The Spiritually Blind
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Saturday, 25 February 2017
7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
The Pharisees’ concern here, as in chapter 5, was the fact that the healing of the blind man was done on the Sabbath. Some said that the one who did the healing on the Sabbath was not of God. But others retorted, saying, how could a sinner heal a blind man? The only way out of the dilemma was to question the reality of the man’s blindness. So they called his parents, who affirmed that he was born blind. However, they were reluctant to say more lest they should be turned out of the synagogue. (This was something akin to excommunication today.) So they said of their son, “He is of age; ask him” (v.23). A strange parental attitude! They appeared to be saying, “If anyone is to be excommunicated, why should it be us? After all, he was the one who was healed. So let him face the music.” So much about some parents’ love for their children!
The Pharisees had been champion debaters, but now they had met one who is more than their match in the blind man. They said to him, “Give God the praise.” It was their way of putting the man on oath to tell the truth. The man replied that he was not qualified to judge whether or not Jesus was a sinner. He only knew that “whereas I was blind, now I see.” That was the true testimony of his experience! Then the Pharisees pressed him further to explain his experience, the man taunted them by exposing their spiritual blindness. He wondered: If he repeated his testimony that Jesus healed him, would they become His disciples? To this the Pharisees replied with the claim that they are Moses’ disciples. Then they laughed at Jesus, saying “As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.” The blind man, who was healed, challenged their judgment of Christ saying that the miracle was one-of-a-kind, which an ordinary man could not do. So he declared about Jesus, “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” To this the Pharisees could not reply, but resorted to their violent ways. Spiritual blindness leads to blind opposition of the truth.
Depart from them that depart from Christ.
Grant me, Lord, grace to bear witness to Your name in boldness.