In this passage, the
effects. For the man who was born blind, the light illuminates his
entire world. It permits him to see clearly, both physically and
spiritually. For the , however, the light exposes their
blindness. Though they have seen the light, they nonetheless refuse
to perceive it.
Jesus and his disciples saw a man who was begging who had been blind
from birth. Jesus healed the man, so as to display the glory of God
among men. The man’s neighbors had trouble believing what had
happened. The evidence seemed to be undeniable. The man whom they
knew quite well could now see. Some tried to deny the undeniable,
however, saying that perhaps it was another person that just looked
like him. Those who knew him well confirmed that it was indeed the
man, and the man himself insisted that he had been healed.
Though the healing was a spectacular victory of the light over the
darkness, all the Pharisees saw was a breach of the technicalities of
their law. They decide to interrogate the man and his parents. His
parents refuse to help the man during the interrogation, since they
feared that the Pharisees would expel them from religious worship if
they said anything that could be interpreted as being in favor of
Jesus. They let the man fend for himself.
Happily, the man was a much more zealous witness than his parents. As
he defends himself before the Pharisees, he is gradually able to
assess the magnitude of Jesus’ work in his life, and ends up with a
much deeper appreciation of Jesus than he had at first. In the
beginning of the conversation, the simply reports the facts (9:15).
Then, he gives Jesus the highest honor he can think of at the time,
calling Jesus “a prophet” (9:17). As the Pharisees continue to badger
him, he begins to think of himself as a disciple (follower) of Jesus
(9:27-28). Then he confesses that Jesus is sent from God (9:33). The
Pharisees could no longer bear listening to the man, and they expelled
him from the .
Jesus, the light of the world, found the man and revealed more about
himself, telling the man that he was the expected Messiah. The man
responded in the only way that was appropriate, he worshiped Jesus as
the Almighty God. The Pharisees however, though they had seen and
understood a great many things about Jesus, continued in their
blindness and unbelief. The light exposed their blindness and
sinfulness for the entire world to see.