The sign of healing itself is in John 9:1-12. The specific time and place are unclear. We last knew that Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles. The next known marker is the Feast of Dedication, a fw months later (Carson 1991, 361). In verse 2, though the disciples assume a link between sin and the man’s suffering, Carson notes the connection to individuals is normally not made in Scripture. Verse 3 indicate that even an inborn condition is under God’s control (Carson 1991, 362). Carson concludes that Jesus’ statement in verses 4-5 indicates that his departure will hinder the Jewish leaders from conversion. They will be left in the dark, blind (Carson 1991, 3653). The contrast is shown in verse 6 when Jesus gives light to a man who has never seen. The use of saliva in the healing may imply Jesus’ authority over what is unclean (Carson 1991, 364). The name of the pool, “Siloam,” may be a reminder that the man was healed by the one “sent” by God (Carson 1991, 365).
The Pharisees investigate the healing in verses 13-34 (Carson 1991, 366). Carson notes the importance of the specific title. The man was not brought to the religious court. He was brought to the theological experts. He was not on trial (Carson 1991, 366). In verse 16 it is apparent that the discussion turns, in some minds, on the Sabbath. If Jesus is violating the Sabbath he is not from God (Carson 1991, 367). In other minds, the miracle can only be done by God, so Jesus must be from God (Carson 1991, 368). Neither argument is compelling. The Pharisees question the man and his parents. The parents, not wishing to incur penalties, do not tell how the son was healed Carson notes that many scholars reject the idea of this conflict being genuine. Threats of removal from the synagogue may not have been established as early as this healing (Carson 1991, 369). Carson does not consider it unreasonable that local synagogues would expel followers of Jesus even prior to the death of Christ (Carson 1991, 371). By verse 24 the authorities had decided Jesus was a sinful man. The man and his parents will not confess the sin. This provokes more questioning (Carson 1991, 372). The issue eventually asks whether one is a disciple of Moses or of Jesus (Carson 1991, 374). Carson notes that the Pharisees considered Moses to include the oral tradition surrounding the Pentateuch. By that measure Jesus is a lawbreaker. The instance of the man born blind makes the Pharisees more resistent than they had been previously (Carson 1991, 375).
Verses 35-41 comment on sight and blindness. Those who would reject Jesus as the savior are found to be blind (Carson 1991, 375). Jesus is rightly understood as the “Son of Man.” Carson notes that the term emphasizes Jesus as the one who can judge and disclose God to man (Carson 1991, 376). Those who are blind will receive sight. In verse 39 Jesus acknowledges that the reverse also applies. Those who think they see reject the light of God, so are in darkness (Carson 1991, 377).
Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991.
Carson, D. A., and Douglas J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005.