The Pharisees inquisition and excommunication of the man. Perhaps that’s a better title! The Pharisees decide to check into this matter by talking to the man who was healed, then to his parents (though his parents are not exactly the model leaders in the community). The man is questioned a second time and provides a lesson for the Pharisees that results in him getting thrown out of the synagogue. This is an amazing passage, especially this quote:
One thing I do know.
I was blind but not I see!
Sometimes it’s just that simple. What is amazing is that the Pharisees resolutely agree NOT to see, “and they threw him out.”John 9:13-34
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One Reply to “Healing of a man born blind – Part 2”
John takes us inside the walls of the Pharisaic leadership and reveals their weakness in this passage. If you don’t mind, I’d like to give “the man” a name because it’s weird to keep referring to him as “the man,” so I’m going to call him Steve. Throw me out if you like!
btw–the fact that there is no name for the man is a testimony to the validity of the Gospels. They didn’t make up a name because they couldn’t get away with that, eye witnesses were there, they just couldn’t remember the guy’s name!
To begin with, they are questioning Steve who was healed in a manner that would require he denounce Jesus. Imagine that! If I were blind from birth, forced to become a beggar on the steps, but now I see at the hands of this well known preacher, does it make sense to denounce him? Even say an unfavorable word about him? I think not!
Even some of the Pharisees were divided about this event, though by the looks of it I doubt they voiced such opposition. Steve is not a teacher or leader of any kind. His existence has been a burden to his parents and something the community simply tolerated out of sympathy–not one who was previously asked questions on theology! Yet they ask him again and again to explain who Jesus is. Steve replies, “He is a prophet.”
Unsatisfied with the response, they call in Steve’s parents who quickly plead the Fifth, “Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” Really mom and dad? You couldn’t vouch for me this one time? In all fairness this had to put them in a pretty bad place, but that doesn’t excuse their lack of support.
The Pharisees bring Steve back in for round two and we have the quote I put in the main post, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Amazing grace!! Steve’s bold follow-up response is really the focus of this passage:
Not the politically correct response Steve. That’s not what you’re supposed to say. Steve is not done, he continues to teach the wise and learned scholars:
Steve lays it on them in clear and articulate terms. He might have been born blind, but he has been able to hear and unlike those who were “hearing without listening,” Steve heard and learned. I think he figured this was going to be his last chance to speak so he let them hear it all. The response from the Pharisees: “And they threw him out.”
As I mentioned in the “btw” note above we don’t know Steve’s actual name, though it appears he was quite articulate. I imagine he did indeed become a follower of Jesus and in that following he honored Jesus and supported his parents like he wanted to his entire life. He didn’t proclaim himself as one who was special. If he had, we might have found his name recorded somewhere, but Steve, whatever his actual name, was a real man who was really healed by Jesus.
I’m grateful for the boldness of this man and the lessons we learn from his enthusiastic response to the healing touch of Jesus. I pray we will all see, all recognize the touch of the master’s hands.