The healing of the blind man and the conversations that result from it illustrates vividly the difference between a growing faith in the healed person and a hardening attitude of unbelief of “the Jews.” So, as Jesus was still in Jerusalem with His disciples, this healing of the man is the 6th miracle recorded in John. And so in vs. 1-6, Jesus saw a man who had been blind from birth. But evidentially, the Jews did not learn from Job that even the righteous suffer. They still believed that any misfortune was the work of sin. But, in vs. 3-5, Jesus told the disciples that his blindness was not caused by sin, but that it would be an occasion to display “the works of God.”
Now, as the Lord took the opportunity to heal him, he did something strange. In vs. 6-7, He spat on the ground and made clay to place on the blind man’s eyes. He then commanded Him to go to the Pool of Siloam to wash off the clay. And so, when the blind man did as commanded, he saw for the first time in his life. And, those who lived near the blind man became confounded by the fact that he now had his eye sight when they knew he had been blind. Imagine that you knew a person who was blind all their life and in one instance, he can see. This must have caused excitement and joy in the neighborhood. But, there was some who thought that the one claiming they were healed was just a man who looked like the blind man (vs. 8-9). But, the man answered their question of his healing by saying that the man called Jesus had commanded him to wash off the clay in the Pool of Siloam and, when he did, he could see. When they asked where Jesus was, the man did not know. Strangely, Jesus disappeared and then showed up at the end of the chapter.
Now of course with this allegation of healing, the Pharisees have to stick their nose in the business of God and investigate things (vs. 13-17). And, the next three paragraphs we see the synagogue and the Pharisees doing their thing. Now, we don’t know how the blind man got to the Pharisees. It could have been via all the excitement surrounding him and to give glory to God for the miracle. But the Jews had protested the healing of the lame man and his carrying his pallet on the Sabbath (Jn. 5:9-16; 7:23). So, they had objected to Jesus healing the man and completely missed the point. So, the Pharisees interrogated the man about the healing and they repeatedly asked him (vs. 15) how he was healed as if, they would not believe the truth if it bit them! And, the Pharisees said that Jesus could not be God and not keep the Sabbath (vs. 16). Certainly there was no indication from the Law of Moses that healing broke any Sabbath law. Others of their number were not convinced and asked how a sinner could perform such signs? This caused a division among them. And what is really strange is that the Pharisees asked the opinion of the blind man to settle things. But no answer was given to satisfy them all.
So, in vs. 18-23, they bring in the healed man’s parents to question them thinking that this would settle all things and that all the story would be revealed about the man’s blindness. Well, the way the Pharisees asked their questions was not really done to get more information, but to confront the parents if their son was born blind or not. In vs. 20-23, the parents affirmed that it was indeed their son who was born blind but now sees. However, they were afraid to proclaim faith in Jesus because of the Jews. So, the parents said, “Ask him, he is of age.” Today, we call this “passin the buck.” But, anyone confessing Jesus to be the Christ would be excommunicated from the synagogue and the parents did not want that to happen to them. So, ask the son.
Well, the Pharisees interrogated the healed man again (vs. 24-34). Imagine the courage it must have taken for this man to stand there again. So, the Jews were trying desperately to nullify the effects of the miracle of healing the blind man. They accused Jesus of being a sinner for violating the Sabbath and they reluctantly acknowledge that the man has been healed by their statement: “Give glory to God.” Well, the healed man did not know if Jesus was a sinner, but he did know one thing, “Whereas I was blind, now I see!” (vs. 25). Shockingly, the Jews were desperately attempting to cause the man to deny his own experience. And, being not convinced, they asked again (vs. 26-27) and began to abuse this man with their words (vs. 28- 29). They accuse him of being a disciple of Jesus. The Jews were Moses’ disciples, but they knew not Jesus where Jesus came from and were blinded in their ideas of the Messiah.
Well, the formerly blind man thought it remarkable that they did not acknowledge that Jesus was from God since He had healed him. He stated that God does not hear sinners, He only hears God-fearing men. His statement is technically correct. God does hear those who are truly seeking Him. Cornelius is an example of one who was still a sinner but whose prayers were heard and answered by God. But, the healed man affirmed that Jesus could not have healed him if He was not from God. Well, this did not sit well with the Jews in that they accused him of being a sinner from birth and they expelled him from the synagogue (vs. 34). Temper . . . temper.
It is something that the Jews were so blind and ignoring the genuineness of the once blind man. How could the Jews be so blind? Still, in vs. 35-41, it bring the verdict of judgment upon those spiritually blind leaders of the synagogue and at the same time, it confirms the fact that now the man can not only see with his physical eyes, but that he has spiritual sight as well. In vs. 36, Jesus heard that the man had been kicked out of the synangogue. And so, he find the man and ask him if he believes in the Son of God and the man asked, who is he? And, you have to love how Jesus answers this. He states in vs. 37 that you have both seen Him, and He is the One you are talking to. I wonder what facial expressions the man would have made when he recognized Jesus as the One. Thus, he worshipped Him.
In vs. 39, Jesus said that this was the judgment in that the physical blind can not see, including spiritual things. But, the spiritual cannot see them. Well, the Pharisees who heard this statement asked if they were blind too? It is obvious they were since they rejected the Lord. But, Jesus said, “if ye were blind, ye should have no more sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore, your sin remaineth” (vs. 41). Jesus told them that because they claimed to see their sin remained upon them: the sin of rejecting God’s Son. You know, the sad reality is not that sin cuts a person off from what Jesus wants to give, but it is the illusion that one can live without Jesus as the light of their world. May God allow us to always see Him.