8. The Need of the Blind in Religion --
Life's Sight and Life's Shepherding
a. Life's Sight -- For the Blind in Religion
(1) Born Blind
1 And as He passed by, He saw 1a man 2blind from birth.
2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, Rabbi, 1who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned nor his parents, but he was born so, that the works of God might be manifested in him.
(2) Receiving Sight by the Light and the Anointing of Life
4 We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is aday; night is coming when no one can work.
5 While I am in the world, I am the alight of the world.
6 When He had said this, He aspat on the ground and made clay of the 1spittle and anointed his eyes with the clay,
7 And He said to him, Go, 1wash in the pool of aSiloam (which is interpreted, 2Sent). 3He went therefore and washed and came away seeing.
8 The neighbors then and those who previously saw him as a beggar said, Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?
9 Some said, This is he. Others said, No, but he is like him. He said, I am the one.
10 They said then to him, How then were your eyes opened?
11 He answered, The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes, and said to me, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash. I went therefore and washed, and I received my sight.
12 And they said to him, Where is He? He said, I do not know.
13 They brought him who was once blind to the Pharisees.
(3) Persecuted by Religion
14 Now it was the 1aSabbath, on which day Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
15 aAgain therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. And he said to them, He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.
16 Then some of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, because He does anot keep the Sabbath. But others said, How can a man who is a sinner do such bsigns? And there was ca division among them.
17 Then they said to the blind man again, What do you say about Him, in that He opened your eyes? And he said, He is a prophet.
18 The Jews then did not believe concerning him that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight
19 And asked them, saying, Is this your son, of whom you say that he was born blind? How then does he now see?
20 Then his parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
21 But how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age; he will speak for himself.
22 His parents said these things because they afeared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be the Christ, he should be bput out of the synagogue.
23 Because of this his parents said, He is of age; question him.
24 Therefore a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, aGive glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.
25 Then he answered, Whether or not He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.
26 They said then to him, What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?
27 He answered them, aI told you already and you did not hear. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?
28 And they reviled him and said, You are His disciple; but awe are disciples of Moses.
29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, awe do not know where He is from.
30 The man answered and said to them, Why here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes!
31 aWe know that God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
32 1Since time began it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one born blind.
33 aIf this man were not 1from God, He could do nothing.
34 They answered and said to him, You were wholly born in asins, and you are teaching us? And they 1bcast him out.
(4) Believing into the Son of God
35 Jesus heard that they had acast him out, and He found him and said, Do you believe into the 1Son of God?
36 He answered and said, And who is He, aLord, that I may believe into Him?
37 Jesus said to him, You have both seen Him, and aHe is the One speaking with you.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe; and he aworshipped Him.
(5) Life's Judgment on the Blind Religionists
39 And Jesus said, For ajudgment I have come into this world, that bthose who do not see may see, and that cthose who see may become blind.
40 Some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, We are not ablind also, are we?
41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would anot have sin; but now that you say, We see; your sin remains.
b. Life's Shepherding --
For the Believers outside of Religion
(1) The Sheepfold, the Door, and the Pasture -- For the Sheep
1 Truly, truly, I say to you, He who does not enter through the 1adoor into the 2sheepfold, but climbs up from somewhere else, he is a 3bthief and a robber;
2 But he who enters through the adoor is the bshepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the 1sheep ahear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them bout.
4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep afollow him because they know his bvoice.
5 But they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.
6 This aparable Jesus spoke to them, but they did not know what those things meant that He spoke to them.
7 Jesus therefore said to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you that I am the adoor of the sheep.
8 All who came before Me are athieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the 1adoor; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved and shall go in and go out and shall find 2pasture.
(2) The Shepherd, the Divine Life,
and the Soulish Life --
For the Flock
10 The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may ahave 1life and may have it abundantly.
11 I am the good aShepherd; the good Shepherd blays down His 1life for the sheep.
12 He who is a hireling and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13 He flees because he is a hireling and it does not matter to him concerning the sheep.
14 I am the good aShepherd, and bI know My own, and cMy own know Me,
15 Even as the aFather knows Me and I know the Father; and I blay down My life for the sheep.
16 And I have 1aother sheep, which are not of this fold; I must lead them also, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be 2bone flock, one cShepherd.
17 For this reason the aFather loves Me, because bI lay down My life that I may take it again.
18 No one takes it away from Me, but I alay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to btake it again. This commandment I received from My Father.
19 aA division again took place among the Jews because of these words.
20 And many of them said, He ahas a demon and is binsane. Why do you listen to Him?
21 Others said, These are not the words of one who is demon possessed. Can a demon aopen the eyes of the blind?
(3) The Eternal Life, the Son's Hand, and the Father's Hand --
For the Security of the Sheep
22 At that time the 1Feast of the Dedication occurred in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
23 And Jesus was walking in the temple in the aportico of Solomon.
24 The Jews therefore surrounded Him and said to Him, How long will You hold our soul in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us aplainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you do not believe. The aworks which I do 1in My Father's name, these testify concerning Me;
26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.
27 My sheep ahear My voice, and bI know them, and they cfollow Me;
28 And I give to them 1aeternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and bno one shall csnatch them out of 1My hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one can asnatch them out of My 1Father's hand.
30 1I and the Father are aone.
(4) The Persecution of Religion
31 The Jews again atook up stones that they might stone Him.
32 Jesus answered them, I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these works are you stoning Me?
33 The Jews answered Him, We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself aGod.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, "I said, aYou are gods''?
35 If He said they were gods, to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken,
36 Do you say of Him whom the Father ahas sanctified and 1bsent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, cI am the Son of God?
37 If I do not do the aworks of My Father, do not believe Me;
38 But if I do them, even if you do not believe Me, abelieve the works so that you may come to know and continue to know that the bFather is in Me and I am in the Father.
39 Then they sought again to aseize Him, yet He went forth out of their hand.
(5) Life's Desertion of Religion and Life's New Standing
40 And 1He went away again aacross the Jordan, to the place where John was baptizing at first, and He remained there.
41 And many came to Him and said, John did no sign, but aall the things John said concerning this man were true.
42 And amany believed into Him there.