Kids Talk About God
Cover art: Spiritual Blindness

Spiritual Blindness

John 9:24-41

24 So the Jewish leaders called the man who had been blind. They told him to come in again. They said, “You should honor God by telling the truth. We know that this man is a sinner.”
25 The man answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. But I do know this: I was blind, and now I can see.”
26 They asked, “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have already told you that. But you would not listen to me. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to be his followers too?”
28 At this they shouted insults at him and said, “You are his follower, not us! We are followers of Moses. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses. But we don’t even know where this man comes from!”
30 The man answered, “This is really strange! You don’t know where he comes from, but he healed my eyes. 31 We all know that God does not listen to sinners, but he will listen to anyone who worships and obeys him. 32 This is the first time we have ever heard of anyone healing the eyes of someone born blind. 33 This man must be from God. If he were not from God, he could not do anything like this.”
34 The Jewish leaders answered, “You were born full of sin! Are you trying to teach us?” And they told the man to get out of the synagogue and to stay out.

Spiritual Blindness

35 When Jesus heard that they had forced the man to leave, he found him and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man said, “Tell me who he is, sir, so I can believe in him.”
37 Jesus said to him, “You have already seen him. The Son of Man is the one talking with you now.”
38 The man answered, “Yes, I believe, Lord!” Then he bowed and worshiped Jesus.
39 Jesus said, “I came into this world so that the world could be judged. I came so that people who are blind a could see. And I came so that people who think they see would become blind.”
40 Some of the Pharisees were near Jesus. They heard him say this. They asked, “What? Are you saying that we are blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But you say that you see, so you are still guilty.”

_______________

a John 9:39 – people who are blind – Jesus is talking about people who are spiritually blind (without understanding), not physically blind.
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 46 – Spiritual Blindness
What does it mean to be spiritually blind?
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 46 – Spiritual Blindness

“Being spiritually blind doesn’t mean that you can’t see. It means that you don’t believe in God.” Sophia, 10

”If you are spiritually blind, you will miss out on all of life’s experiences. But if you believe in God, you will see clearly. If you can’t see (don’t believe in God), what’s the point of life?” Sophia, 10

“There are many ways people can be spiritually blind. One way you can be spiritually blind is not being aware of your own sin, which is very common. Because we oftentimes to not know our own ruinous deeds, and don’t think before we act recklessly, we bring others down through our acts and thoughts. Another way is that we notice others’ sin, but are not aware of our own.” Thomas, 11

“Being spiritually blind means you are mentally blind to sin. People can lash out many bad words and not know that they were sinning. God takes off that blindfold once you become a Christian. If God takes off your blindfold, you will be able to notice sin. Because God took off the blindfold, you can help others notice the sin they’re causing. You can help someone and bring them to Christ and tell them about our pure God, who has conquered the grave.” Galilee, 11

“Being spiritually blinded means we don’t have God because we don’t know we are doing sin. When we are doing sin and are not sorry for it, we are blinded by evil sin. We always need to know what sin is, so we are not blinded. People who don’t know Jesus are blinded from sin because they don’t know what sin is.” Justin, 12

Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 46 – Spiritual Blindness
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 46 – Spiritual Blindness
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 46 – Spiritual Blindness

24 So the Jewish leaders called the man who had been blind. They told him to come in again. They said, “You should honor God by telling the truth. We know that this man is a sinner.”
25 The man answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. But I do know this: I was blind, and now I can see.”

These Jewish leaders already had decided that Jesus was a sinner. They didn’t even refer to Jesus by his name. They called him “this man.”

The Jewish leaders wanted the man who received his sight to say something bad about Jesus. The healed beggar stayed with what he knew. He refused to say anything bad about Jesus. All he knew was that he was blind and now could see clearly.

Stay with what you know about Jesus and you can stand firm in your faith. You know that Jesus is God’s only son and the savior of the world. All who believe him have eternal life. That means you will live with God forever. No one can take this away from you even if they call you names and make fun of Jesus.

God the Father has given all judgment to Jesus (John 5:22). Jesus came the first time to Earth as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. When Jesus returns to Earth to set up his kingdom, he will judge all those who rejected his offer of eternal life as a free gift. Jesus is the judge of all judges. Those who say bad things about Jesus will one day have to answer to him.

26 They asked, “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have already told you that. But you would not listen to me. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to be his followers too?”

This is the fourth time the religious leaders asked the beggar how Jesus opened his eyes. I suppose they wanted to see if the beggar would say something they could use against Jesus.

The healed beggar stood firm. He was not afraid of the religious leaders. He knew that he was born blind, and he knew that he could see.

Now, the beggar pushed back against the religious leaders when he asked them if they wanted to follow Jesus. The healed man knew that this would greatly upset the religious leaders, but he said it anyway.

These leaders are religious bullies. Bullies like to push people around, but they don’t like to be pushed. There are times when you have to push back hard at bullies. This was one of those times.

Sometimes Christians should turn the other cheek when someone bullies. Say nothing and do nothing. Take the abuse.

But there are times when the Lord wants you to speak boldly. Ask God for the wisdom to know what to do when bullies start pushing you. One of the guiding principles is to never be ashamed of Jesus Christ. Ask God for the courage to speak boldly at the right time.

28 At this they shouted insults at him and said, “You are his follower, not us! We are followers of Moses. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses. But we don’t even know where this man comes from!”
30 The man answered, “This is really strange! You don’t know where he comes from, but he healed my eyes. 31 We all know that God does not listen to sinners, but he will listen to anyone who worships and obeys him. 32 This is the first time we have ever heard of anyone healing the eyes of someone born blind. 33 This man must be from God. If he were not from God, he could not do anything like this.”

These religious leaders said they followed Moses, but they didn’t really follow him. They followed their own religious traditions. Jesus truly followed the law given by God through Moses to the people of Israel. He never sinned. He never broke God’s law.

These religious leaders were no different than their ancestors who rebelled against God. Remember when Moses received the 10 Commandments from God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20)? What did the children of Israel do? They built a golden calf to worship (Exodus 32). Even though they had seen God perform mighty miracles through Moses, they turned to idols.

Religious Jews invented all kinds of laws that went way beyond the laws God gave to Moses. They made an idol out of their religious tradition. Where does the Bible say that you can’t help or heal someone on the Sabbath? It doesn’t say that anywhere in the Bible.

Religious tradition has kept millions of people from accepting the gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ. Never think that your religious tradition is above what God says in the Bible. Keeping religious rules and traditions makes some people think God owes them something. Spiritual pride can keep you from seeing and hearing what God has to say.

The beggar was absolutely right when he said this is the first time God has opened the eyes of a man born blind. There is no other place in the Bible where God opens the eyes of a man born blind. Jesus heals other blind people, but this is the only one recorded who was born blind.

The prophet Isaiah mentioned opening the eyes of the blind as a sign of God’s kingdom (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7). Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus’ healing of the blind man was a sign that God’s kingdom had come. Religious tradition kept the leaders from seeing Jesus as the king of that kingdom. When Jesus returns to establish his kingdom, there won’t be any blind people. Jesus healing the blind man was a taste of that kingdom to come.

34 The Jewish leaders answered, “You were born full of sin! Are you trying to teach us?” And they told the man to get out of the synagogue and to stay out.
35 When Jesus heard that they had forced the man to leave, he found him and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man said, “Tell me who he is, sir, so I can believe in him.”
37 Jesus said to him, “You have already seen him. The Son of Man is the one talking with you now.”
38 The man answered, “Yes, I believe, Lord!” Then he bowed and worshiped Jesus.

The best thing that could have happened to the healed beggar is to be thrown out of the synagogue. He was free from the religious leaders, who rejected Jesus. At this point, the beggar did not know Jesus as the Son of God or as savior. However, he acted on the spiritual light that he had.

Being thrown out of the synagogue was not a small thing. This was the very thing the beggar’s parents feared. It wasn’t like today where you can just go to a different church. The synagogues were all under the control of the religious leaders. This was a central part of Jewish life. To be thrown out of the synagogue meant that people would avoid you. They wouldn’t want to be your friends or do any kind of business with you.

Even though the healed beggar received his sight from Jesus and pushed back against the bullying of the religious leaders, he was still blind in a spiritual sense. He did not know Jesus as his savior.

When Jesus heard the beggar had been thrown out of the synagogue, he sought him. Jesus will always seek those who respond positively to the spiritual light he gives them. He will give them more spiritual light.

The beggar believed in Jesus and worshipped him. Jesus referred to himself as the “Son of Man.” This is the favorite title that Jesus uses for himself. At one of his trials before his death on the cross, Jesus agreed with the high priest who asked if he were the Messiah, the Son of God (Matthew 26:63-64).

Why do you think Jesus called himself “Son of Man” at this point in his ministry?

In the New Testament, the “Son of Man” is used 88 times to refer to Jesus. That’s a lot.

The “Son of Man” could be used in two ways. The prophet Daniel used this title to refer to the Messiah or the Christ. This Son of Man was given power to rule over the nations. People from every nation and language worship him. His rule and kingdom last forever (Daniel 7:13-14).

A second meaning of “Son of Man” means that Jesus is a human being. He’s a real man, who was born to a real mother. God called the prophet Ezekiel “son of man” 93 times. Ezekiel was also a real man, but he was only a man. Jesus is both man and God at the same time in the same person.

Several times during Jesus’ ministry he said, “He who has ears, let him hear,” (Matthew 11:15, Mark 4:9, 23). Early in his ministry, Jesus was careful about calling himself the Son of God or the Messiah. He knew God’s perfect timing for his death on the cross. If he made public claims about being the Messiah too soon, the religious leaders would try to kill him before he finished training his 12 disciples.

When Jesus spoke of having ears to hear, he spoke of people who are spiritually smart. Some people can be very smart about many things in life yet at the same time be spiritually dumb. If you were Jewish and spiritually smart or sensitive, you would have thought of the Daniel 7 Bible teaching where the “Son of Man” speaks of God’s Messiah or the Christ. If you were spiritually dumb, you would have thought that Jesus spoke of himself as a man only.

The healed beggar is spiritually smart. He pushed back against the religious leaders who wanted him to say something bad about Jesus. He stayed faithful to the truth that Jesus healed him. He knew that only God could heal a man born blind. He concluded that Jesus must be at least a prophet. Now, Jesus revealed himself further as the “Son of Man.” The healed beggar made the connection that Jesus must be God’s Messiah or Christ. He believed in Jesus and received the gift of eternal life that only Jesus can give.

39 Jesus said, “I came into this world so that the world could be judged. I came so that people who are blind a could see. And I came so that people who think they see would become blind.”
40 Some of the Pharisees were near Jesus. They heard him say this. They asked, “What? Are you saying that we are blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But you say that you see, so you are still guilty.”

Which is worse, physical blindness or spiritual blindness?

Spiritual blindness is far worse than physical blindness. Why? If someone is born blind, the blindness lasts for a lifetime. Spiritual blindness can lead to being separated from God forever.

Jesus came to Earth so that the spiritually blind can see. Everyone enters this world in a spiritually blind state. As the Light of the World, Jesus came to open our eyes to see him as our only hope to live with God forever.

Bible teacher T. Austin Sparks says this matter of spiritual sight and spiritual blindness is a big subject in the Bible. All you have to do is think about words like light, darkness, sight, eyes, revelation, vision, knowledge, ignorance, understanding, wisdom, foolishness, error, lies, day, night and others. Most of the time, these words in the Bible speak of being able to see or not see in a spiritual sense.

When you can see what God is doing in any situation, you have spiritual eyes. Most of the time, it will not be something you see with your physical eyes. Spiritual eyes require spiritual wisdom. The entire book of Proverbs is about spiritual wisdom. The smart or wise person sees God’s will and does it. The fool is spiritually dumb. Fools rebel against God and suffer because of their self-centered ways. They choose to remain spiritually blind.

The death of Jesus Christ on the cross is a perfect example of God’s spiritual wisdom. With their spiritual eyes, Christians see the cross as the place where God the Father poured out his righteous anger on Jesus as the payment for our sins. Nothing is more central or more important than the cross of Jesus Christ. To the unbeliever, Jesus is one of many thousands that Roman soldiers crucified. To place any hope in a man who died on a cross looks like foolishness to those who reject Jesus.

“The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those who are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” (I Corinthians 1:18).

God always resists proud people, but gives grace to humble people (James 4:6). The Jewish religious leaders were very proud people. They claimed to be spiritual leaders, yet they failed to recognize that Jesus was God’s only son. The blind beggar was humble. When he pushed back against the religious bullies, he received more of God’s light. Jesus revealed himself to the healed beggar. We will see the beggar in heaven because he believed in Jesus as God’s Messiah, the savior of all who believe in him.

Draw something to go with the headline: Blind Man Healed by Jesus, Kicked Out of Synagogue
Coloring Page: Spiritual Blindness