(Some of the clauses I have given subheadings to help explain the structure. In the whole of this account Jesus only speaks to the man in C and C’, the Pharisees ask the man how he received his sight in F and F’, they give their opinion(s) of Christ in H and H’. The central section emphasises the contrast between the man and his parents and the ‘blindness’ of the Jews. They don’t believe Christ when he reveals his identity, they don’t believe the man is who he says he is either. They have to seek confirmation from the man’s parents. The irony here is that Jesus’ identity is discovered by knowing who his Father is.)
A (1-3) And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
B (4-5) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
C JESUS AND THE MAN – THE MAN RECEIVES NATURAL SIGHT
(6-7) When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
D THE MAN TEACHES THE PEOPLE – HE IS A WITNESS OF JESUS’ MIRACLE
(8-11) The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
E (12) Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
F THE PHARISEES QUESTION THE MAN
(13-15a) They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight.
G (15b) He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
H THE PHARISEES’ OPINION OF JESUS
(16) Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
I THE MAN’S ANSWER
(17) They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
J (18-19) But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
I’ THE PARENTS’ ANSWER
(20-23) His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
H’ THE PHARISEES’ OPINION OF JESUS
(24) Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
G’ (25) He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
F’ THE PHARISEES QUESTION THE MAN
(26-27) Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
E’ (28-29) Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
D’ THE MAN TEACHES THE PHARISEES – HE IS A WITNESS THAT JESUS’ POWER IS FROM GOD
(30-34) The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
C’ JESUS AND THE MAN – THE MAN RECEIVES SPIRITUAL SIGHT
(35-38) Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
B’ (39) And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
A’ (40-41) And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.