November 11, 2018 – John 9:1-41
Lesson Date: November 11, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: John 9:1-41
AIM: To lead students to contrast the consequences of physical blindness and spiritual blindness, and to commit to sharing their personal testimony with someone who is spiritually blind.
Before class: Read the notes on John 9:1-41 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get some small pieces of paper (or index cards) and pens or pencils for use in the introductory step.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the students to close their eyes. Ask them to open their Bibles and find the book of Jeremiah, while keeping their eyes closed (no peeking!). Ask them to open their eyes and ask how many of them actually found Jeremiah.
Next, give everyone a small piece of paper. Ask them to again close their eyes and write their name, address, and telephone number on the slip of paper. Ask them to open their eyes again and to show one another the sloppiness of their writing. (If you feel a little more bold, ask a volunteer to close his or her eyes, get up, walk to the opposite side of the room and pick up a pencil you have placed on the floor.)
Tell the students the point of these activities is to remind us how much we depend upon our eyesight. Stress the fact that blindness would dramatically change the way they do everything. Ask: “Could you continue to do your present job if you were blind? If so, what adjustments would have to be made?”
Tell the class that physical blindness is very serious, but today we will learn about something far worse than physical blindness. Tell everyone to turn to John 9.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we are studying the Gospel of John.
- Ask: “Why did John write this account of Jesus’ life?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have everlasting life by trusting in Him – John 20:31).
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (differences between children of God and children of the devil).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (John 8:58).
- Jesus Healed a Blind Man.
- Ask a volunteer to read John 9:1-2.
- Ask: “What did Jesus and His disciples see?” (a man who had been blind since birth).
- Ask: “What did the disciples’ question reveal about their beliefs concerning physical handicaps?” (they believed physical handicaps are the result of one’s personal sin).
- Ask the class to listen for Jesus’ explanation as to why the man was born blind, as you read John 9:3 (so that the works of God could be revealed through his healing).
- Ask a volunteer to read John 9:4-6.
- Ask: “What did Jesus do to the blind man?” (spit on the ground, made clay, and rubbed the clay onto the man’s eyes).
- Read John 9:7.
- Ask: “What did Jesus tell the man to do?” (go wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam).
- Using the Map of Jerusalem, locate the Temple and the Pool of Siloam.
- Ask: “What happened to the blind man?” (he obeyed Jesus and his blindness was miraculously healed).
- Read John 9:8-12.
- Tell the class those who knew the blind man were amazed that He could now see. They asked how this healing had occurred.
- Ask: “What did the man tell them in verse 11?” (he told them all he knew about how the healing took place).
- Tell the students the man didn’t try to give a medical or theological explanation of his healing; he simply told his personal testimony of what happened to him.
- Summarize: Jesus miraculously healed a man who had been born blind.
- The Reaction of the Pharisees.
- Ask a volunteer to read John 9:13-16.
- Ask: “Were the Pharisees excited that the man could now see?” (no).
- Ask: “Why were they upset?” (because they felt that Jesus had violated the Sabbath).
- Explain the following to the class:
- The Pharisees had very strict rules about what one could do on the Sabbath.
- Remind the students that in John 5 the Pharisees got very upset at Jesus for healing a crippled man and then telling the man to carry his bed. They considered that to be “work,” which they felt violated the Sabbath.
- In healing the blind man, Jesus had done it again. His act of making clay from dirt and saliva was considered “kneading,” so the Pharisees were again angry with Him.
- Ask: “According to the later part of verse 16, what did some others think about Jesus?” (He must be of God to perform such a miracle).
- Read John 9:17-23.
- Ask: “According to verse 17, what did the formerly blind man say about Jesus?” (“He is a prophet”).
- Tell the class the Jews questioned whether the man had ever been blind.
- Ask: “Who did they call for questioning in verse 18?” (the man’s parents).
- Ask: “What did the parents say in verse 20?” (“He is our son and he was born blind”).
- Ask: “What did they say in verse 21?” (“We don’t know how he received his sight or who healed him; he is a grown man, so you can ask him yourself.”).
- Ask: “According to verse 22, why did they answer this way?” (because they knew anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue).
- Explain that to be put out of the synagogue meant to be completely cut off from Israel’s religious life and to be a social outcast.
- Summarize: The Pharisees were upset that Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath. They questioned the formerly blind man and his parents, even threatening them if they confessed that Jesus was the Christ.
- The Testimony of the Formerly Blind Man.
- Tell the class that the Pharisees again called in the formerly blind man for questioning.
- Ask a volunteer to read John 9:24-25.
- Ask: “According to verse 24, what did they want the man to say about Jesus?” (that He was a sinner).
- Ask: “How did the man answer in verse 25?” (he gave his testimony of his personal experience: “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see”).
- Read John 9:26-29.
- Tell the students the Pharisees continued questioning the man in an argumentative and harsh manner, hoping to get him to condemn Jesus as a sinner.
- Ask a volunteer to read John 9:30-34.
- Tell the class the man rebuked the Pharisees for their spiritual blindness.
- Ask: “What did he say about Jesus in verse 33?” (“If this man were not of God, he could do nothing”).
- Ask: “What did the Pharisees say about the man and do to him?” (they said he was born in sins and they kicked him out of the synagogue).
- Summarize: Highly educated religious people pressed the formerly blind man for answers. Rather than try to debate them on theological issues, he simply told them what had happened to him.
- The Blind See but Those who Think They See are Actually Blind.
- Read John 9:35-36.
- Tell the class that Jesus found the formerly blind man.
- Ask: “What did Jesus ask him?” (“Do you believe in the Son of God?”).
- Ask: “What did the man ask Jesus in verse 36?” (“Tell me who He is so I can believe in Him”).
- Read John 9:37-38.
- Ask: “How did Jesus answer the man?” (“You are talking to Him right now”).
- Ask: “What did the man say and do?” (he confessed faith in Jesus and immediately fell down to worship Him).
- Ask a volunteer to read John 9:39-41.
- Tell the class Jesus said He had come into the world to bring spiritual sight to the blind and expose the spiritual blindness of those who thought they had spiritual sight.
- The Pharisees understood the meaning of Jesus’ words, so they asked “Are we blind also?”
- Jesus answered that they saw the light but rejected Him. They therefore remained in their sinful, lost condition.
- Summarize: The formerly blind man and the Pharisees responded very differently to the claims of Christ. The man believed and worshiped, but the Pharisees rejected Him.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask the class to describe the blind man’s life before he met Jesus (he couldn’t work so he had to beg; he couldn’t take care of or protect himself; he had no hope for the future). Tell the class those were the consequences of physical blindness in Jesus’ day.
Read the following quotations to the class:
- “The population of the earth decreases every day, and, if this continues, in another ten centuries the earth will be nothing but a desert.” (Montesquieu, 1743)
- “I have never heard of anything, and I cannot conceive of anything more ridiculous, more absurd, and more affrontive to all sober judgment than the cry that we are profiting by the acquisition of New Mexico and California. I hold that they are not worth a dollar!” (Daniel Webster, Senate speech, 1848)
- “The demonstration that no possible combination of known substances, known forms of machinery, and known forms of force can be united in a practical machine by which man shall fly long distances through the air, seems to the writer as complete as it is possible for the demonstration of any physical fact to be.” (Simon Newcomb, astronomer, 1903)
- “That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert on explosives.” (Admiral William D. Leahy speaking to President Truman about the feasibility of the atomic bomb, 1945)
Tell the students the individuals you have just quoted were blind to the future, so they made bold statements that were later proved to be incorrect and even foolish. The Jewish religious leaders were spiritually blind, so they opposed Jesus. Ask: “What are the consequences of spiritual blindness?” (death and an eternity in hell).
Tell the class that physical blindness has consequences that continue throughout one’s life, but spiritual blindness carries consequences that last for eternity. Thus, spiritual blindness is far worse than physical blindness!
Ask: “Do you know anyone who is spiritually blind?” Ask the students if they are willing to pray for and speak to someone they know who is spiritually blind. Remind them that the blind man didn’t argue theology or medicine with the Pharisees; he simply told what had happened to him. He shared his personal testimony. Urge them to do the same when they speak to their spiritually blind friend: simply tell that person how Jesus has changed your life. Lead a closing prayer of commitment to share our testimonies with unsaved friends this week.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize John 9:5. Ask the students to pray daily for their spiritually blind friends and to make plans to share their personal testimony with them this week.
 All of the quotations taken from Bible Illustrator for Windows, Version 3.0f, Copyright © 1990-1998 by Parsons Technology, Inc.
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