When the Jews tried to kill the Lord, He “passed by” them (John 8:59). “And as He passed by, He saw a man which was blind from His birth” (9:1). This was symbolic of the Lord’s ministry to Israel. As the rulers rejected Him, He passed them by, and turned to individuals who wanted His help. He still does this today. If you reject the Savior, He will pass you by and turn to someone who wants to be saved from their sins.
This blind beggar (9:8) was a type of the nation of Israel, spiritually blind and impoverished. If they’d been good, God would make sure they were rich (Deut.28:1-3,12), but since they were bad, they were poor slaves to Rome, and spiritually bankrupt as well (Deut.28:15,16,43,44).
The man was “blind from his birth” (9:1), a type of Israel, spiritually blind from their birth at the Red Sea, where the water broke and gave birth to a nation (Deut.26:5). They showed they were blind from birth immediately after when they clamored in unbelief for food and water. The Lord healed the blind man as a type of Israel’s future restoration.
Even today men wonder if people are afflicted with blindness, etc., because they sinned (John 9:2 cf. Acts 28:1-4 cf. Book of Job). The Jews believed a man could be born blind because of sin because they believed that if a baby could struggle in the womb (Gen.25:21,22), he could sin. Also, the non-inspired Book of Wisdom 8:19, found in the Apocrapha, teaches the pre-existence of the soul, so some Jews no doubt wrongly believed this blind man could have sinned before his birth. (This is one of many proofs that the Apocrapha is not inspired of God). And if they believed that, they may have believed in re-incarnation, and that the man was paying for sins of a past life with his blindness.
They also thought maybe his parents sinned, because of Exodus 20:4,5. God often punished children for their parents’ sins because they were in the loins of their father when they sinned (cf. Heb. 7:9,10). This helps us understand how Adam’s sin condemns us (Romans 5).
The Lord didn’t mean to say the blind man or his parents had never sinned, only that their sin wasn’t the cause of his blindness (John 9:3). Things like blindness and towers falling just happen (Luke 13:1-5). When that tower fell on people at the Indiana state fair earlier this year, it wasn’t a judgment of God. Of course, the Jews were under the Law that said if they were bad, God would punish them, but God specified what punishments He would give, and blindness and falling towers were not specified in Deuteronomy 28.
The Lord said the man was born blind “that the works of God should be made manifest” (John 9:3). The Lord didn’t cause him to be born blind, but allowed it to show His glory. All birth defects are a result of Adam’s sin, and all will allow God to show His glory when He heals them at the Rapture. Imagine how much glory a man would re-ceive for curing just one disease, say cancer. Now imagine how much glory the Lord will receive for healing all!
You say, “But not all will believe, so not all will be healed.” That’s not God’s fault! All this helps answer the philosophical question of why God created man in the first place, knowing he would sin. The answer is, to show His glory when He saves men. Of course, not all men will believe and be saved, but that’s not God’s fault either!
They had torches back then, so why did the Lord say men couldn’t work at night (John 9:4)? Men worked at night in the Bible (IChron.9:33). He was talking about the night of death. Not even the Son of God could do miraculous works when He was dead, according to John 9:4.
Why was the Lord talking about working while it was yet day, working while He was still alive? He was about to heal the blind man on the Sabbath day (9:14), and He knew He would get grief for it, as He always did (9:15ff). So He was explaining that He had to work on the Sabbath, because His time was running out!
The Lord understood He had only one life to do what God sent Him to do. Do you understand that the time you have left to serve the Lord is running out as well?