sheep (v. 17; 1Pet. 2:24; Col. 2:20); No man can kill Jesus for He volunteered to die for men (v. 18; 19:11; Isa. 53:7); He was resurrected (vv. 17-18; 1Cor. 15:1-58; Mat_28:1-20); all who hear His voice [His Word] and do not obey are not His sheep; all who hear His voice and obey are His sheep. He knows His sheep, and they follow and obey Him daily. To all who obey and follow Him He gives eternal life. They shall never perish, nor be plucked from His hand (vv. 25-29; Matt. 19:27-30; Mark 10:28-31; Luke 9:23; 18:28-30; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13).

The Door

John 10:1-5 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enter not by the door into the sheepfold, but climb up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enter in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter open; and the sheep hear his voice: and he call his own sheep by name, and lead them out. And when he put forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 

‘Verily, verily’ means Surely, surely or Amen, amen. ‘I say unto you’ – this phrase “I say unto you” is used by Christ 135 times and only twice by another person in the New Testament (Luke 3:8; Acts 5:38). It expresses complete authority when used by Christ, while in Acts 5:38 it is merely advice.

‘The sheepfold’ this refers to the place of shelter for flocks where they might repose at night and be safe from the attacks of wild beasts. Sheepfolds were low buildings opening into a court, surrounded by a stone wall or fence, with a layer of thorns on top for protection. A doorway carefully guarded the entrance.

He that doesn’t come through the door (which is Christ 10:9) but climb up some other way, is a thief and a robber: It is here applied to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men but abuse their confidence for gain.

‘He that enter in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep’ – the marks of a good leader is personal knowledge of God and gospel experiences (2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-26; 1Cor. 12:1-31); having a calling to serve God and others, not from greed, personal ambition, respect, honor, self-interests, or love of ease (Acts 13:3; 1Cor. 12:28; Rom. 11:29); to have consecrated motives: God’s will and glory, salvation of lost souls, and the best interests of the body of Christ and all men (Luke 19:10; Acts 10:28; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Eph. 4:12); to have God’s anointing: not human education, wisdom, polish, and effort only, but divine leading and help (John 7:37-39; 14:12-17, 26; 15:26; Acts 1:4-8; 5:32); to have personal interest: private and public instruction, and helpfulness to others in all problems (Acts 20:26-35; 1Thes. 2:4-13; 2Tim. 4:1-5; Heb. 13:7, 17); to set a good example: lead, not drive; feed, not destroy; and live what is taught (1Cor. 4:9-13; 2Cor. 4:8-18; 6:1-10; 1Tim. 3:1-13; 4:11-16; 2Tim. 2:1-26; Tit. 1:1-16).

‘The porter’ – the doorkeeper of the fold who opens to the shepherds to get their flocks in the morning and who receives them at night. ‘Call his own sheep by name’ Eastern shepherds give names to their sheep as we do to dogs and horses. Every sheep recognizes his own name and comes when called. Even when flocks are mingled they speedily separate at the command of the shepherd.

‘He goes before them’ Eastern shepherds go before their flocks to lead them to good grass and water. ‘The sheep follow him’ Sheep always follow their own shepherd, but will pay no attention to strangers.

No Longer in Ignorance

John 9:32-41 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and does thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Does thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, We see; therefore your sin remain. 

The blind man that was healed by Jesus, was cast out contrary to the agreement of the Jews (John 9:22) -for crossing religious leaders by taking a stand for what was right. His crime was being an honest man, true to his convictions. There were three grades of ex-communication: The niddin, pronounced for 30 days during which offenders were prohibited from public worship, were not allowed to shave, and were required to wear garments of mourning; the cherem, pronounced on those who continued in rebellion. The offender was formally cursed, was excluded from all interaction with other people, and was prohibited from entering the temple or a synagogue; the shammatha, pronounced on those who persisted in rebellion. They were cut off from all connection with the Jewish people and were consigned to utter perdition.

‘For judgment I am come’ referring to the effect of His coming. Rejection of Him will bring judgment. John 12:47 refers to the object of His coming. He came to save, but if men will not have salvation they will finally be judged (John 3:16-20).

‘That they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind’ the idea here is that the people became this way, little by little until they were past normal, vigorous obedience to truth and righteousness.

The Jews claimed to see and therefore refused to admit or repent from their sins. Jesus explained to them that if they were really ignorant they would have no sin, but they were no longer in ignorance. They rejected Christ through enmity so their sin remained.

Religious Wrath

John 9:26-31 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would you hear it again? will you also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that you know not from whence he is, and yet he has opened mine eyes.Now we know that God hear not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does his will, him he hear. 

This is the third time the Jews asked the healed blind man how he was healed (vv. 10, 15, 26). The blind man was the only one who was not afraid to talk up to the Pharisees. This brought religious wrath and ex-communication upon him (9:28-34).

‘Then they reviled him’ the Greek word for reviled is loidoreo which means to vilify, rail at; not merely to rebuke, but to abuse by words (Pro. 12:18). They claimed to be Moses’ disciples as they accused the blind man of being one of Jesus’ disciples.

‘As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is’ For the first time the Jews spoke the truth, which confession alone should have moved each one to make an honest investigation of the claims of Christ. On other occasions, His enemies claimed they knew all about Him, that He was the son of Joseph and not God’s son (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 6:42; 7:27, 52).

‘We know that God hear not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does his will, him he hear.’ This statement of the blind man should not be taken as a direct statement of God. It has been used for generations to prove too much – that no prayer of any sinner will ever be heard of God. It should be understood only in connection with what was uttered: God does not use sinners to heal the eyes of the blind and if He were not of God He could do nothing. To take this as proof that no sinner will ever get any kind of prayer answered is erroneous, for God has heard sinners in all ages and will always do so if they pray the right kind of prayers. He has not promised sinners any particular answer other than forgiveness if they repent (1Jn. 1:9).