"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Light of the World
John 9:1-41 Commentary
by Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
The account of Jesus healing a blind man in John 9 is one of the “signs” (semeia) Jesus performs in John’s gospel.
It is related to the healing of the lame man in 5:1-18 which also involves a pool, the Sabbath, issues of Jesus’ whereabouts and identity and the “work” he does, and increasing tension between Jesus and the Jewish authorities. We shall see that John 9 functions as a dramatic unit, but the implications of the healing continue through chapter 10 where again opinions about Jesus’ identity and “work” separate those who believe in him or not.
John 9 is best understood as a drama in seven scenes. (Cf. J.L.Martyn’s, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel.) In the table below, note the actors in each scene, the questions and answers that propel the drama, the titles and descriptions applied to Jesus, and the issues that emerge.
Actors: Jesus & disciples, Jesus & blind manDescription of Jesus: Rabbi, Light of the worldIssues: Blindness, Sin, When to “work”
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 118: Light of the World
March 02, 2014
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for March 2, 2014: John 9:1-41. Accompanying reading: Psalm 27:1-4.