About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Pharisees Investigate The Healing (ch. 9:13-34)
am sure that Jesus healed people on days other than the Sabbath but it does
seems that many of these recorded healings were performed by Jesus on
the Sabbath, as this one was and is seen in verses 13 and 14.
The Pharisees heard of the blind man being healed on the Sabbath
so they had to investigate as they always did.
seen it over and over again throughout the gospel accounts; religious
tradition hinders people from knowing the truth of God.
Pharisees had not yet succeeded in their attempt to trap Jesus, or catch
Him in a wrong doing. This
would be another attempt at this. Making
mud was not something that should be done on the Sabbath.
This tells us how ridiculous Jewish tradition got.
In some respects our own Christian traditions have come close to
verse 15 the man who was
verse 16 we note that the group of Pharisees was divided as they often
were in their analysis of Jesus. Some
thought that He was a great sinner because He did not treat the Sabbath
as they did. On the other
hand, others wondered how Jesus could be a sinner and do such miraculous
things. No man had ever
healed a blind eye. Only God
could do that.
really knowing what to say, in verse 17 the Pharisees decided to ask the
man what he thought about Jesus since he was the one who had been
healed. It seems to be that
the Pharisees are exposing some of their confusion here.
They were divided so they referred it back to the blind man, who,
was not a theologian as they were.
verse 17 the man replies by saying that Jesus was a prophet.
That was the best thing he could figure out.
By calling Jesus a prophet the man was saying that he believed
Jesus was not a sinner but a man of God.
At this point, the man did not know who exactly Jesus was.
He did not realize that Jesus was the Son of God.
verses 18 and 19 the Pharisees weren't convinced that this man was
really healed of blindness
verses 20 and 21 the parents told the Pharisees that this man was indeed
their son and that he was born blind, but, how he could now see, they
refused to answer. The text
does not state whether the parents were with the man when Jesus healed
him. They might not have
actually known who healed Jesus, or, at least they might not have had
first hand knowledge. They
told the Pharisees to ask their son.
He was of age. He
could answer for himself. As
far as they felt, the conversation was over.
verse 22 we see that the real reason why the parents avoided answering the Pharisees
on this issue was because of their fear.
The Jewish leadership had already decreed that anyone who claimed
Jesus to be the Messiah would be kicked out of the synagogue, loosing
all the privileges that came with it.
be banned from the synagogue would be to become as a pagan Gentile.
Theyíd loose the blessings of God.
They would not receive any social or religious benefits derived
from the synagogue and would simply become misfits in Jewish society. In
one sense of the word, the synagogue was a social welfare place where
people could find help, whether moral, spiritual, or monetary help.
those days one could be expelled from the synagogue for a day, a week, a
month, or any period of time, including for life.
No one wants to be expelled for life.
verse 24 the Pharisees questioned the man once again.
They told him to give glory to God because we know this man is a
sinner. They did not want
any praise going in Jesusí direction.
They wanted this man to praise God instead.
At this point it appears the Pharisees were willing to admit that
a miracle had taken place. They
just did not want to admit that it came through Jesus.
Their only alternative was to have him give glory to God and not
Jesus. That's a bit
illogical, because it was Jesus who performed the miracle.
The miracle might well have been from God but if Jesus was the
instrument of God then Jesus can't be a sinner.
verse 25 the manís response was honest and simple.
He told the Pharisees that he didnít know if Jesus was a sinner
or not. The only thing he
was sure of was that once he was blind and now he sees.
His honest answer should be acceptable to the Pharisees.
He wasnít saying that Jesus was the Christ.
He just didnít know. It
appears that Jesus did not try to convince this man who He was.
He only healed him, thus the man simply wasnít sure who Jesus
claimed to be, at least at this moment of time.
verse 26 the Pharisees then proceed to ask the man again, "What did
he do to you, and how did he open your eyes?"
verse 27 you can tell by the manís answer that he was getting
frustrated. He basically
says that he has already told these Pharisees how he was healed.
Then he said an amazing thing that would not have only stumped
the Pharisees but made them angry. "Do
you want to become His disciples too?"
I love this question. It
put the Pharisees on the spot. They
were cornered by an uneducated person.
His question turned the tables.
The attention was now on them, not the man who was healed.
suggest that the manís question to the Pharisees gives the suggestion
that he was a follower of Jesus, whether he understood Him to be the
Christ or not. So, the
Pharisees say, "you are this man's disciple!"
The implication is that the Pharisees thought that the man was
claiming to be a follower of Jesus.
verse 28 John says that the Pharisees began to insult that man.
When they said, "You are a follower of this man!" it
was spoken as an insult. The
Pharisees claim to be followers of Moses.
They knew about Moses, but Jesus, they didnít have a clue even
where He came from. The
Pharisees were followers of Moses, or so they claimed.
Really, they failed to follow Moses.
Instead, they were followers of the rabbinical traditions.
Many Christians are similar to these Pharisees.
They say they are followers of Jesus, which they may be, but they
are just as much followers of their denominational tradition as these
Pharisees were of their tradition.
see in verse 30 that this man is becoming quite bold.
He says, "Now that is remarkable.
You donít know where He comes from, but He opened my eyes
Ö" He is beginning to
show up the Pharisees and poke holes in their argument, even at his own
expense and possible expulsion from the synagogue.
He continues by saying that "God doesnít listen to
sinners," and if Jesus was a sinner, how could He do such a
miracle. It was not
conceivable that a sinner, or even an ordinary man, could open the eyes
of a man born blind. The
manís logic is that if Jesus could do this miracle, then He had to be
sent from God. Still, we
donít know if this man believed Jesus to be the Christ.
We know that in his earlier statement that he believed him to be
a prophet of God.
this point that men himself is beginning to talk like a theologian,
something that really irritated the religious Pharisees.
verse 34 the Pharisees in their anger told the man that he was steeped
in sin from birth. How could
such a sinner as himself even begin to explain these things to learned
Pharisees? It is true;
sometimes our great learning gets in the way.
Yes, an intellectual understanding of Scripture is important, but
when it comes to giving your life to Jesus, you donít need tons of
this point I should say that the Jews do not believe in original sin,
meaning, one is born a sinner. I
believe, as I believe Romans 5 teaches, that all men and women are born
separated from God and in sin. Not
all Christians believe this. Some
believe one becomes a sinner when one first sins.
This is how the Jews believed.