By Tyson Thorne

August 6, 2019

John 31 Large

Last time we witnessed Jesus heal a man who was blind from birth. Some were astounded, other's couldn't believe it was the same man, but it all ended well with laughter and slaps on the back. That is, until, the Pharisees heard about it. Jesus was healing people again, on the Sabbath again, and after they had already explained why he shouldn't be doing that back in chapter five. It would seem the Messiah needed a lesson in who was in charge. Step one, try and debunk the miracle. They called in the beggar formerly known as "the Blind Man."

I recall back in 1998 an interview with a new NHL star Milan Hejduk. English was a new language for him and you could tell that in post-game wrap up he struggled to answer reporter's questions. And let's face it, sports reporters often ask pretty inane questions. Deep into the Q&A a reporter asked young star to tell them about his goal in the second period. Hejduk thought for a bit then said simply, "I shot the puck, and it went in." Well, I thought it was funny anyway. Why do I mention this? Because the former blind man's answer to the Pharisees seems equally simplistic: “He put mud on my eyes and I washed, and now I am able to see.”

This answer caused an argument amng the Pharisees. Some hated Jesus, accusing him of disrespecting the Sabbath. Other's countered, "but how could a sinner perform such miraculous signs?" Eventually they called in the man's parents to verify their son's condition. Their answer, while not disrespectful, showed their disapproval of the Pharisees tactics and a fear of provoking their wrath. "Why not ask our son?" They suggested. The unspoken answer, "because he didn't give us the answer we wanted," would show weakness. Maybe they should ask a second time. Maybe they could convince him to play ball. Needless to say, the man didn't change his story. "Why do you want to hear my story again? Do you want to become his disciples too?"

Enraged, they once again resorted to personal insults and unfounded accusations. So the blind man schooled them with logic and Biblical truth saying,

“This is a remarkable thing, that you don’t know where he comes from, and yet he caused me to see! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is devout and does his will, God listens to him. Never before has anyone heard of someone causing a man born blind to see. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

They insulted him again, revealing the same belief the apostles first had about the man (that he was born in sin), then threw him out. I find it remarkable that a blind man who now sees could drive religious leaders who could see into a blind rage. Only truth, whether it be with a lowercase or a capital T, can do that. A lesson learned by a few that day. To the now sighted man to whom Jesus disclosed his identity, and to the Pharises who heard their conversation and asked themselves, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus answers their question with the kind of wisdom that convicts to soul, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains." It is better to be physically blind, than spiritually blind. We do well to remember these lessons and not fall into the narrow perspectives that lead to blindness.

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