"If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." (John 9:41)

Jesus is answering the question that arose from Pharisees:
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?" (John 9:40)
This was said after Jesus stated:
"For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." (John 9:39)
So what is Jesus discussing in John 9:41 above?

As the keen observer can see all around us, the physical world is a place of consequence. What we do has consequences. When we knowingly hurt someone, that hurt comes back to us in one form or another.

The legal system is a subset of this system. When a person steals or otherwise hurts someone, that person gets punished. But the system does not need the legal system to work: If a child bullies another child and doesn't get turned in, at some point, their bullying will be returned to them. Whether this takes place a year later, two decades later or a lifetime later, they will face the consequences of hurting someone.

This has also been called "as you sow, so shall you reap." (Gal 6:7 popularized translation) Jesus also stated clearly that this world is a place of consequence, as he spoke to a man whose body he had healed:

“See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14)

The purpose this consequence system is to teach. The Supreme Being designed the physical world to maintain consequence learning because - as has recently been concluded by education researchers - this is the best method of teaching.

So why do we need teaching? Just look around at human behavior. Are humans acting kindly towards each other? Yes, a few are. But many humans are mistreating other humans, animals and even the planet. We can see in some countries, governments imprison and even kill their citizens. We see some groups launching terrorist activities against others in the name of their religion. We see others maiming and even killing their children. We others raping women and forcing starvation upon their populations by blocking food aid into the country.

What does this say about this world? Is this world a place of happiness? Is this world really a place that we are destined to live out our lives sipping lemonade in our lawn chairs enjoying life?

No. This place is a temporary physical manifestation, where its inhabitants dwell in temporary physical bodies seeking self-centered pleasure. And within a few decades, each physical body becomes diseased and dies.

This is not a happy place. Here happiness is only an illusion. This is, in fact, hell.

So what is hell? Hell is that place where those individuals go who do not want to maintain their innate relationship with the Supreme Being. Each of us has, at some point, rejected the Supreme Being and decided that we want to enjoy as God enjoys. In other words, we became envious.

This is of course an exercise of freedom. We each have the freedom to love the Supreme Being or not. This freedom was given to us by the Supreme Being. He created each of us to share a loving relationship with Him. But real love requires freedom. We have to choose to love Him or not. Otherwise, it would not really be love.

So those of us who rejected God were sent to the physical dimension to exercise our desire to be away from God and try to play God. But within this dimension, the Supreme Being simply created a system of learning to allow us to also become rehabilitated - again, if we choose to.

The system of rehabilitation is consequence training: Whatever we do to others comes back to us. If we treat others fairly, we'll eventually be treated fairly. If we treat others poorly, we'll eventually be treated poorly in precisely the same way. This is the only way that we can actually learn to empathize with others, and understand the meaning of caring for others, and hopefully, the meaning of loving others. Love means to care for someone else more than we care about ourselves. This begins by understanding that someone else has feelings, just as we do. They hurt just as we do. For those of us who need to be taught this, we must learn by experiencing what others experience due to our actions.

Now we can choose not to learn from this system. If we decide to reject the concept of caring for others, and we just want to enjoy ourselves and screw everyone else, then after the end of this lifetime our ability to have the higher consciousness of a human being will be taken away, and we will live out our lives in the bodies of the more ignorant species of animals, fish, plants and insects. All of these creatures have no consequences in their activities. This is because they do not have the consciousness of awareness. These are the lower regions of hell, where fear, violence and suffering prevail, mixed with tiny glimpses of illusory enjoyment.

In other words, the consequence training of the human form within the physical world is intended for those who seek (deep within our inner being) to learn to love again. And the consequences that this human life brings to us are intended to help us learn about love.

Once we learn to care for others and in some way love again, we can graduate to being re-introduced to God by one of God's representatives. And once we are given this opportunity, we must use it or lose it.

If we do not use it to grow spiritually and re-develop our relationship with God, then the opportunity will be taken away, and we will again become ignorant of God's Personality. This is because like anyone, God only wants to hang out with those who want to hang out with Him.

This is precisely what Jesus spoke of when he said, "those who see become blind." Jesus was speaking of those Pharisees who had been given the teachings of the prophets and had not taken them seriously. Instead, they were using those teachings to gain authority over others rather then following them.

Let's use some examples. If a person commits a crime without realizing it, does the court system invoke as severe a punishment upon the person as if they knew they were committing a crime? They will likely give some punishment, but not nearly as harsh. They would likely give a very light sentence if any at all. Same with parents. Parents would not be as severe in their grounding of a child if the child didn't realize they had done something wrong. They might still scold the child so they would learn, but because there was no awareness, there is little consequence.

This follows God's design. The more information and the higher consciousness a person has, the greater their responsibility to act upon that information. Should a person given the knowledge that their actions will hurt another still does it, they will suffer the full consequences of hurting that person. They will be inflicted with a similar fate. And this, by the way, is the reason that many people are born into suffering. It is not because God is not fair. They are simply experiencing the same suffering they inflicted upon others in a previous lifetime.

As Jesus is responding to the pharisees, he is speaking of the fact that even though they had been given the teachings of the prophets, they were misleading their congregations by not teaching those same truths, and following them within their hearts. They were focused upon their salaried ecclesiastical political positions, and their interest was in maintaining those positions of authority. This was why they were condemning Jesus. They were not interested in helping others grow spiritually. And since they had been given the knowledge to do so, they would suffer greater responsibility. This is the meaning of Jesus' statement above to these pharisees.

Jesus, on the other hand, was acting upon and passing on the same teachings of the prophets that came before him. Just as Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Eli, Job, Jonah, Noah and Ezekiel taught their followers to love and serve the Supreme Being, Jesus was teaching this same instruction.

Jesus was not utilizing this knowledge to gain a position of political authority in the Jewish temple, or seek wealth in the form of a salaried position as did the Jewish pharisees and many of today's priests, bishops, popes, cardinals, reverends, preachers, ministers and rabbis do. He saw himself as a humble servant of God, and sought only to please the Supreme Being by passing on the instructions of those representatives of God before him.

Consider, for example, Moses' instruction:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:5)
Now consider Jesus' instruction:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)


(For a more appropriate translation of Jesus' statement, see the Devotional Translation of the Gospel of John Chapter Nine - translated from the original Greek texts without ecclesiastical sectarian influence.)