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John31 – sight to the blind (2)

They bring him—the formerly blind—to the Pharisees. In fact the day in which Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes was a Sabbath. So the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received sight. (John 9: 13)
In John30, the previous extract in this series from John’s first century eye-witness biography of Jesus, we left a born-blind man – seeing – in Jerusalem. He is an interesting character in that he had his sight given to him (not restored) by Jesus without actually knowing it was Jesus. His physical blindness had been restored but his metaphorical blindness remained.

So also the Pharisees - members of a religious political party there. They had physical sight but were strongly resisting Jesus (see John 29) when he said, “Truly, truly I state to you, before Abraham ever came to be, I am!” 

In fact, he said to them, “He set down clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” So some among the Pharisees were stating, “This man is not from God, in that he is not keeping the Sabbath!” Others were stating, “How is a sinful man able to do such signs?” And there was division in them. 

The “they” (folk in the Temple) are divided about the born-blind receiving sight. They ask the Pharisees for their opinion on this unprecedented event. They too are divided, in particular, about whether Jesus is “from God”. Why is that? Well, if he is, truly, from God then he would not have broken the Sabbath rules. If he is from God and has broken the Sabbath rules he can only be ---- God, their God who made the Sabbath rules. Can’t be, can it?

So they state to the blind again, “What do you state concerning him, in that he opened your eyes?” In fact, he said, “He is a prophet.” So the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he was blind and had received sight, until when they called the parents of the sight receiver himself. 

The way out of their Pharisaical dilemma is to get scientific evidence that the man wasn’t blind in the first place.

And they asked them, stating, “This is your son, whom you are stating was born blind. So how does he now see?” So his parents answered and said, “We discern that this is our son, and that he was born blind. How In fact he now sees we have not discerned, or who opened his eyes we have not discerned. Ask him! He has maturity; he will speak concerning himself!” His parents said these things in that they were fearing the Jews, because the Jews had already set down together that if someone may affirm him ‘Christ’, he may come to be excommunicated. Through this, his parents said, “He has maturity; ask him.”

Clearly, the Pharisees had earlier made a decision. They desperately needed evidence to back their decision. The born-blind’s parents were uncooperative. 

So they called the man who was blind a second time and said to him, “Give glory to God! We ourselves have discerned that this man is sinful.” 

This is an interesting request. “Give glory to God!” In other words, don’t persist in attributing your new sight to this sinful man Jesus.

So that man answered, “If he is sinful, I do not discern. One thing I do discern—that being blind, I now see!” So they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I said to you already and you did not hear! Why do you want to hear again? You also do not want to become his disciples…?” They heaped abuse on him and said, “You are that man’s disciple! In fact, we ourselves are disciples of Moses! We ourselves discern that God has spoken to Moses, in fact we do not discern where this man is from.” 

They are so determined to remain blind that they interrupt the born-blind in mid-sentence – as soon as he suggests that they may want to follow Jesus.

The man answered and said to them, “….Because the astonishing is in this: that you do not discern where he is from, and he opened my eyes! We discern that God does not hear the sinful, but if someone may be God-fearing and may do his will, he hears that one. From eternity it has not been heard that someone opened the eyes of a born blind. If this man were not from God, he would be able to do nothing.” 

For us today, the astonishing thing is that the born-blind can now see what the Pharisees, his judges, really need to see – metaphorically, in truth.
They answered and said to him, “You, complete, were born in sins, and you are teaching us!” And they out-placed him outside. 

Who were?
Sinner Syvret

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