John 9:13-25

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 13-14) Who brought him to the Pharisees and where they met we are not told, but all of this was done on the Sabbath day. Many of our Lord's great works were done on the Sabbath (John 5:10; Matt. 12:10). Our Lord went to the temple on the Sabbath to minister the Word and to minister in mercy to one in need. Perhaps He would instruct the Jews concerning the true doctrine of the Sabbath (is it not lawful to do acts of mercy on the Sabbath?), or perhaps He would show them that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, or, in the case of true believers, that Christ Himself is our Sabbath, in Whom true spiritual rest and peace are found.

(Vs. 15) The Pharisees had heard from others about this miracle, but they desired now to hear it from the man himself; not for any good reason, but that they might have cause to condemn Christ for violating their Sabbath. The man was not ashamed nor afraid to own the mercy of Christ before the ruling Jews, even though it could mean excommunication and persecution (John 9:22; II Tim. 1:8).

(Vs. 16) Some of the Pharisees declared, "This Jesus is not of God, for He does not keep the Sabbath day," as prescribed by their traditions. But others of their group (perhaps Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea) said, "How can a man who is not of God do such miracles?" (John 3:2). Even in the Sanhedrin they could not agree about the character of this man Jesus of Nazareth. How powerful is religious tradition and human ignorance even in the presence of unanswerable miracles and holiness!

(Vs. 17) The Pharisees then asked the man who had been healed what he thought of Jesus the Nazarene. He replied, "He is certainly a prophet." The Jews concluded a man's being a prophet from miracles and wonders wrought by him (John 6:14; John 7:31). It is doubtful that the man thought Jesus to be THAT PROPHET, the Messiah; but he did believe Him to be a prophet sent of God (John 9:35-36).

(Vs. 18-19) The Pharisees really had no way of knowing that this man had been born blind; they had not known him previously. The common Jews did, for they had seen him begging. So the Pharisees called his parents and questioned them.

(Vs. 20-23) His parents answered, "He is our son. He was born blind. How his sight was restored or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Why don't you ask him? He is a grown man and can speak for himself!" It may be that they were not witnesses to the miracle, but they certainly knew who had given sight to their son; everyone there knew! But they feared the wrath of these religious leaders, and they feared that they would be excommunicated from their religion and from the temple services (Prov. 29:25; John 16:1-4; John 12:8-9).

(Vs. 24) Being now convinced that the man was telling the truth and that a notable miracle had been done for him, they would not cease from their efforts to discredit the Lord Jesus and urged the man NOT to own Christ, nor to praise Him, nor to glorify Him, but rather to give THEIR GOD the glory and praise. For they said, "This man Jesus is not of God but is a sinner, an imposter." They were not interested in this man's praising the living God; their design was to deny God's Son! Our God has given all things to the Son and cannot be glorified except with, in, and through the Son (John 5:21-23: Col. 1:14-19).

(Vs. 25) This poor beggar probably had no education, nor standing, nor friends behind him; yet he was not afraid, nor would he agree to compromise with these men who denied the Lord Jesus. The Pharisees were trying to change the issue, but the beggar would not be side-tracked. He boldly declared what the Lord had done for him. "One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see!" These are words, which every believer can apply to himself. There are many things in theology and in the Scriptures, which we do not know; but we all know that we were lost, without God and without hope, and the Lord Jesus in mercy and grace lifted us from the pit of sin and the curse of the law. He gave us eyes to see His glory, ears to hear His voice, and a heart to love Him. We know Him Who saved us (II Tim. 1:12; Job 19:26; I John 3:14; I Peter 1:18-21).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.