The main theme of John 8 – 9 is “Light”. John 8 contains the teaching in the form of an “I am” saying developed into a discourse. John 9 is an act that confirms “the revelation” through the healing of the man born blind. The reactions and responses to Jesus’ teaching and action are also reported between teaching and miracle.
Structure of John 8: 12 – 9: 41
The section can divided in the following way.
John 8: 12-38 – Discourse
John 8: 39-59 – Dispute between Jesus and Jews (Reactions)
John 9: 1-41 – Healing of the man born blind
Jesus is still in the temple (Jn 8: 20). The Feast of Tabernacles is still going on. This context is very relevant to understand the full import of the message of Jesus.
After speaking about the light, Jesus refers to his passion, death, and resurrection using the typical expression “the lifting up of the Son of Man” (Jn 8: 28; Cf. 3: 14).
Later, Jesus teaches about the truth that will make the disciples free (Jn 8: 31-32). This is followed by a provocative teaching of Jesus and the controversy with the Jews.
John 9 is the narration of the healing of the man born blind. This is different from the Synoptic traditions of healing of the blind (Mk 8: 22-26; 10: 46-52; Mt 20: 29-34; Lk 18: 35-43). The Synoptic evangelists reinterpret the miracle of Jesus in favour of the theology of discipleship. Whereas in the Gospel of John, this is the revelation of the identity of Jesus’ divine Sonship as ‘light of the world’. The blind man confesses his blindness and progressively receives the sight and proclaims his faith in Jesus as the Son of God. In contrast, the Jewish leaders pretend that they can see; and they know who Jesus is and are not able to recognize the real identity of Jesus. They are in fact in darkness.