What does John 9:15 mean?
ESV: So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
NIV: Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. 'He put mud on my eyes,' the man replied, 'and I washed, and now I see.'
NASB: Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, 'He applied mud to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.'
CSB: Then the Pharisees asked him again how he received his sight."He put mud on my eyes," he told them. "I washed and I can see."
NLT: The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, 'He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!'
KJV: Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
NKJV: Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
Verse Commentary:
This is the second time that a man, born blind but healed by Jesus, has been asked to explain "how" he was healed (John 9:10). He'll be asked yet again in this story, by these same Pharisees (John 9:26), and after his parents are posed the same question (John 9:19). His answer is consistent, and truthful: Jesus put mud on his eyes and told him to wash, resulting in sight.

The Pharisees' reaction to this miracle illustrates the dangers of self-centered, tradition-bound spirituality. According to the prior verse, Jesus' healing occurred on a Sabbath day. The Pharisees were famous for their elaborate, rigid set of rules and laws. These developed from tradition, in an effort to ensure obedience to the laws of Moses. The Pharisees claim that Jesus' actions directly violate their traditional interpretations of holiness—and they're right. Jesus' actions do conflict with their traditions. This, in fact, seems to be the point, as Jesus purposefully tries to show that their shallow approach is not what God intends (John 7:22–24).

The following verse also shows how easily human beings choose to equate their own opinions with those of God. John includes seven "signs" in this gospel. These are seven miracles meant to prove that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah. The Old Testament predicted that the Promised One would heal blindness (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7), and only Jesus is credited with this ability in Scripture. However, the Pharisees cannot accept that Jesus' work is divine—because He isn't in agreement with their specific doctrine.
Verse Context:
John 9:13–34 describes the Pharisees' reaction to Jesus' healing of a man born blind. Rather than being swayed by an obvious sign of divine power, they look for excuses and criticisms. Seeking to discredit the miracle, they interrogate the man's parents, who timidly defer back to their son. The healed man knows nothing more than this: ''though I was blind, now I see.'' His matter-of-fact responses to the Pharisees highlight their obvious prejudice. As a result, they excommunicate the healed man from the synagogue. Jesus will meet with the man in the next passage to give more context for the miracle.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus encounters a man who has been blind his entire life. In typical fashion for that era, the disciples assume this condition is due to some specific sin--either the man's sin or his parents' sin. Jesus challenges this idea, and heals the man. His restoration leads to interrogation, as the Pharisees try to discredit Jesus' miraculous work. The healed man's simple, straightforward perspective embarrasses the religious leaders, who excommunicate him in frustration. Jesus is able to meet with the man, explaining more about His identity and the purpose of His ministry. Jesus also reminds the Pharisees that those who ought to know better, spiritually, will be held more accountable as a result.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has begun to actively confront the false teachings of local religious leaders. His most recent debate included a heated exchange with the Pharisees, where Jesus claimed to have existed before Abraham. This resulted in an attempted stoning for blasphemy. Here, Jesus continues to antagonize religious hypocrites by healing a man who was born blind. The ensuing ruckus further exposes Jerusalem's religious leaders as shallow, prejudiced, and false. This event launches Jesus into another lengthy discussion of His ministry, recorded in chapter 10, including several crucial teachings on His role as Shepherd.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/23/2024 7:53:43 PM
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