He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?—For “Lord” it would be better to read Sir, as in John 4:11; John 4:19; John 5:7, et. al. The man does not express by it more than the reverence to a prophet or teacher. He recognises Him by the voice which he had heard before, and now for the first time sees Him. He is ready to believe on the Messiah whom all expected, and he feels that this prophet, who had opened his eyes, can tell him who the Messiah is. The form of the question, “Who is He?” suggests that he half expected that He, upon whom he looked, was more than a prophet, and was none other than the Messiah Himself. In the absence of any such thought, the question would have taken a vague form, such as “Where is He?” or “When shall He appear?” He asks as one who knows that the object of his faith is at hand.John 9:7, but he was prepared to acknowledge him when he did see him. He inquired, therefore, who the person was, or wished that he might be pointed out to him, that he might see him. This passage shows that he was disposed to believe, and had a strong desire to see and hear the Son of God.
Lord - This word here, as in many other instances in the New Testament, means "Sir." It is clear that the man did not know that it was the Lord Jesus that addressed him, and he therefore replied to him in the common language of respect, and asked him to point out to him the Son of God. The word translated "Lord" here is rendered "Sir" in John 4:11; John 20:15; John 12:21; Acts 16:30; Matthew 27:63. It should have been also here, and in many other places.We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost, Acts 19:2). But, saith he, Lord, I am ready to believe on him, may I but know who he is. Our Lord had prepared this poor man’s heart for the receiving of him; there wanted now nothing but the due revelation of the Messiah unto him. This our Saviour giveth him.
who is the Lord that I might believe in him? which shows, that though he knew there was a Messiah expected, and he believed in him as to come, yet he knew not that he was already come, nor the particular person in human nature, who was the Messiah, and the Son of God; even though he had been cured of his blindness by him, and had vindicated him, and pleaded for him before the sanhedrim, and had also suffered for him; which makes it appear, that Christ does many and great things for his people before they know him: nor does their interest in him, in his favour, and in the blessings of his grace, depend upon their knowledge of him, and faith in him; as likewise, that a man may plead for Christ, and suffer much for him, and yet be ignorant of him: however, there were in this man desires of knowing Christ; he was not like those in Job 21:14; and there was a readiness in him to believe on him, as soon as he was pointed out to him; not that there is any natural disposition in men to believe, or any readiness in themselves to it, or that it is of themselves; nothing of this nature was in this man; but he having, by the power and grace of Christ, the principle of faith implanted in his heart, what he wanted was to be directed to the proper object of it, as he is in John 9:37.He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 9:36. The man’s answer shows that he was willing to believe in the Messiah if he could identify Him; and having already declared Jesus to be a prophet, he believed that He could tell him who the Messiah was. It may be taken for granted that although he had not seen Jesus since recovering his sight, he knew somehow that he was speaking to the person who had healed him; and was perhaps almost prepared for the great announcement (John 9:37): Καὶ ἑώρακας αὐτὸυ, “Thou hast both seen Him,” no doubt: with a reference to the blessing of restored eyesight; καὶ … ἐστιν. This direct revelation, similar to that given to the Samaritan woman (John 4:26), was elicited by the pitiable condition of the man as an outcast from the Jewish community, and by the perception that the man was ripe for faith.36. Who is he, Lord] We should perhaps insert ‘and’ or ‘then’ with some of the best MSS., and Who is He? or, Who is He then? This ‘and’ or ‘then’ has the effect of intensifying the question. Comp. ‘and who is my neighbour?’ (Luke 10:29); ‘Who then can be saved?’ (John 18:26); ‘Who is he then that maketh me glad?’ (2 Corinthians 2:2). ‘Lord’ should perhaps be ‘Sir’ as in John 4:11; John 4:15; John 4:19; John 4:49; John 5:7 (see on John 6:34): not until John 9:38 does he reach the point at which he would call Jesus ‘Lord.’ But it is the same Greek word in both cases, though the amount of reverence with which he uses it increases, as in the parallel case of the woman at the well.
that I might believe] Literally, in order that I may believe. S. John’s favourite construction again, as in John 9:2-3; John 9:22.John 9:36. Καὶ τίς, and who) καὶ τί, and what [has happened that]: ch. John 14:22, [How is it that.—Engl. Vers.] καὶ τίς, and who [is my neighbour?], Luke 10:29, Notes.—ἵνα, that) This depends on Tell me, and the, Tell me, lies hid in the, Who is He?—πιστεύσω, I may believe) It was a step in faith, that he accounts Jesus as one whom he must believe, whatsoever He may say.
 Καὶ “approves of the speech that immediately precedes, and yet adds something to it,” (of an adversative kind; but who; but what).—E. and T.Verse 36. - He answered and said, And who is he, that (ἵνα) I may believe on him? The conjunction adds much to the eagerness of the reply. His faith was ready for full expression. He half suspected, as the Samaritan woman (John 4:25) did, that Jesus was pointing to himself. The τίς; rather than τί; ("who?" rather than "what?") shows the intensity of the man's desire to find and hail and trust "the Son of God." The disposition, the posture, of his mind is that of faith. The adequate object for that faith has not been revealed to him. Apt symbol of many in their passage from darkness to light. When receptive, susceptible, conscious of need, with some notion, though an obscure one, of whom and of what they most of all need, many are disposed even now to utter the same importunate request.
The best texts insert καὶ, and; and who is he? which imparts an air of eagerness to the question.
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