John 9:13-19 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. You would have thought that the religious rulers would have been encouraged by the miracle of the blind man being healed, but they were so angry and bigoted and hated Jesus so much that all they wanted was to condemn Him and kill Him.
Apparently, it was the Sabbath day when Jesus mixed His spit with the dirt and made the clay and opened the eyes of the man who had been blind from birth. I think that Jesus knew that the religious rulers would resent not only the miracle that Jesus had performed, but that He had done it on the Sabbath. It seems to me that the religious rulers were more concerned about the letter of their traditions than about the spirit of the Law of God. The religious rulers were jealous of their position and would not allow anyone to interfere with that, what they felt was their duty to themselves, ‘and to God’ must be discharged.
Once again the Pharisees asked the man who had been blind how he had received his sight. And once again he said that Jesus put clay on his eyes and he washed and now he sees. Certainly, the religious rulers wanted to make light of the miracle or to lessen it. Evil people try to diminish or deny that which is good, and that is what these Pharisees wanted to do with this miracle.
So they start by saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others of the religious rulers were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they could not agree. There was the thought among many of the Pharisees that if one simply had a conscience of observing the Sabbath day, that was their badge of purity. But others of the Pharisees could not agree because they did not believe a ‘sinner’ could perform a miracle from God.
Once again, the Pharisees asked the man who had been blind what his opinion was about the man who had healed him, who had opened his eyes? The man answered and said, “He is a prophet.” It seemed the more the Pharisees resisted the truth, the more it seemed to appear.
It was taken for granted by the religious rulers, that at the authority of a prophet it was lawful to be in breach of the Sabbath. Their prophets had a mission from God, and revealed the will of God; so they looked upon what they said as being spoken by God Himself. The man who had been blind declared that he believed that Jesus was a prophet so He was not to be judged by ordinary rules. He knew that his eyes had been opened as he stood before these religious ‘blind’ men and he revealed at least a portion of the truth. Strangely, the man who had been born blind was attempting to open the eyes of those who claimed to be able to see.
But the Pharisees did not believe him, they did not believe that he had been born blind and they did not believe that he had been healed of his blindness and received his sight.
There are two things which we need to see here, that the Pharisees refused to believe that a miracle has been performed, and that, being willfully blinded through a stubborn, headstrong hatred of Jesus, they did not see that which was obvious. John tells us that they did not believe. There can be no doubt that their blindness was deliberate. For what prevented them from seeing the obvious work of God which took place right before their eyes? Or, if they had been convinced, what would have prevented them from believing what they already knew, except that the inward malice and evil hatred of their own wicked hearts, which kept their eyes blind?
Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 4:3 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.”
So the Pharisees called the parents of the man born blind and question them. Notice how the Pharisees phrase the questions to the man’s parents. “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?” The ‘you’ is emphatic, which means “giving emphasis; expressing something forcibly and clearly”. The religious rulers were saying “you” say, as opposed to “we” say, for “we” refuse to believe. Basically, the Pharisees had three questions for the parents of the man who had been born blind.
1. Is this your son?
2. Do you still say he was born blind? (Which we cannot believe since he can now see)
3. How do ‘you’ explain that he can now see?