The New Testament Miracle that Reversed an Old Testament Curse

Guest-blog post from Dr. Matt Williams of the Deeper Connections DVD Bible Studies

Jesus heals a blind man in John chapter nine. To most of us, this seems like a pretty cool miracle, and it is, but there is so much more behind this miracle that we miss because we do not understand the first century context. When we take the time to learn this historical context, the passage pops!

Blindness in first century Judaism was just slightly better than death. In Jesus’s day, blindness was seen as a punishment for sin. This was taken from OT passages such as Deuteronomy 28, where the Lord warns the Jewish people that he will bring curses upon them if they are disobedient: “The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. At midday, you will grope about like a blind person in the dark” (Deut 28:28-29). Healing the blind man shows us that Jesus is reversing the curses of the Old Testament. He is fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies that when the Messiah comes to save us, the blind will see (see Isaiah 35). Healing the blind is a sign that our Messiah has come.

Another interesting background is that this miracle continues the theme of John 8, where Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” The context of this statement is the Jewish feast of Tabernacles, where, at night, they would light huge fires in the temple courts and dance. It was a night like no other: when night time was as bright as day time. This was a special day in a context with no electricity. Into that context, Jesus declares himself the “light of the world,” the One who lights our path to the only true God, the One who takes darkness away from our lives, the One who lights our way to true life.

And Jesus only asks for one thing from the blind man…and from us today: to recognize who he is and have faith in him. Jesus asks the blind man (John 9:35-38),

Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Those who believe in Jesus not only gain sight, but their entire life is illumined from within.

Dr. Matt Williams, Biola University — the associate professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, La Mirada, California. A former missionary to Spain, Matt preaches and teaches at churches throughout the United States and Spain. He is general editor of Colección Teológica Contemporánea, a series of theological books in Spanish, and is the author of two books on the Gospels. Click here to learn more about Dr. Williams’ new DVD Series The Forgiveness of Jesus DVD Bible Study.

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Many of Jesus’ greatest teachings on forgiveness occur while he’s healing someone or even breaking cultural expectations. The crowds were amazed by his power to heal. But Jesus was showing them a greater truth— the power of forgiveness.

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  • Two Aspects of Healing: Jesus Forgives the Paralytic
  • Spiritual Sight: Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
  • Hope for Sinners: Jesus’ Dinner Invitation
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Find Out Fascinating Facts That Will Add Depth To Your Understanding

Find out fascinating facts as you get a solid overview of the miracles of Jesus. Enjoy learning important background information, cultural context, and incredible insight, including:

  • In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, it was incredibly shameful in Jewish culture for the father to run because in order to do so, he had to lift his floor-length robes and expose his bare legs.
  • Tax collectors (known as tax farmers) actually bought the right to become a tax collector. They could set the “tax rates” for those in their region to whatever they wanted. They were hated because of this.
  • The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth. It’s salt content is so high you can’t even swim in it; you can only float.
  • In first-century Jewish society, to eat with sinners also meant to refrain from condemning them.

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One Thought on “The New Testament Miracle that Reversed an Old Testament Curse

  1. No keeping on December 21, 2019 at 10:22 pm said:

    As concerning the Word of life, Luke 10 section 25-28 says: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
    Luke 18 section 18-25 says: A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'” “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
    Matthew 5 section 43-48 says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    In Old Testament, the Jewish people and their ancestors were given The Laws to observe. First, Adam and Eve should observed was that they could not eat the fruits from the tree of wisdom. Then, their son Cain was told that he should not kill. As sins became increased, the laws were also added more. Up to the generation of Moses, the laws in Old Testament were given to Israelites. We know that The Laws are good and The Laws are used to punish people who commit sins, but people cannot obey The Laws because the sinful spirits are in people. Even that we know stealing and giving false testaments are sinful, but greedy and pride spirit in us drive us to do sinful things. So as Old Testament prophesied we need to get rid of our sinful nature from our spirit.
    Jeremiah 31 section 31-33 says: “The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
    Ezekiel 36 section 24-27 says: “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
    The prophecies are fulfilled when Jesus begin to teach love. The two greatest commandments are ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Love is above the Laws and if people have love they are not under the bondage of the Laws. If a person who is full of love will not think about stealing or giving false testimony but will give needy people what they need. The Laws are for people who commit sins. Nobody will say that he will get reward because he does not steal before. But love is the grace we get. And with love we will get eternal life.
    Romans 13 section 8-10 says: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
    Luke 17 section 20-21 says: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say,’ Here it is,’ or ‘ There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
    John 4 section 23-23 says: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

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