Starting with the events of John 8 so we can better understand the events of John 9, because they all go together. Jesus is in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He’s teaching daily in the temple. Early one morning he arrives at the temple to continue his work of teaching the kingdom of god, the new way of living as human beings which he has been teaching.
No sooner than he had begun to teach than some Pharisees arrived with a woman that they sat in the middle, right in front of Jesus, and they begin to accuse her . “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” John 8:4-5 ESV. We’re told that Jesus ignored their accusations, stooped down and began to write on the ground. What he wrote, we don’t know. It was a act of diversion that began to lessen the demonic spell that was upon them. Jesus doesn’t confront them directly. They’d been united under a satanic spell. They want to stone this woman. That’s how they’re dealing with their own fears and self loathing and insecurity. They want to project it on someone they see as a sinner. Jesus initially ignores their accusations, but when they persist he finally says this – “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 ESV. The spell is broken. They depart.
Jesus says to the woman “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:10-11 ESV. And then Jesus continued his teaching.
John 8 is the first time Jesus says in John’s gospel I am the light of the world. And Jesus begins to shine the light on the devil and the dark foundations of human society. Things that have been hidden from the foundation of the world. From the foundation of human civilization, certain dark practices have been hidden. But Jesus comes as the light to expose them and to show them what they’ve been doing.
And Jesus says, you have been following a way of darkness. But if you will stick with me, if you abide in my teaching, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 ESV. They said We are already free, we’re a free people. We’re free!
Jesus says “No, you’re not. In fact, the only freedom you have is the freedom to hate your enemies, and to conspire together to kill them, and to justify it in the name of your religion and nationality. And Jesus says that’s what I came to set you free from. That’s the devil. There ensues an argument (go figure), and things get more and more extreme. It’s all there in John 8. Finally they get so angry with Jesus, as he tries to show just how dark is the foundation that their civilization is built on, that they took up stones to throw at him. And that’s how John 8 ends.
John 8 is framed by 2 attempted stonings. First, they were going to stone the woman accused of adultery. But Jesus broke the spell and they dropped the stones. But as Jesus talked to them about light, and about exposing the works of the devil and the dark foundations that their very civilization was built upon, they became angry that they picked up the stones, and now they are ready to stone Jesus. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”John 3:19 ESV.
So Jesus departs from the temple with his disciples. It’s fruitless, all they want to do is throw stones at him. He leaves, and as he’s walking through the gate, leaving the temple complex, there sits a man, blind from birth. As they pass through the gate, the disciples notice this man, begging, blind from birth. They ask a theological question. Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? And so we come to a third attempted stoning on this day of stoning.
With that, I will have to continue later.
“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.”
John 9:1-7 ESV