Story profiles provide a simple overview of the story along with highlights and points of interest. The story summary is written for kids. When possible, we try to provide an approximate date for the event covered in the story. A printable PDF for this profile is available here and all related activities are listed here.
Bible Story: Jesus Healed a Man Born Blind (AKA: Jesus Healed the Blind Man)
Bible Text: John 9:1-7 (and verses 8-41)
God’s Unfolding Story Element: God sent Jesus to help us.
One day Jesus and His disciples saw a man who had been blind since he was born. This man had never seen his parents, or looked at the sky, trees or birds. He did not even know what his own face looked like.
In times long ago many people thought that if someone had an illness, disease or any bad thing happen to them that is was because they or their parents had committed a terrible sin. But, Jesus wanted his friends to know that this man’s blindness was not the result of his parents’ sins or his sin. Jesus said this man was born blind so God might do something amazing in him.
Jesus also said He was the light of the world. So, we have a man who had never seen light, only darkness. And here was Jesus who was the light of the world. What do you think Jesus is going to do? (Pause for responses.)
Jesus didn’t make mud cookies or bricks did He? What did Jesus do with the mud? (Pause for responses.) Yes, Jesus spread it over the blind man’s eyes. That sounds really strange, but Jesus also told the man to go and wash in a pool called Siloam. The man did what Jesus said and was suddenly healed!
Remember, Jesus said He was the light of the world. Jesus brought light to this man by helping him to see. The blind man did not live in darkness anymore.
Can just anyone use mud to make a blind person see? No, only Jesus could have done that. That’s because Jesus is God and can heal anyone.
- For kids, the primary point of this story (verses 1-7) should be that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament and, therefore, has the power of God to bring healing even to the blind. (See note below under Points of Interest.) He is God and is able to heal at will.
- Some children may be able to grasp that while sin often can cause illness, illness is not always an indication that the person has committed a specific sin.
Point(s) of Interest:
- The story of Jesus healing a man born blind actually includes the entire 9th chapter of John. When taken in its entirety, the story includes a significant confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees that involved the healed man’s testimony, his (probable) excommunication from the temple, and a declaration by Jesus regarding the Pharisee’s spiritual blindness. We would not encourage you to give signification attention to these other matters if you’re teaching this story to children. Stay focused on the initial miracle and the way it demonstrates Jesus’ identity as the Messiah, the Son of God.
- The giving of sight to the blind by Jesus here and elsewhere in the Gospels is generally intended to demonstrate that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. The Old Testament doesn’t record a single instance of anyone actually performing a miracle of giving sight to the blind. The giving of sight to the blind is a miracle ascribed solely to God (Ps. 146:8a) or His Messiah (Isa. 35:5). This miracle, then, is consistent with John’s purpose that his readers “believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God” (John 20:31).
- The question of who had sinned to cause this man’s blindness was perplexing because he was blind from birth. Had he sinned before he was born? If not, then his blindness must be the result of his parents’ sin, but that doesn’t seem reasonable. Yes, a mother may engage in sinful behavior that can physically harm the baby she is carrying, but this is not the same as saying God is punishing the unborn baby for her sin. Such a perspective on illness and its causes is inconsistent with the Bible as a whole and a New Testament understanding of grace.
- John doesn’t tell us why Jesus used mud in this healing or why He sent the man to the Pool of Siloam, so we can only speculate and many have. Suffice it to say that Jesus healed then (and now) as He wills. He chooses the means and timing to accomplish His own purposes which may very well never be known.
John does not tell us precisely when (or where) this event took place.