The Man Becomes Impatient With The Proud Religious Law-Keepers!
The proud religious law-keepers asked the man again, who had been blind, to come. They said to him, “Give thanks to God. We know this man is a sinner.”
John 9:24 (NLV)
Anxious to settle the case, the proud religious law-keepers did call the man in; and this time, they put him under oath. “Give God the praise” is a form of Jewish “swearing in” at court (see Josh. 7:19).
But the “judges” prejudiced everybody from the start! “We know that this Man is a sinner!” They were warning the witness that he had better cooperate with the court, or he might be excommunicated. But the beggar was made of sturdier stuff than to be intimidated. He had experienced a miracle, and he was not afraid to tell them what had happened.
The man who had been blind said to them, “I do not know if He is a sinner or not. One thing I know. I was blind, but now I can see.”
John 9:25 (NLV)
He did not debate the character of Jesus Christ, because that was beyond his knowledge and experience. We don’t have to understand all of the great questions of the world to be a witness for the Lord. We just have to testify of what He’s done for us. But one thing he did know: now he could see. His testimony reminds me of Psalm 27. Read that psalm in the light of this chapter, from the viewpoint of the healed beggar, and see how meaningful it becomes. A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument. This man had a better understanding than all the proud religious law-keepers and the doctors of the law.
They asked him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”
John 9:26 (NLV)
For the fourth time, the question is asked, “How did He open your eyes?” (see John 9:10, 15, 19, and 26) I can imagine the man getting quite impatient at this point. After all, he had been blind all his life, and there was so much now to see. He certainly did not want to spend much longer in a synagogue court, looking at angry faces and answering the same questions!
He answered, “I have told you already. You did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become His followers also?”
John 9:27 (NLV)
This man is bound to have known his answer would infuriate the proud religious law-keepers. He didn’t care. The proud religious law-keepers hadn’t opened his blind eyes. Jesus had. It was proper that he hold allegiance to the one who had done so much for Him. If our eyes were truly open, we would see that God has done so much for us that we shouldn’t care what others say or think. Yet, often, our witness silences us because of the rejection we fear could come. This man set an example that we all should follow.
We admire the boldness of the man in asking those irate proud religious law-keepers if they wanted to follow Jesus! And look at what the results of his bold witness was. After he was kicked out of the synagogue, Jesus sought him out and found him. If we want Jesus to seek us out, we should be bold in our witness, come what may.
The proud religious law-keepers became angry at him and said, “You are a follower of Jesus. We are followers of Moses.
John 9:28 (NLV)
The man expected a negative answer, but he was courageous even to ask it. Unable to refute the evidence, the judges began to revile the witness; and once again Moses is brought into the picture (John 5:46). The proud religious law-keepers were cautious men who would consider themselves conservatives, when in reality they were “preservatives.” A true conservative takes the best of the past and uses it, but he is also aware of the new things that God is doing. The new grows out of the old (Matt. 13:52). A “preservative” simply embalms the past and preserves it. He is against change and resists the new things that God is doing. Had the proud religious law-keepers really understood Moses, they would have known who Jesus was and what He was doing.
We know God spoke to Moses. We do not know where this Man is from. The man said to them, “This is strange! You do not know where He came from and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. We know if anyone loves and worships God, and does what He wants, God listens to him. From the beginning of the world no one has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this Man were not from God, He would not be able to do anything like this.”
John 9:29-33 (NLV)
The leaders were sure about Moses, but they were not sure about Jesus. They did not know where He came from. He had already told them that He had come from heaven, sent by the Father (John 6:33, 38, 41-42, 50-51). They were sure that He was the natural son of Mary and Joseph, and that He was from the city of Nazareth (John 6:42; 7:41-42). They were judging “after the flesh” (John 8:15) and not exercising spiritual discernment.
It seemed incredible to the healed man that the proud religious law-keepers would not know this Man who had opened his eyes!
How many people were going around Jerusalem, opening the eyes of blind people?
Instead of investigating the miracle, these religious leaders should have been investigating the One who did the miracle and learning from Him. The “experts” were rejecting the Stone that was sent to them (Acts 4:11).
The beggar then gave the “experts” a lesson in practical theology. Perhaps he had Psalm 66:18 in mind: “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.“ The leaders called Jesus a sinner (John 9:24), yet Jesus was used of God to open the blind man’s eyes.
He added another telling argument: Jesus healed a man born blind. Never, to their knowledge, had this occurred before. So, God not only heard Jesus, but He enabled Him to give the man sight.
How, then, could Jesus be a sinner?
Religious bigots do not want to face either evidence or logic. Their minds are made up. Had the proud religious law-keepers honestly considered the facts, they would have seen that Jesus is the Son of God, and they could have trusted Him and been saved.
Again, the leaders reviled the man and told him he was born in sin. However, he would not die in his sins (see John 8:21, 24); because before this chapter ends, the beggar will come to faith in Jesus Christ. All of us are born in sin (Ps. 51:5), but we need not live in sin (Col. 3:6-7) or die in our sins. Faith in Jesus Christ redeems us from sin and gives us a life of joyful liberty.
They said to him, “You were born in sin. Are you trying to teach us?” Then they put him out of the place of worship.
John 9:34 (NLV)
The religious leaders officially excommunicated this man from the local synagogue. This meant that the man was cut off from friends and family and looked on by the Jews as a “publican and sinner.” But Jesus came for the “outcasts” and never let them down.
Once again we see that the real root of the proud religious law-keepers hatred for the followers of Jesus was not so much their doctrine as it was their own pride. The proud religious law-keepers prided themselves that their knowledge of God was superior to others’. So when this man claimed to understand better than they did, they were infuriated. The root of all strife is pride (Proverbs 13:10).
So, what were these proud religious law-keepers claiming?
Were they claiming that they were not born in sin?
That’s what it sounds like. They believed they were a cut above others from birth. How arrogant.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
My Father hears me every time that I pray and is ever ready to honor His Word on my behalf.
I trust Him with all of my heart.
I continually do His will and listen intently to every word that He says.
Through Him, I can even open the eyes of one born blind.
I am from God and of God, and only through Him are such miracles accomplished in my life.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen!