Salvation Through Saliva… Jesus Heals a Blind Man and Refutes the Pharisees

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Sometimes we all get too caught up in details…how we do things in church, specifics of what we are doing…and we lose sight of the reason and purpose of serving God. This lesson emphasizes that principle with a look at a miracle from Jesus’s life: the healing of a man born blind.
Lesson focus: Jesus is our hope and salvation. Our lives should be focused on knowing that and serving the Lord, and we need to focus on Him first and foremost.
Passage: John 9:1-41
Key Verse: The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.        -Psalm 146:8
Target Audience: Pre-k through sixth grade (adaptable)
Materials Needed: Blind folds, paper bags, google eyes, markers, paper, writing utensils, mud or pudding
Lesson Opening: Was blind but now I see…start off with a couple of “blind” activities…blindfold each child (or only a couple of volunteers, if you have limited resources and multiple students) and provide them with a sheet of paper and pen or pencil. Walk around with a bag of simple items (keys, toy car, toy food, hair brush) and have students one at a time select an item and feel it. Then have them attempt to draw the thing they selected. Before removing blindfolds, instruct students to dip their fingers into the “miracle mix”, and have a small bowl/bucket of mud to dip into! (or pudding, if you prefer something edible…) After helping them clean up and remove blindfolds, have the kids do the drawing activity again, but with their sight restored. Which way is easier? This should be pretty obvious…explain that today’s story has to do with someone who was healed from blindness, and how we are sometimes blind, even when we can see…
Bible Lesson:
Why are some people born with challenges and disabilities? We may have a hard time answering that, but in the days of Christ, people believed that individual sin was the cause of specific handicap. They thought a physical impairment was sign of God’s punishment.
On one occasion, the disciples asked Jesus about a blind beggar they saw, wondering who had sinned to cause His blindness. But Jesus shocked them by explaining that no spiritual darkness was at the root, and that He was the light by which all can see…
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.     John 9:5-7
Well, that might be surprising…Jesus spit on the ground, put a mud plaster on this guy’s face, and it cured him? Surely the blind man was amazed and excited…but the Pharisees (church leaders) were not…
  They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 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.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”   -John 9:13-17
The Pharisees were more worried about details than people or results. They had already clashed with Christ, and it didn’t take much to rock their persnickety boat…rather than being amazed at the miracle, these leaders chose to react with anger that Jesus “worked” on the Sabbath…but even then, they couldn’t agree on their anger. They asked the man who had been healed, and his response was quite simple. He believed because the evidence was quite clearly there. He could see!
The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  -John 9:30-33
 
This man clearly understands that something remarkable has happened. Only God could heal someone born blind…and He did! When the Pharisees heard this, they threw the blind man out of the temple, but Jesus came back and asked if the restored man knew who He was…
 
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
Ask students if they understand what Jesus is saying here. It’s not always easy for kids to catch the more metaphorical nuances of things, but this story is about more than physical blindness. Jesus is pointing out that the Pharisees ignored something important…and in the same way they ignored who Jesus was and why He came. When we try to do things on our own or focus on the wrong thing, we tend to get mixed up and confused…but when we admit that we are born sinners and allow God to work in us, our eyes will be opened just like the man in the story!
 
Craft:
Eye-opening puppet…decorate paper bags and attach the verse or a caption. With the “face” (top of the bag), draw or paste to look like closed eyes. On the underside of this flap, glue the google eyes to show the sight restored.
 
Close with prayer and thank God for opening our eyes and coming to be the light of the world. Ask Him to help us see and continue to love others.
 
Was blind, but now I see….Jesus is the light of the world!
The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. -Psalm 146:8
 
Was blind, but now I see….Jesus is the light of the world!
The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. -Psalm 146:8
 
Was blind, but now I see….Jesus is the light of the world!
The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. -Psalm 146:8
 


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