Verse 2. Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? - That is, was it for his own sins, or the sins of his parents? They suppose (as many of the Jews did, though without any ground from Scripture) that he might have sinned in a pre-existent state, before he came into the world.
Verse 3. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents - It was not the manner of our Lord to answer any questions that were of no use, but to gratify an idle curiosity. Therefore he determines nothing concerning this. The scope of his answer is, It was neither for any sins of his own, nor yet of his parents; but that the power of God might be displayed.
Verse 4. The night is coming - Christ is the light. When the light is withdrawn night comes, when no man can work - No man can do any thing toward working out his salvation after this life is ended. Yet Christ can work always. But he was not to work upon earth, only during the day, or season which was appointed for him.
Verse 5. I am the light of the world - I teach men inwardly by my Spirit, and outwardly by my preaching, what is the will of God; and I show them, by my example, how they must do it.
Verse 6. He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay - This might almost have blinded a man that had sight. But what could it do toward curing the blind? It reminds us that God is no farther from the event, when he works either with, or without means, and that all the creatures are only that which his almighty operation makes them.
Verse 7. Go, wash at the pool of Siloam - Perhaps our Lord intended to make the miracle more taken notice of. For a crowd of people would naturally gather round him to observe the event of so strange a prescription, and it is exceeding probable, the guide who must have led him in traversing a great part of the city, would mention the errand he was going upon, and so call all those who saw him to a greater attention. From the fountain of Siloam, which was without the walls of Jerusalem, a little stream flowed into the city, and was received in a kind of basin, near the temple, and called the pool of Siloam. Which is, by interpretation, Sent - And so was a type of the Messiah, who was sent of God. He went and washed, and came seeing - He believed, and obeyed, and found a blessing. Had he been wise in his own eyes, and reasoned, like Naaman, on the impropriety of the means, he had justly been left in darkness. Lord, may our proud hearts be subdued to the methods of thy recovering grace! May we leave thee to choose how thou wilt bestow favours, which it is our highest interest to receive on any terms.
Verse 11. A man called Jesus - He seems to have been before totally ignorant of him.
Verse 14. Anointing the eyes - With any kind of medicine on the Sabbath, was particularly forbidden by the tradition of the elders.
Verse 16. This man is not of God - Not sent of God. How can a man that is a sinner - That is, one living in wilful sin, do such miracles?
Verse 17. What sayest thou of him, for that he hath opened thine eyes? - What inference dost thou draw herefrom?
Verse 22. He should be put out of the synagogue - That is be excommunicated.
Verse 27. Are ye also - As well as I, at length convinced and willing to be his disciples?
Verse 29. We know not whence he is - By what power and authority he does these things.
Verse 30. The man answered - Utterly illiterate as he was. And with what strength and clearness of reason! So had God opened the eyes of his understanding, as well as his bodily eyes. Why, herein is a marvelous thing, that ye - The teachers and guides of the people, should not know, that a man who has wrought a miracle, the like of which was never heard of before, must be from heaven, sent by God.
Verse 31. We - Even we of the populace, know that God heareth not sinners - Not impenitent sinners, so as to answer their prayers in this manner. The honest courage of this man in adhering to the truth, though he knew the consequence, ver. 22, gives him claim to the title of a confessor.
Verse 33. He could do nothing - Of this kind; nothing miraculous.
Verse 34. Born in sin - And therefore, they supposed, born blind. They cast him out - Of the synagogue; excommunicated him.
Verse 35. Having found him - For he had sought him.
Verse 36. Who is he, that I may believe? - This implies some degree of faith already. He was ready to receive whatever Jesus said.
Verse 37. Lord, I believe - What an excellent spirit was this man of! Of so deep and strong an understanding; (as he had just shown to the confusion of the Pharisees,) and yet of so teachable a temper!
Verse 39. For judgment am I come into the world - That is, the consequence of my coming will be, that by the just judgment of God, while the blind in body and soul receive their sight, they who boast they see, will be given up to still greater blindness than before.
Verse 41. If ye had been blind - Invincibly ignorant; if ye had not had so many means of knowing: ye would have had no sin - Comparatively to what ye have now. But now ye say - Ye yourselves acknowledge, Ye see, therefore your sin remaineth - Without excuse, without remedy.