13 They brought this man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man told them. “I washed, and now I see.” 16 Then some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” Others were saying, “How can a sinful man work such miraculous signs?” There was division among them, 17 so they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and received his sight, until they summoned the parents of the man who had received his sight. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? How is it, then, that he can see now?” 20 “We know that this is our son,” his parents answered, “and that he was born blind. 21 But we do not know how he can see now, or who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is old enough. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews. For the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That is why his parents said, “He is old enough. Ask him.” 24 So for a second time they summoned the man who had been blind. They told him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “I do not know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I already told you, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become his disciples too, do you?” 28 They ridiculed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But this man—we do not know where he comes from.” 30 “That’s amazing!” the man answered. “You do not know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. But he does listen to anyone who worships God and does his will. 32 From the beginning of time, no one has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were entirely born in sinfulness! Yet you presume to teach us?” And they threw him out.
In our last lesson we talked about how unfairly this unnamed blind man seemed to be treated. The unfairness just seems to keep piling up on this poor man in this lesson. It was bad enough that he spent his entire life being blind. Now, things had finally begun to look up for him. Jesus graciously gave the man his sight. Just imagine how wonderful it must have been to see his family, his neighbors, his home, birds, animals and the surrounding countryside all for the first time. But all too quickly he was going to see something he probably didn’t want to see. He was brought before the Pharisees.
The people wanted answers to what had just happened. How could a man who was blind his whole life, suddenly be able to see? They brought the man before their religious leaders. Surely they would know what was going on. But anyone who was hoping for the Pharisees to provide answers went away disappointed. They didn’t have any answers either. Some of them immediately condemned Jesus for healing someone on the Sabbath Day. Surely this man couldn’t be from God. Others noted that no sinful man could have done the incredible miracle that Jesus did. They were divided among themselves.
But why did the former blind man have to be stuck in the middle of all this. At this point he knew so little about Jesus. He knew Jesus healed him. He knew that no one could do such a miracle if he weren’t from God. He told the Pharisees the truth of what happened. He pointed out simple truths about God that the Pharisees all should have known. Wasn’t it unfair for them to get angry at him and throw him out of the synagogue? Wasn’t it even more unfair that Jesus left him all alone at this moment? Surely the Son of God knew what was happening. Shouldn’t Jesus have been there at that moment to make his own defense and spare this man from the encounter with the Pharisees?
But God had a purpose in allowing things to happen as they did. The former blind man told what he did know about Jesus. The Pharisees tried to get him to denounce Jesus. But their insults and threats didn’t prevail. The man held firm in his infant faith. He continued to stand firm on the truth that Jesus healed him. Anyone who could do such a miracle must be from God. His testimony did not convince the hardhearted Pharisees. But God used this event to strengthen the man’s own trust. Even when the Pharisees cast him out he did not waver in the truth. In our next lesson we’ll see how Jesus came and supplied what the man was still missing in his faith.
Sometimes our faith will be put to the test. We may not feel that we are ready to testify about Jesus. But our Lord supplies us with what we need. The former blind man testified to what he did know and he held onto those truths no matter what. With each testing of our faith our Lord strengthens us. He makes us more certain of our salvation and prepares us to testify about the good news of Jesus. See those times of testing as God working in us for a good purpose. As Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-5, “Not only this, but we also rejoice confidently in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patient endurance, and patient endurance produces tested character, and tested character produces hope. And hope will not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.”
1 – Why did many of the Pharisees immediately reject Jesus?
Jesus had healed the blind man on the Sabbath Day. They believed this violated the Sabbath laws that commanded no regular work should be done on the Sabbath Day.
2 – What intimidating threat had the Pharisees made to keep anyone from following and witnessing for Jesus?
They stated that anyone who confessed Jesus as the Christ would be thrown out of the synagogue. This is why the man’s parents would only confess that he was their son and that he had been blind. They left it to their son to tell the rest.
3 – In our next lesson we’ll see how Jesus told the Pharisees about their spiritual blindness. How did they show their blindness in this portion of Scripture?
They were so hardened in their desire to be rid of Jesus that they refused to even consider the evidence that no one could have done the miracle Jesus did if he were not from God. They were clearly not interested in learning the truth about Jesus.
4 – What can we learn from the example of the former blind man when we are given the opportunity to tell about Jesus?
God does not demand us to explain things we don’t know. Just tell the truth of what Jesus has done for you in your life. Also trust that your Lord will go with you and will give you the strength you need to confess the good news of Jesus.
If you have any questions about the Word of God we studied in this lesson please contact Pastor Greg Tobison. You can send your questions to