39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
In verses 39 to 41, the scene now shifts to the Pharisees’ attitude toward truth.
Jesus’ coming into the world has two diametrically opposite effects. Some embrace Him as Savior, but other reject Him. Their outcomes rest in the hands of Jesus. In verses 39 to 41, Jesus condemned the Pharisees.
This chapter began with a man who was physically blind but who eventually saw, both physically and spiritually. The chapter concludes with people who had physical sight but were spiritually blind.
39 And Jesus said,
Now Jesus talked to a crowd including the man healed and Pharisees, among others.
“For judgment I have come into this world,
The Father sent Jesus into the world to make judgment or evaluation about those who accept the truth and those who do not (Jn 5:22, 27). Jesus separates believers from unbelievers in the world. Jesus is the one who mediates issues of salvation. How people respond to Jesus will be the basis of their judgment or salvation.
The “judgment” here is not ultimate judgment of condemnation, but it is the decision that Jesus makes on those who believe or do not believe.
Jesus will make the final decision about those who believe or do not believe in Him. He will execute the inevitable result of rejecting Him or believing Him. The eternal destiny of people rests on their decision about Christ. Every person encounters this decision for himself or herself.
that those who do not see may see,
“Those who do not see” are those who admit their inability to know transcendent truth by natural means. They also acknowledge that Jesus gives them sight beyond their natural ability to see. God has given them grace to receive the light of the world.
and that those who see may be made blind.”
The blind who believe are those who admit their helplessness in coming to eternal life. Those who see but are blind are those who trust in themselves rather than in the wonder of Christ. These people blind themselves by rejecting Christ.
Those “who see” are those who see from the viewpoint of themselves. People who begin with themselves (solipsism) reject revelation of the Son. Those “made blind” are those blind to the truth about Jesus. These people trust in themselves, not in what God has to say.
Unbelief is self-induced blindness to God.
Today we live in an age of solipsism; these people measure reality by consulting their personal opinions. Jesus came to make judgment about those who think they see spiritually but are spiritually blind. People need to see their spiritual blindness. Religion without Christ is satanic spiritual blindness (2 Co 4:4-6).
Those who go negative in volition toward Christ are judicially incapable of apprehending divine truth. They are blind to spiritual things and deceive themselves by rejecting the light (Jn 7:34).
As the Pharisees became more and more hardened to Jesus, so people of our day become harder to the gospel the more they reject it. The same sun that melts wax hardens clay. People can become so self-deceived that they shut their eyes to the light. How can they come to Christ if they deliberately reject Him?