Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of John Chapter 9
Metaphysically Interpreting John 9:1-12
9:1And as he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. 9:2And his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind? 9:3Jesus answered, Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 9:4We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 9:5When I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 9:6When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed his eyes with the clay, 9:7and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went away therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 9:8The neighbors therefore, and they that saw him aforetime, that he was a beggar, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9:9Others said, It is he: others said, No, but he is like him. He said, I am he. 9:10They said therefore unto him, How then were thine eyes opened? 9:11He answered, The man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to Siloam, and wash: so I went away and washed, and I received sight. 9:12And they said unto him, Where is he? He saith, I know not.
March 19, 1905: John 9:1-11
There are sins of commission and sins of omission. This lesson is on the sin of omission. The man born blind had not committed sin; neither had his parents. The inquiry, “Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” indicates a previous incarnation of the man in the flesh body, where it is possible he may have sinned. This belief in the continuous incarnations of man was accepted by all those Scripture writers who were spiritually wise. The “tents” and “ tabernacles,” in which the children of Israel lived in the wilderness, are the symbols of the flesh bodies that they put on and off again and again. Solomon's temple is a symbol of the regenerated body of man, which, when he attains, he will never again leave. But in order to build this indestructible body, we must make manifest the works of God.
The “works of God” which we are to “make manifest” are the perfect ideas of a perfect man-Idea in Divine Mind. “Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” We are to bring forth all the powers of Being. If through neglect or laziness or belief in inability, we fail to do this, we fall under the judgment of the constantly ongoing law, which is inwardly urging us, and in all the outward visibilities of Nature, proclaiming, “Go forward.” Like the husbandman with the fruit tree (John 15:1-11), we are doing a double work. The first and most important is to produce a sturdy, substantial growth, and the second is the pruning and directing of the branches.
The sin of omission is even greater than the sin of commission. There is some hope of the one who is an active sinner, but what can we expect of one who makes no effort to do for himself, but simply drifts with the tide, or looks to others for all things? That is what this blind man represents. He was a blind beggar, one who had no perception of his own capacity, and no confidence in his power to rise superior to conditions in the material realm. The world is full of people in this blind, beggarly state. They sit by the wayside and wait for the workers to give them pennies and crusts, when they might be “manifestors” and producers themselves.
The key to the situation is the denial of material darkness and ignorance and inability. The putting on the eyes of the clay shows how man makes opaque his understanding by affirming the power of material conditions to hamper and impede his spiritual and material growth. The washing away of this clay by the man himself, shows how we must deny by our own volition and efforts these seeming mountains of environing material conditions.
The starting point is in the mind. Begin to handle the situation mentally at first, and as you proceed to do away with the thought limitation, the surrounding conditions will gradually change, and you will find yourself “seeing” as a result of your efforts to do the will of Him that sends us all, the One Supreme Mind.
November 30, 1913: John 9:1-11
In the consciousness are many formed thoughts that are not quickened into active perception, except through the impulse of the I Am in a specific way. For instance, one may not discern the difference between the supplicating, begging prayer and the I Am prayer of affirmation. Such a one would have in him a “blind beggar.”
There are sins of commission and sins of omission. In this example it would be a sin of omission: the right relation of man to God and the law through which things are made manifest had never been revealed to the consciousness of this “blind beggar.” But the uneducated faculties or “disciples” look upon all sins as of commission, the result of error on the part of parents, or the acts of the person in a previous life experience; hence, “Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” The I Am answers, “Neither, ... but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” The I Am “must work the works of him that sent me,” “I am the light (understanding) of the world.” The I Am must bring forth in their right relation those dormant powers of the mind and quicken them in perception, understanding and realization.
Earth is typical of ignorance, which is the condition in which the I Am finds the bodily states of mind within itself. They are not in the light; they are on a low plane of consciousness, deep in the belief in the reality of matter, and they must be cleansed of this wrong concept by bridging the gulf for them between matter and Spirit with an idea that is in harmony with their consciousness. This is typified by the saliva used by Jesus to mix the clay which he put on the blind man's eyes, and which is typical of the Universal Substance reality back of matter. The sense concept of substance must be erased from the thought that would see clearly the real, hence the command, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.”
The “universal ether” of natural science is the “earth without form and void,” but back of it is the I Am idea upon which that earth rests, and this idea must be revealed through the cleansing waters, or denials of the I Am. This process of so quickening the body consciousness and raising it to the highest spiritual realization can be demonstrated by anyone. Even physical scientists are impinging in their experiments in psychology upon this law through which the I Am forms and transforms its environments.
Prof. Gates says that he can raise the temperature of his hand by centering his attention upon it for a time, and also increase its size. He proved this by placing his hand and arm in a vessel filled with water, then centering his attention upon the part the water began to run over the side of the vessel, proving conclusively that there was an increase in size.
This is an example of how the I Am can increase or decrease, make intelligent or keep in ignorance, make strong or weak, sick or well, any of its organs by centering its attention upon them. But we must know that all power is given unto the I Am. It can not only increase the size and temperature, but it can do all things with these members which it desires, if it goes about it in the right way. This right way comes through understanding of Truth, as revealed by the Spirit of Truth open to everyone.
Sunday, February 7, 1926: John 9:1-9
What does the beggar born blind represent metaphysically? In a metaphysical sense the beggar born blind represents one who has developed no spiritual understanding, but depends entirely upon others for the word “that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Why did the disciples of Jesus ask him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind?” The disciples of Jesus understood that the man incarnating had had previous existence and that each soul is characterized by what it has evolved or has not evolved in past incarnations; also that the mentality of the parents has an effect upon the functions of the body.
Why did the Pharisees and the Sadducees condemn the healing, because it was done on the Sabbath, the day of rest? The Pharisees and the Sadducees represent in this connection the crystallized religious thoughts about religious laws. They attributed all physical infirmities to sin, and when the sin was expressed in the body in some physical ill, it was to them evidence of Jehovah's displeasure; therefore they believed that such conditions should not be disturbed. No work was to be done on the Sabbath day, and according to their interpretation, making the clay and putting it on the blind man's eyes was work. Thus, Jesus came under their condemnation.
Was the blindness of the beggar mentioned in this lesson caused by some sin committed in a former incarnation, or was it caused by a sin on the part of his parents? Jesus was teaching that there are sins of omission, as well as sins of commission, and that the soul of the blind beggar was guilty of omission. “Neither did this man sin; nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
Christ taught that man is the light of the world and that he must do the works of Him by whom he was sent, because the night comes when no man can Work. Explain. The blind beggar had been so immersed in matter and in material beliefs that he was in soul darkness and made no effort of himself to understand spiritual things. Such a one must have the help of the higher self, the Christ, or the light of the world.
What is the first movement in a metaphysical treatment for one who needs spiritual light? When the perception of Truth enters the mind, the prevailing thoughts of matter and the limitations of sense should be denied. This denial symbolically represented by Jesus’ putting the clay on the man's eyes and telling him to wash in Siloam. Siloam means “sent” or “castaway.”
What is symbolized by the questionings and the doubtings of the neighbors, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees in regard to the beggar’s receiving his sight? When Truth enters the darkened mentality, the change is so sudden and the understanding is so transformed that the results are almost unbelievable. The light works in the mind from center to circumference; the associated thoughts (neighbors) and the religious thoughts (Pharisees and Sadducees) question and doubt.
October 20, 1929: John 9:4
What did Jesus mean by the statement, “We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work”? When the inspiration of God moves us and we respond and do His will, we have the “day,” or the light, and we should act upon our inspiration. On the other hand, if we neglect to do the will of Him that sent us, we shall sink into darkness, ignorance, “night.”
February 7, 1937: John 9:1-11
What does the beggar born blind represent? He represents the person who through failure to express his innate powers has developed no spiritual perception.
How does a man prepare his mind to perceive Truth? Willingness to accept Truth is the first step to perception of it.
What mental attitude is in harmony with Truth where the imperfections of another person are under consideration? The right attitude is that of trying to compensate for or remove the imperfection, rather than fixing the blame or speculating on the cause.
Interpret the saying “The night cometh, when no man can work.” He who lacks understanding is in mental darkness and is unable to do intelligent work, because he does not know what he is doing.
How does man realize inspiration and power? Both these states are realized through the proper use of the I AM. Our grasp of what the I AM presents to us determines the nature of our world.
What is the meaning of Siloam? Siloam means “sent,” “sending forth, or putting away.” To wash in Siloam is to deny all belief in materiality and affirm the spiritual nature of all substance.
What is the immediate result when the spiritual perceptions are quickened? Man begins at once to see life in a new way. He no longer acknowledges that problems are beyond his ability to solve, for he knows that all things are possible with God, and that he is with God in the Christ Spirit.
October 1, 1944: John 9:1-7
What class of persons is represented by the man blind from birth? Those who have developed no spiritual perception. He lives again in all those who have had no childhood training in spiritual subjects or have no inherent bent toward them, but who are content to live entirely on the surface and interest themselves only in material things.
Is it profitable to inquire into the use of such a condition and to attempt to fix the responsibility for it? No. Time spent in trying to fix the responsibility for a negative state is time wasted. It is better to look on the negative condition as an opportunity to correct the defect through the power of the Christ mind by means of the I AM.
“We must work ... while it is day.” What does this mean? While we are conscious of the enlightenment of the Christ and can work effectually because of it, we must lose no time.
When can we do no work? When we have no insight into the needs to be relieved and no understanding of what we are to do or the means to be employed. In such a state it is better to make no move, but to wait for light to dawn on the mind.
What is “the light of the world”? The Spirit of the Christ that we bring into manifestation in the world by claiming it within ourselves and expressing it through the I AM. The higher wisdom and intelligence are made manifest in the world in this Way.
What does the clay represent? It represents materiality. This is to be washed away before the material-minded person can see with the eye of the mind or use his innate powers of discernment.
What is the significance of “Siloam (... interpretation, Sent)”? It means “sending forth” or putting away, and signifies that we are to deny away false ideas. Following the denial, we are to affirm the spirituality of all substance.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 9:13-34
9:13They bring to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 9:14Now it was the sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 9:15Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. And he said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and I see. 9:16Some therefore of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, because he keepeth not the sabbath. But others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such signs? And there was division among them. 9:17They say therefore unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, in that he opened thine eyes? And he said, He is a prophet.
9:18The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight,9:19and asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? How then doth he now see? 9:20His parents answered and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 9:21but how he now seeth, we know not; or who opened his eyes, we know not: ask him; he is of age; he shall speak for himself. 9:22These things said his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man should confess him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 9:23Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
9:24So they called a second time the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give glory to God: we know that this man is a sinner. 9:25He therefore answered, Whether he is a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 9:26They said therefore unto him, What did he to thee? How opened he thine eyes? 9:27He answered them, I told you even now, and ye did not hear; wherefore would ye hear it again? would ye also become his disciples? 9:28And they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are disciples of Moses. 9:29We know that God hath spoken unto Moses: but as for this man, we know not whence he is. 9:30The man answered and said unto them, Why, herein is the marvel, that ye know not whence he is, and yet he opened mine eyes. 9:31We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth. 9:32Since the world began it was never heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. 9:33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. 9:34They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
December 7, 1924: John 9:13-17
What is the main theme of this lesson? The main theme of this lesson is the teaching of the quickening of spiritual discernment, that is, how to see with the inner eye.
Did the Pharisees understand the real meaning of the Sabbath? The Pharisees regarded the keeping of the Sabbath day as a commandment to be observed in the letter. They did not understand spiritually. They condemned Jesus, because he broke the Mosaic law by healing a blind man on the Sabbath.
What does the blind beggar represent? The blind beggar represents one who has failed to express spiritual understanding.
What has the statement that it was the Sabbath day, when Jesus opened the man’s eyes, to do until the condition of this blind beggar? The Sabbath day is the day of rest from outer work. Applied to this man’s mentality, the statement means that he was not doing anything in the way of outer expression, but that on the contrary he was mentally resting and failing to express or manifest his talents.
What type of mind is typified by this darkened, beggarly state of consciousness? The type of mind symbolized by the blind beggar is usually represented by those who “see in a mirror, darkly;” (I Cor. 13:12) in other words, by those who ask others for help instead of turning to the light within and applying their own powers.
What is represented by Jesus’ putting the clay on the blind man's eyes and then instructing him to wash the clay away? In this lesson, clay represents the thought of being hampered by material conditions, and the washing, away of the clay shows how, by denial, the mind may be cleansed of this thought.
February 14, 1943: John 9:18-38
What does the beggar born blind represent? He represents one who has developed no spiritual perception, but who is entirely dependent on others for his opinions and his faith.
What is the cause of spiritual blindness or lack of perception? Failure to express the powers of perception that are innate in one.
What do the Jews represent? Our traditional religious beliefs. These follow set patterns that allow for no change of belief even in the face of new and convincing proof. “The Jews ... did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight.”
What does the constructive approach accomplish? It takes the thoughts off the origin of sin and puts them on our opportunity to prove the law of life instead.
Why did Jesus cover the blind eyes with clay? Clay is a symbol of materiality, and this is the state of bodily consciousness of the one who is in the condition of the blind beggar.
Why was the man told to “go, wash in the pool of Siloam”? He had to erase from his thought the sense concept of substance before he could see clearly the real spiritual substance back of all things. This form of denial is represented by washing.
Can anyone quicken the body consciousness by denial and affirmation? Yes, this quickening is within the reach of all who will observe the law of thought control.
What is our problem today with respect to the Christ consciousness? It is that of creating a Christian atmosphere that will pervade every realm of thought, feeling, or action, in fact all of life.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 9:35-41
9:35Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and finding him, he said, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 9:36He answered and said, And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him? 9:37Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and he it is that speaketh with thee.9:38And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 9:39And Jesus said, For judgment came I into this world, that they that see not may see; and that they that see may become blind. 9:40Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said unto him, Are we also blind? 9:41Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye would have no sin: but now ye say, We see: your sin remaineth.
December 7, 1924: John 9:26-38
Why did Jesus say to the blind beggar: “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” Jesus had awakened the man's intellectual understanding, but the awakening was not complete until the man had been grounded in the divine Sonship.
The man said to Jesus: “And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him?” Jesus answered: “Thou hast both seen him, and he it is that speaketh with thee.”
Was Jesus referring here to his own personality? It is quite evident that Jesus was instructing the man to have faith in his indwelling Lord. This is borne out by the answer which the man gave in verse 38: “Lord, I believe.”
October 1, 1944: John 9:34-41
Why does traditional faith (the Pharisees) have no use for (cast out) the one whose spiritual vision has been quickened? Because faith that is rooted in tradition has nothing in common with Truth for Truth's sake. Its foundation is the authority of past leaders and thinkers, not Truth itself.
Jesus, hearing that the man whose sight He had restored had been put out of the synagogue, searched for and found him and asked him: “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” What does this part of the story teach us? That the one who is done with the limitations of tradition is not for that reason left without a basis on which to rest his faith; he is ready to place his faith on a higher, surer basis, namely the Christ. “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-13-2014