November 09, 2020 – Monday
John 9:17-19 NIV
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents.
19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
Verse 17 above needs a bit of explanation. It is the Pharisees that turned again to the blind man, but he was no longer blind. The way the sentence reads, they simply could not wrap their heads around the fact that this man who had been born blind could now see and what it would mean.
For context we need to go the first part of this chapter and the end of the prior chapter. At the end of the prior chapter there was this exchange between the Jewish leadership and Jesus, after He said (v56), Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad. Of course, they could not understand what He was saying and used logic in their reply (v57), You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham!
Jesus’ reply infuriated them as they were still blind to what He was saying (v58), Very truly I tell you before Abraham was born, I am! Because of His I am reply they sought to stone Him, but Jesus slipped away from the temple grounds without them laying a hand on Him. (on to the next chapter)
As He and His disciples went along outside the temple, they came upon a man blind from birth. It was then His disciples asked Him (v2), Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? It was a natural question in their culture as most believed sickness, ill health, disease, etc. came upon individuals and families as a result of sin. Read the book of Job to see just how common and prevalent such an attitude was.
Jesus took this as an opportunity to correct such misconceptions, saying (v3), Neither this man nor his parents sinned but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. And then went on to say (v4-5), As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. This might have been confusing in and of itself, but it was at that time Jesus made some mud with His saliva, put it on the blind man’s eyes with instructions to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. The result? The man came home seeing. Jesus had just demonstrated His ability to do the work of Him who sent Jesus among us as the light of the world. He took a man who had only known darkness and gave him light.
This was an amazing event many found hard to believe, but here it was in front of them. Not knowing what to make of this, they brought the man who could now see before the Pharisees. It is here we discover the day on which Jesus had healed the blind man was a Sabbath. Thus the Pharisees questioned him on how he had gained his sight. Some of the Pharisees said about Jesus (v16), This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath, while some of the other Pharisees asked, How can a sinner perform such signs?.
Now we come to our verses for today, 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
The key here is the blind man was given sight and could now see. Yet the Pharisees were blind to who Jesus was and how He had given sight – light – to the blind man. Let’s read further to see just how blind, spiritually blind, the Pharisees were as the formally blind man lectures them.
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Nothing could be more telling than the formally blind man stating I was blind but now I see! All while the Pharisees continued in their spiritual blindness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Open the eyes of my heart, help me to see what you would have me see. Help me see where I have been spiritually blind and need to have my eyes opened. Please keep me from stumbling around in spiritual darkness. – In Jesus name. Amen.
PS: If you have Amazon Prime, take the time to watch “MULLY” but before watching it read Mark 10:17-21 and then watch in amazement.