John 9:31 - God Heareth Not Sinners.
John 9:31: God Heareth Not Sinners.
John 9:31 (KJV) Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but
if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he
John 9:31 (NASB) We know that God does not hear sinners; but if
anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, He hears him.
John 9:31 (TEV) We know that God does not listen to sinners; he
does listen to people who respect him and do what he wants them to
John 9:31 (CEV) We know that God listens only to people who
love and obey him. God doesn't listen to sinners.
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind: John 9:1-12
The Pharisees Investigate the Healing: John 9:13-34
Spiritual Blindness: John 9:35-41
According to the beggar's logic, this miracle was notable and
unique. He said that no one had ever heard of... a man born blind
receiving sight. He reasoned that God grants not the requests of sinners
but those of the righteous (cf. Elijah, James 5:16-18). Therefore
this Man, he said, is from God. Otherwise He could do no miracles.
[Bible Knowledge Commentary]
The Pharisees did not believe at first that the man had been
blind. That is to say, they suspected that this was a miracle faked
between Jesus and him. Further, they were well aware that the law
recognized that a false prophet could produce false miracles for his own
false purposes (Deut 13:1-5 warns against the false prophet who
produces false signs in order to lead people away after strange gods).
The fifth stage of spiritual sight is seeing Jesus as being "of
God" (John 9:32-33). [Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible]
The Seven Signs Of John's Gospel
A famous author once said that the key to good writing is not in
knowing what to put into a story, but what to leave out. Imagine, then,
the problem of writing down the story of Jesus, especially if you
had been an eyewitness and even a participant in the events. Of all
that Jesus said and did, what would you include? What would you leave
John solved the problem by determining what he wanted his Gospel
to accomplish: he wanted his readers to know that "Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God, and that believing [they might] have life in His
name" (John 20:31). To that end, he organized his account around seven
miracles that Jesus performed, seven "signs" pointing to His divine
The Signs And Their Meanings
1 Turns water into wine (2:1-12); Jesus is the source of life.
2 Heals a nobleman's son (4:46-54); Jesus is master over
3 Heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda (5:1-17); Jesus is
master over time.
4 Feeds 5,000 (6:1-14); Jesus is the bread of life.
5 Walks on water, stills a storm (6:15-21); Jesus is master over
6 Heals a man blind from birth (9:1-41); Jesus is the light of
7 Raises Lazareus from the dead (11:17-45); Jesus has power over
The fact that there are seven sign miracles is significant. In
the Jewish view of life, the number seven signified perfection or
completion. John's Gospel presents the seven miracles like a diamond
refracting seven bands of color. Upon closer inspection, each one turns out
to be rooted in Old Testament understanding of the Messiah. John's
point is that Jesus is perfect and complete. His miracles show His
true colors - that He is the Messiah that Israel has been looking
for, and that He alone offers eternal life.
This way of presenting things may seem strange to some modern
readers. But the Gospel of John, though probably the last Gospel to be
written, was Christianity's first statement of the message of Jesus in a
way that would relate to the thought-forms of its day. It is more
meticulously and artistically composed than any prize-winning narrative or
award-winning film. [Word In Life SB]
[A worshipper] A sincere worshipper; one who fears, loves, and
adores him. (Barnes' Notes)
[Doeth his will] Obeys his commandments. This is infallibly
true. The Scripture abounds with promises to such that God will hear
their prayer. See . (Barnes' Notes)
The statement, "God heareth not sinners," is, of course, true of
the willful, unrepentant sinner. But God always hears the prayer of
the penitent who pleads for mercy and pardon (see on Luke 18:13). He
also frequently hears the prayers of those who have departed from the
path of right; He does not immediately abandon those who stray. He
often continues His blessings as an inducement to return. Because of
this fact the converse of the above statement is not always true. The
fact that God answers a man's prayer is not necessarily evidence that
He approves of that man's entire conduct. The one who receives
marked answers to prayer should not exult in a supposed evidence of
righteousness and acceptance; he should search his heart diligently that he
might the more fully conform to the divine pattern. He must not
interpret the blessing of God as sanctioning his entire course of action.
Any willful persistence in known sin will eventually lead to an
irrevocable separation between the sinner and God (Rev. 22:11). [SDA
The fact that God did not hear the prayer of a bad man is a
basic thought of the Old Testament. When Job is speaking of the
hypocrite, he says: "Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him?"
(Jb 27:9). The psalmist says: "If I had cherished iniquity in my
heart, the Lord would not have listened." (Ps 66:18). Isaiah hears God
say to the sinning people: "When you spread forth your hands (the
Jews prayed with the hands stretched out, palms upwards), I will hide
my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not
listen; your hands are full of blood" (Isa 1:15). Ezekiel says of the
disobedient people: "Though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will
not hear them" (Eze 8:18). Conversely they believed that the prayer
of a good man was always heard. "The eyes of the Lord are toward
the righteous, and his ears toward their cry" (Ps 34:15). "He
fulfils the desire of all who fear him, he also hears their cry, and
saves them." (Ps 145:19). "The Lord is far from the wicked; but he
hears the prayer of the righteous" (Prov 15:29). [Barclay Commentary]
When they regard iniquity in their heart when they wish to be
saved, and yet abide in their sins-- when they will not separate
themselves from the workers and works of iniquity. In all these cases, God
heareth not sinners. (Adam Clarke Commentary)
The passage has no reference to the prayers which sinners make
for salvation..... The only prayers which God will not hear are those
which are offered in mockery, or when the man loves his sins and is
unwilling to give them up. Such prayers God will not hear, :
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me;" ,(Barnes'
What about the blind man Jesus and the disciples discovered?
The followers thought he was a great theological case study.
"Why do you think he's blind?" one asked.
"He must have sinned."
"No, it's his folks' fault."
"Jesus, what do you think? Why is he blind?"
"He's blind to show what God can do."
The apostles knew what was coming; they had seen this look in
Jesus' eyes before. They knew what he was going to do, but they didn't
know how he was going to do it. "Lightning? Thunder? A shout? A clap
of the hands?" They all watched.
Jesus began to work his mouth a little. The onlookers stared.
"What is he doing?" He moved his jaw as if he were chewing on
Some of the people began to get restless. Jesus just chewed. His
jaw rotated around until he had what he wanted. Spit. Ordinary
If no one said it, somebody had to be thinking it: "Yuk!"
Jesus spat on the ground, stuck his finger into the puddle, and
stirred. Soon it was a mud pie, and he smeared some of the mud across the
blind man's eyes.
The same One who'd turned a stick into a scepter and a pebble
into a missile now turned saliva and mud into a balm for the blind.
Once again, the mundane became majestic. Once again the dull
became divine, the humdrum holy. Once again God's power was seen, not
through the ability of the instrument, but through its availability.
"Blessed are the meek," Jesus explained. Blessed are the
available. Blessed are the conduits, the tunnels, the tools. Deliriously
joyful are the ones who believe that if God has used sticks, rocks, and
spit to do his will, then he can use us. (From The Applause of Heaven
by Max Lucado) [Inspirational SB]
The Lord loves to do things differently. At least four times He
opened blind eyes, and He does it a different way each time, depending
on the personality and the circumstances.
The Lord deals with each of us, not en masse, but as
individuals. Each of us is a special object of the grace and care and
faithfulness of God. If you were the only one on the face of the earth, He
would still take care of you. This is demonstrated here. He made clay
and put it on the man's eyes. And this calls for two things from the
man: faith and obedience. The moment he obeyed, he had deliverance.
Deliverance comes from obedience ....
To follow Him means not to walk in darkness. Here is a man who
has never seen the light of day, or seen a tree or a flower, or seen
his mother. He has never seen anything. He has always lived in the
dark. How glad I am the Savior is the light of the world and can come
into any darkened heart that wants to know God. The moment your heart
is open to Him, the light shines in. John G. Mitchell [Time With
The man who was born blind, whose eyes were opened at the pool
of Siloam, said, "One thing I know." This simple statement I want
to turn into a pointed question. Among the many things, dear
friends, that you are acquainted with, do you know the one thing that
this poor man knew, "Whereas I was blind, now I see"? There is a
wealth of self-knowledge in this single avowal. Little enough, I
daresay, he knew about other people, but he knew a great deal about
himself. He was well aware that he once was blind; and he was quite
positive he now could see. Oh! can you say it with sincerity-"I know that
I was once blind; I could see no beauty in Christ, though I
thought I saw great beauties in the world. Then I could not love God; I
did not hate sin; I had no repentance, nor had I any faith; I was
blind; but now-oh, blessed change-now I see my sin, and weep over it;
now I see a Saviour and I trust him; now I see his service, and I
delight to spend my strength in it. One thing I know." What a marvelous
experience of a wonderful thing that implies! (Charles H. Spurgeon) [Spirit
Filled Life Devotional SB re John 9:25]
A Blind Man Sees the Light
Our sight is a wonderful gift from God. We marvel at the fiery
colors of a sunset, the rich pastels of spring and the delicate beauty
of a flower. How tragic it must be to never see the light of day.
Yet there is a far greater tragedy than physical blindness. In this
passage Jesus meets a man who has been blind from birth. The man
illustrates that those who are blind often see clearly, while those with
sight see nothing at all.... Before you begin this chapter about various
kinds of blindness and sight, ask God to open your eyes so that you
can see what he has for you. [Quiet Time SB]
"I actually thought no one could tell I was drinking." Josh
Perez studied his hands for a moment before he looked up at the group.
"I got caught the first time I got drunk. I thought about quitting
then. But my friends were into it, so I kept drinking with them."
Josh paused and took a deep breath. Then he continued, "Before
long, I didn't need them as an excuse to drink. I enjoyed it so much I
drank every chance I could." A few other teenagers in the group nodded
knowingly. Josh relaxed a bit.
"I figured I was maintaining pretty well. I kept my position on
the baseball team and my grades hadn't slipped too far. I tried to
be careful with curfews and covering the alcohol on my breath.
"One day, my dad made some comment to me about how I was gonna
end up just like him. That shocked me! Dad's an alcoholic. And it
"So I talked to my youth leader, and he suggested I get into
this support group," Josh said as his eyes swept over the teenagers
seated in a circle. "I really thought I had everyone fooled. I guess
the only one blind to my drinking problem was me."
Jesus encountered blind people of all kinds. Read John 9:1-41 to
see the key to true sight.
* What are the similarities and differences between Josh's
blindness and the Pharisees' blindness? Between Josh's blindness and that
of the man blind from birth?
* What does this Bible passage tell us about being blind to sin?
* Consider asking God to open your eyes to areas where you are
blind to sin.
* Consider asking a good friend to tell you about a blind spot
in your life, then working to change it. [Youth SB]
Suppose you were a roving reporter walking the streets of your
city and asking people, "Who in your estimation is Jesus Christ?"
What kind of answers would you expect to get?
In John 9 the man born blind was asked that very question .....
not once but several times. And each time he responded, the man had
a clearer picture of who Jesus Christ was. In verse 17 "he is a
prophet"; in verse 33 a "man ..... of God"; and in verse 38 the man fell at
Jesus' feet and worshiped Him as Lord.
Perhaps when you were first introduced to Jesus, you thought of
Him as a great teacher ..... preacher ..... or example. But that's not
how John presents Him. He wants to convince you that Jesus is
nothing less than the Son of God, and that only through Him can you
discover what life is all about (20:30-31).
Are you, like the man born blind, ready to change your opinion
regarding Christ? He patiently waits for you to worship Him as Lord .....
nothing less will do. Will you acknowledge Him as your Sovereign right
now? [Your Daily Walk SB]