An Eye-Opening Miracle
Bible Reading: John 9
John 9:40-41, “Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things and said to him, ‘Are we also blind?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”
It was an amazing miracle that clearly testified to the truth regarding Jesus’ identity, for when Jesus healed the man born blind, “the works of God (were) displayed in him” (John 9:3). The blind man himself, his sight having been restored, testified to its unprecedented nature: “Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind” (John 9:32). John the Baptist had previously sent messengers to Jesus, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another” (Matthew 11:3)? First mentioned in His response to John was the fact that “the blind receive their sight” (Matthew 11:5). Isaiah had prophesied of the ministry of the coming Messiah, “The eyes of the blind shall be opened” (Isaiah 35:5). Jesus fulfilled prophecy by opening the eyes of the man born blind. It was an “attesting sign” revealing Jesus to be “the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31).
In Jesus, “the true light, which gives light to everyone” came into the world (John 1:9). There are but two responses to the Light—reject Him or receive Him (John 1:11-12), love the light, or hate it (John 3:19-21; 7:7). In receiving Jesus, the blind man was healed of both physical and spiritual blindness, but in their rejection, the religious leaders remained blind to their blindness.
The man born blind had been a beggar (John 9:8). The neighbors recognized him and saw him with his sight restored and didn’t know what to think. Some said that it was him, while others suggested it was merely someone who looked like him. He kept saying, “I am the man” (John 9:10). So, they asked him how his eyes were opened. He attributed the work to Jesus. They brought the man to the Pharisees (John 9:13).
The Pharisees interrogated the man born blind, but not to find out the truth. It was a Sabbath day when “Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes” (John 9:14), so the Pharisees had already therefore concluded that Jesus could not be the Messiah. In fact, a previous healing on the Sabbath had given rise to their hatred of Him (John 5:16, 18). It should be noted that the Pharisees were involved in a great hypocritical cover-up. They had invented hundreds of petty religious laws that governed nearly every aspect of their lives. Many of these laws had to do with what could and could not be done on the Sabbath. They thought that in the keeping of these rules, they were made righteous, but they were not righteous and were, as Jesus said, “whitewashed tombs… full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27). As “blind guides,” (Matthew 23:16) lost in sin and oblivious to their need, they hated Jesus because He stripped away the whitewash, unveiling the truth (John 7:7).
The religious leaders did not believe that the blind man had been healed, so they called and interrogated his parents. To suppress the truth, the Jews had already worked to threaten, with expulsion from the synagogue, anyone confessing Jesus to be the Christ (John 9:22). So, being frightened, the parents refused to say how their son’s eyes were opened (John 9:20-21). So, for a second time, the Pharisees interrogated the healed man. He did not waver and spoke the truth regarding what he had experienced (John 9:24-24). “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing,” he said (John 9:33). The infuriated Pharisees cast him out, but Jesus found him and opened his spiritual eyes to the truth about Himself (John 9:35-41).
The blind man was twice healed of blindness (once physically and again spiritually). The religious leaders were doubly blind to the truth. They were blind to their need and blind to the truth regarding Jesus. And so are we all until the Spirit of God works to convict of sin and unveil to us the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 16:8-11, 14).
“‘I once was lost but now am found; was blind but now I see,’ is the wonderful testimony of those who have had their eyes opened to the glory of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:6)!”
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
’tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease:
I shall possess, within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
the sun forbear to shine;
but God, who called me here below,
will be forever mine.