“They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” (John 9:13-17).
When a person tells the truth about an event in their life, or some event they have witnessed, the facts pretty much stay the same. The core truth of what occurred does not change. It is when a lie is being told that the words spoken vary and change with each passing moment.
When the Pharisees asked the man who Jesus healed what happened and how he now could see he told the same story he had shared with the common people earlier. “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
We should pay attention to the particular detail John adds to this account. The healing occurred on the Sabbath. Therefore, the Pharisees dismissed Jesus as a law breaker because He healed the man on the Sabbath. This unbelieving response is reminiscent of the Jewish religious leader’s reaction to Jesus healing the paralytic man in John 5:9-16. Their conclusion now, as then, was ““This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
However, others were not so willing to reject this miracle outright. They reasoned, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs? And there was a division among them.”
One commentator explains, “This charge of breaking the Sabbath comes from His (Jesus) not waiting until the next day to do a work of healing, but it might also be related to the tradition that kneading dough is a work that cannot be done on the Sabbath. After all, Jesus mixed saliva and dirt to make mud, which would have involved a type of “kneading” (vv. 6–7). Other Pharisees, however, doubt that Jesus really is a sinner (v. 16). Clearly, these Pharisees are not enslaved to their oral traditions but are willing to reevaluate them when new evidence presents itself.”
What follows is an interesting admission by the Pharisees who again ask the former blind man to tell them what happened. “So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” The Pharisees admit that Jesus did the miracle. They acknowledge by their own words the facts before them. What they reject is the significant meaning of the miracle, which is that Jesus is God.
What is the now seeing man’s response? He said, “He is a prophet.” Dr. John Macarthur explains, “While the blind man saw clearly that Jesus was more than a mere man, the sighted but obstinate Pharisees were spiritually blind to that truth (see v. 39). Blindness in the Bible is a metaphor for spiritual darkness, i.e., inability to discern God or his truth (2 Cor. 4:3–6; Col. 1:12–14).”
Dr. R. C. Sproul states, “Over the course of John 9, the man born blind goes from only knowing Jesus’ name to calling Him a prophet and then confessing Him as Lord (9:10, 17, 38). This progression indicates a growth in the man’s understanding and faith. We should see the same growth in ourselves. The longer we follow Jesus, the more we should know Him and the more committed we should be to Him as our Lord.”
Is your understanding and commitment to Jesus growing with each passing day, week, month and year? 2 Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
My prayer is that this daily blog will assist you in your progress.
Soli deo Gloria!