John 9:24-34-The Pharisees call the man born blind back a second time for questioning. This time they say that Jesus is a sinner. The man tells them that He doesn’t know anything about that…he only knows what happened. They demand that he tell them again what Jesus did and he says that he has already told them once and they did not believe him. Then he asks if they want to know more about Him so that they can become one of His disciples. This infuriates them and they say that he is one of His disciples, but they are disciples of Moses. They know who Moses was, but don’t even know where Jesus is from. The man tells them that it’s interesting that they, the religious leaders, are so uninformed. And, if Jesus is a sinner like they say that He is, how is it possible for Him to do the work of God? The man has now put the Pharisees in a very awkward and embarrassing position. If they say that Jesus is a sinner…then they still have to answer how He was able to do the work of God. But, if they say that Jesus is not a sinner…then they are by default suggesting that He is from God. And if He is from God, why won’t they listen to what He has to say? Earlier, when the Pharisees had been unable to sustain a coherent debate with Jesus…they stopped attacking His theological position and began to attack His personal integrity (they said He was possessed by a demon). Now, once again, they are backed into a corner. So, they follow their typical pattern and begin to attack this man’s personal integrity. They turn on him (because he is vouching for Jesus)…saying that he was born in sin, and had no business questioning their authority or decisions. Verse 34 says, “they put him out”. This could mean that they just had him put out of the room, removed from their presence. Or, it could mean much worse…that they had him put out of the synagogue…the very fear that his parents had expressed when they had been questioned (:22).
John 9:35-38-Later, Jesus hears what has happened and finds him. He asks him if he believes in “the Son of Man” and he says that he does, but is uncertain about exactly Who He is. In other words, he believes in the theology of the Son of Man (what the Scriptures said about Him), but is unaware of His exact identity. His heart is receptive and he asks Jesus, “And who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” (:36). Jesus tells Him that He is the Son of Man. The man said that he believed Him to be the Son of Man, “and worshiped Him” (:38).
John 9:39-41-Jesus then says that His coming into the world would result in judgment. The judgment would be based on what people believe about Him. It is interesting that Jesus uses the word “see” to speak of faith in Him, to believe in Him. Certainly this man, who had been born blind, could understand what it meant to be blind…but then be able to see. But how sad, that there are those who claim that they can see, but when they look upon Jesus, they fail to see Him for Who He is…and they become blind. The man who claims that he can see (understands what is necessary to know God and have eternal life), and yet refuses to believe in Jesus, has not been forgiven of his sins. The Pharisees have picked up on the fact that Jesus is speaking of them…saying that they are blind…and sarcastically ask, “You’re not calling us blind, are You?” Jesus tells them that because they claim to know so much about God…and yet, they don’t believe in Him…they are blind…and, they will be held accountable for their sin.
Prayer: Lord, please give me eyes that see, eyes to see. Help me to not just know the theology of the truth…but to know You as the truth. Both the man born blind and the Pharisees knew the theology of the Son of Man…but only the man would believe in You when You identified Yourself. Please, help me to know and believe in Your truth, in Who You are. Please help me to get beyond the facts of the truth, to the meaning and significance of the truth. Open my eyes, Lord…that I might see!