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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Feb 22, 2023

Jesus opened the eyes of a man who hadn’t ever seen – and He can open your eyes, too! Today our study is from John 9:1-12.  Let’s discover together what God wants us to know as we walk through His Word.



Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders’ podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins, and I’m honored to be your host.

Women World Leaders offers many opportunities to grow, and one of those is our Leadership Connect, which is the third Monday of each month on Zoom. We are just coming off our February gathering, and if you missed it, you missed out! Our teaching this month was centered around developing your gifting as a leader – and I’m telling you, we had SO MUCH fun! If you did miss it, all is not lost! Go to our website,, and sign up for our three-part series on polishing your leadership skills. All of the information is on our website under the events tab. And while you are there, check out all the other things happening at Women World Leaders, and be sure to fill out our contact form so you don’t miss out on our NEXT Leadership Connect!

If you are new to the podcast – Welcome! We have three offerings for you each week. On Mondays, founder Kimberly Hobbs hosts Empowering Lives with Purpose – a 30-minute interview with a different woman of faith who shares her God story. On Fridays, we have a team of leaders who host Celebrating God’s Grace. This is a short podcast full of joy, meant to propel you into the weekend. And today, on Wednesdays, we get to walk through the Bible together as we study scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what He wants us to know today. We are currently walking through the Gospels chronologically, and we invite you to jump in wherever you are. Despite our locations, age, history, or ethnicity,  we are all one family seeking to learn and grow together.

Our reading today comes from the book of John, chapter 9, verses 1-12, from the New Living Translation. This is actually a three-part message because there is just SO much packed in this chapter! So, spoiler alert, I will be leaving you with a cliffhanger today! But I do promise that God will teach us, and He won’t mind if you open your Bible and read the rest of the story before next week’s episode!

Before we begin, let’s pray…

Dear Most Holy God, we thank you today for the provision of your Word. Today, we look forward to reading this story – the account of the man who was born blind who underwent a miraculous transformation in his life. Holy Spirit, you were there when this event occurred, and I ask you to illuminate this scripture for us. Help us read and understand with your eyes. Allow us to glean what you want us to know today from this God story that happened so long ago in a land that is foreign to us. Help us to experience your presence, Lord, as we spend these next few minutes with you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As we begin our reading today, we know it was the Sabbath, and Jesus had been teaching in the Temple. John 9 picks up as Jesus and His disciples were leaving the Temple, likely finishing up their day.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

Can you picture the scene? In Jesus’ time, there wasn’t much a blind man could do but beg, and I can just see this man sitting in the dust on the side of the road. There were probably many people coming and going, but he couldn’t see any of them. I imagine he had “his spot” where he sat every day. Some people must have given him money, otherwise, he probably wouldn’t have sat there. But I bet many people looked at him in disdain. Not that he could see the looks anyway, but he probably heard the murmurs.

As he sat there, suddenly he felt the presence of several people stop in front of him as their shadows blocked out the feel of the setting sun on his face. And then he heard…

 “Rabbi,” …“why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

Ah yes, the age-old question. Everyone wanted to know what terrible sin had committed him to this life of destitution. The only life he had ever known.

He couldn’t remember doing anything terrible, and his parents seemed like good people. But surely he had done something to deserve this life. Everyone else thought so, so it must be true.

I do wonder what his story was. We don’t know how old this man is, but we do later find out that he is of the age where he could speak for himself – so he had to have been at least 13. And I wonder what his childhood was like and how long he had lived this routine of begging.

Perhaps it had been years that he had sat there…listening to the comings and goings of the temple-goers—people attending festivities, worshipping God, and learning from the rabbis. But this man had no means to seek anyone or anything. He was sentenced by his blindness and his perceived sin to sit in the dust as a beggar.

And then he heard a kind voice. Presumably, it was the voice of the rabbi, as He answered that ordinary question in a new way.

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” … “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.

I imagine the man lifted his drooping head. What did he say? My blindness is NOT due to sin? He had never heard that before! And what was it the rabbi had said next? This happened so the power of God could be seen in me?

The voice continued…clearly talking to His companions…

 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.[a] The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

This must have been puzzling. These people standing in front of the beggar clearly had tasks, most people that passed by seemed to. And it didn’t matter to him who “sent” these people. And yes…night WAS coming…it had been a long day…but what did this person mean that he was the light of the world? And what did it mean that his blindness would allow others to see the power of God?

Then the blind man felt someone kneel beside him – he guessed it was the rabbi. He heard him spit and mix the spit with mud. As his mind spun, suddenly he felt a strange mixture – was it the mud? – being smeared onto his eyes. He jerked a bit…when was the last time someone had touched him? And yet this unexpected touch was gentle. The grit seeped into his eyes, and he wasn’t quite sure if he had just been assaulted and ridiculed or what was going on.

Then he heard the man say…

“Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam”

He knew the area well; it was the place where the water was drawn for the Feast of the Tabernacles. He obediently went. Perhaps he felt that he should do as this rabbi commanded, or perhaps he just wanted the gitty mud out of his eyes and that seemed like a good way to accomplish his goal.

Scripture is silent on what happened as the man rinsed his eyes. John simply tells us..

So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

Can you imagine the wonder? This man had NEVER seen ANYTHING before! And he was sent from his spot on the side of the road with his eyes caked in mud to complete a simple task that would change his life forever!

Let’s pause to ask the Holy Spirit what He wants US to see in this story.

When we met the man, he had no purpose. His life was mundane, and it was a struggle for him just to survive. Yet he wasn’t looking for a change because, per everything the world and society screamed, his case was useless. Until Jesus came looking for HIM!

The man had no idea who Jesus was, and certainly hadn’t been seeking Him out. But Jesus approached this lost, forgotten man huddled on the side of the road. Jesus didn’t walk by, judge or belittle him. Instead, Jesus gently met him where he was and performed a miracle that restored his sight and changed his life forever.

Does that sound familiar. Even when we aren’t seeking God, He is seeking US!

Jesus wants to meet you where YOU are! There are days when we don’t have the strength or the belief or the will to seek Jesus. But you know what? He will NEVER stop seeking you. He wants to meet you where you are and He longs to open your eyes to see His wonder and glory.

Jesus told the man to go wash his eyes. And with that simple act of obedience, the man was healed. God’s ways are mysterious, but we don’t ever have to questions what He tells us to do. We can trust His care and His provision. And we can always trust His heart.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

The onlookers, including the disciples, were probably dismayed at the fact that Jesus rubbed MUD made of SALIVA and DIRT on the man’s eyes. To be honest, it sounds kind of gross to me sitting here today. But the Jewish people had further reason to be appalled, they believed that anything that came from the body – including saliva – would render a person unclean. So according to this belief, saliva mixed with DIRT and rubbed on someone’s eyes should have been unclean to the max. BUT Jesus’ saliva is different – becaause it comes from Jesus Himself! Jesus is pure perfection – everything about Him is healing, cleansing, and purifying, because Jesus is HOLY.

Not only can we trust Jesus – we can trust EVERYTHING about Him! His ways are so far beyond our ways! The disciples were still learning this, too. They were unknowing participants in the world’s persecution of this blind man – succumbing to the wrong belief that we are each responsible for the pain in our lives, they pushed him down further and considered him sinful. Even on our best days, we are still human. We are still sinners who unintentionally beat each other down.

But by listening to and obeying our perfect and HOLY Jesus can we be all that He has called us to be.

And by allowing HIM to heal US – God’s glory can be revealed to the whole world!

The disciples weren’t alone in judging the man. The scripture goes on to illuminate that NO ONE had ever truly looked at or appreciated the man for anything beyond his blindness.

Verse 8…

His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”

But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”

Either the man had changed so much that those who walked through life with him no longer knew him, or they never took the time to know him in the first place.

Sadly, I think we can all relate to this at some level. We all have people in our lives that we dismiss or look past. Let me encouage you to ask God who He wants YOU to see today.

When they realized who he was, the people asked the man…

 …“Who healed you? What happened?”

11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!”

12 “Where is he now?” they asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

How WAS he to know where Jesus was? He had never seen Him! He had only heard His voice and felt His healing touch! I very incorrectly used the word “just,” because hearing Jesus’ voice and feeling His touch are miraculous occurrences! But aren’t you and I in the same boat? I have never seen Jesus, but I have heard His voice and felt His healing touch. Jesus has opened my eyes, too. He pulls me up daily, reminds me to open my eyes, and gives me a purpose in my every day. And I pray that I use His touch on my life to give all the glory and honor to Him!

Friend, no matter how beaten down you are, Jesus will NEVER walk by you! He will always stoop down, offer His help, and tell you what steps to take next in your life. Our job is to listen, to respond, to obey. And when we do, He will open our eyes and give us a future that we simply can’t imagine.

The man’s story continues…but we will have to wait for next week to see what happens. Feel free to open to John 9 and read ahead! In fact, I can guarantee that God wants you to!

Let’s close in prayer…

Dear Heavenly Father – you have so much to teach us from this one story - and we haven’t even made it half-way through. Already you have reminded us how diligently you seek us, how perfect and trustworthy you are, and that with you, our lives are purposeful and far from ordinary. God – we thank you for seeking us out and opening our eyes to the wonder and glory of you. Teach us to see others as you see them and help us listen only to YOUR voice and YOUR instructions. We love you and we do give you all the praise and honor and glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.