Joh 9:39 BSB Then Jesus declared, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind.”

If this means condemnation then it's is hardly reconcilable to John 3:17

Joh 3:17 BSB For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

4 Answers 4


Those who arrogate themselves above the Lord and not accept Him as the Savior, by a pretense that they know it better and they, not Him, are true heirs of Law and Moses (John 9:29) are blind and incorrigible, because being blind they think to see (John 9:41); but those who confess that Moses is not enough for salvation and that Moses' Law cannot be fulfilled unless by Christ, this fulfillment even implying the Law's lawful self-abolition ("for by Law I died for Law" Gal. 2:19), and that without Christ they would still remain in sin and blindness, - they are the blessed blind whom the Lord enlightens ungrudgingly and graciously.

Thus, "judgment" here is essentially self-condemnation of those who not only disbelieve in the Lord Jesus Christ as in the Only-begotten Son of God (John 3:18), but, moreover, announce Him a liar (Matthew 27:63) in the "light" of their own understanding of the Law and prophets. This is that "light" which in reality is a blinding darkness (Luke 11;35). Thus, being blind and in sin, they believe to see and be sinless. By this they doom to incurability their spiritual blindness, and this is self-judgment and self-condemnation.

  • +1 Good theological answer. I've added a Scriptural basis for answer.
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 22, 2021 at 13:07
  • So for Self Condemnation I have come to this world? Jun 23, 2023 at 11:16
  • @FaithMendel “I came to show them the path of salvation which is understanding and accepting Me as their Savior, as the only one through whom they can come to the Father; but this puts them in front of a dilemma: either they love truth said by Me more than their own ideas, wishes and habits and take their cross and follow Me, or they hate Me and reject Me along with their own salvation; and this dilemma can be considered as a trial, a judgment, but not I, but their decision will judge them”. Jun 23, 2023 at 11:47

Look at the full context of John 3:17:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21, ESV)

The verse does not say that Jesus judged them, and the implication is that they were already judged because they would not recognize the light Jesus gave exposing their need for repentance.

Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. (John 9:39-41, ESV)


There is a binary nature to this judgment, Matthew 25:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

You are either a sheep or (xor) a goat. You cannot be neither. You cannot be both. You cannot be partly a sheep and partly a goat. If you are not completely a sheep, then by default, you are a goat. The sheep represent the righteous; the goats, the unrighteous.

Jesus will separate (judge) one group from the other.

46 “Then they [unrighteous] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The good news is described in John 3:

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

Those who are not saved, by default, are condemned. That's the bad news.

This binary nature is again expressed in John 9:

39 Then Jesus declared, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind.”

What is the meaning of the word "judgment" in this verse?

The judgment is the separation, picking out the sheep and therefore, by default, leaving the goats due to the binary nature of this judgment.

  • Great answer from this angle Oct 23, 2021 at 17:23

The word in Greek is κρίμα (krima). The verb form is κρίνω (krinō). Kρίνω is translated variously as judge and condemn. It is, in fact the same word that appears in John 3:17. We also have John 12:47

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world

The meaning of the Gospel texts, I think, is that the Lord's goal is not to condemn, but if after hearing His words some choose to ignore Him then they will, in fact, be condemned. That is the point of contrasting those who see and those who are blind in John 9:39.

Theophylact explained these verses (in Greek):

The Lord declares that He came into the world for judgment (John 9:39), not that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him, and that the world might be judged by Him and by His words (John 3:17; 12:47). That those who do not see might see means that He came into the world to give sight to the blind, both physically and spiritually. For just as those who were blind from birth were given physical sight when He healed them, so those who were spiritually blind received spiritual understanding when they were taught by Him and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. However, those who claimed to have sight, both physical and spiritual, namely, the Pharisees and scribes, remained blind, for they were blinded by their pride and self-righteousness, and by refusing to receive Him as the Messiah, they fell into darkness, remaining blind and lacking spiritual insight.

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