John 9:41 – how it sheds light on 1 John 1:9

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

Here ‘blind’ refers to recognising you’re a sinner and Jesus therefore says that if you admit (just admit) that you have a sin problem, you HAVE NO GUILT.

This was a staggering truth of Paul’s later grace message, taught clearly before the cross.

Going back to verse 34 They (the pharissees answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

He goes on in verse 39to say “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

It seems self explanatory that Jesus here is using physical blindness as a picture of being spiritually blind – or as Paul would call is in Ephesians 2 ‘dead in sin’.

Now, the word for ‘judgement’ in verse 39 is krima – a decision (the function or the effect, for or against [“crime”])

So again it seems clear that Jesus is distinguishing between those who admit their sin problem – who have no guilt – and those who think they are all right, whose guilt remains.

Personally I believe we MUST read 1 John 1:9 – written by the same John who penned these verses – in the light of this. John is again talking about agreeing that you have a sin problem. He isn’t making a comment about individual acts of sin. He’s re-stating Jesus’ position that those who know they have sinned and admit it have no guilt.

Remember confess is homologeo – which means simply to same the same things as someone or something.



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