The Significance of Jesus’ Healing the Blind Man in John 9 -- By: Stephen S. Kim

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 167:667 (Jul 2010)
Article: The Significance of Jesus’ Healing the Blind Man in John 9
Author: Stephen S. Kim

The Significance of Jesus’ Healing the Blind Man in John 9

Stephen S. Kim

Stephen S. Kim is Professor of Bible, Multnomah Biblical Seminary, Portland, Oregon.

John explicitly said in his “purpose statement” (John 20:30-31) that the aim of his Gospel is to present Jesus as the promised Messiah of the Old Testament Scriptures and the unique Son of God. And his primary means of revealing Jesus as the divine Messiah is the seven sign-miracles (σημεῖα) and their attendant contexts of teaching, all of which are recorded in the first twelve chapters of the Gospel, commonly called the “Book of Signs.”1

The first two sign-miracles are strategically placed in the beginning chapters of the Gospel, often characterized as the “Cana Cycle” (chaps. 2-4),2 because both miracles were performed in Cana of Galilee and form a literary bracket around these chapters.3

The remaining sign-miracles of Jesus are also strategically placed throughout the following chapters of the section called the “Festival Cycle” (chaps. 5-12).4 This section begins with an unnamed feast (5:1-47; see v. 1) and then runs through a year of festivals from Passover (6:1-71; see v. 4) through Tabernacles (7:1-10:21; see 7:2), Dedication or Hanukkah (10:22-42; see v. 22), and then back to Passover (12:1).5

The literary structure of the Fourth Gospel is skillfully woven together with its profound theology. Whereas the Cana Cycle reveals Jesus as the divine Messiah who grants life and emphasizes the importance of believing in Him to receive that life, the Festival Cycle develops the theme of increasing opposition by the Jewish leaders to this One who grants life.6 As Songer explains, “Two related motifs are woven carefully ...

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