24Ἐφώνησαν οὖν τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐκ δευτέρου ὃς ἦν τυφλὸς καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, Δὸς δόξαν τῷ θεῷ: ἡμεῖς οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν. 25ἀπεκρίθη οὖν ἐκεῖνος, Εἰ ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν οὐκ οἶδα: ἓν οἶδα, ὅτι τυφλὸς ὢν ἄρτι βλέπω. 26εἶπον οὖν αὐτῷ, Τί ἐποίησέν σοι; πῶς ἤνοιξέν σου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς; 27ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς, Εἶπον ὑμῖν ἤδη καὶ οὐκ ἠκούσατε: τί πάλιν θέλετε ἀκούειν; μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς θέλετε αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ γενέσθαι; 28καὶ ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπον, Σὺ μαθητὴς εἶ ἐκείνου, ἡμεῖς δὲ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ἐσμὲν μαθηταί: 29ἡμεῖς οἴδαμεν ὅτι Μωϋσεῖ λελάληκεν ὁ θεός, τοῦτον δὲ οὐκ οἴδαμεν πόθεν ἐστίν. 30ἀπεκρίθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ἐν τούτῳ γὰρ τὸ θαυμαστόν ἐστιν ὅτι ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἐστίν, καὶ ἤνοιξέν μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς. 31οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἁμαρτωλῶν ὁ θεὸς οὐκ ἀκούει, ἀλλ' ἐάν τις θεοσεβὴς ᾖ καὶ τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ ποιῇ τούτου ἀκούει. 32ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος οὐκ ἠκούσθη ὅτι ἠνέῳξέν τις ὀφθαλμοὺς τυφλοῦ γεγεννημένου: 33εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ, οὐκ ἠδύνατο ποιεῖν οὐδέν. 34ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, Ἐν ἁμαρτίαις σὺ ἐγεννήθης ὅλος, καὶ σὺ διδάσκεις ἡμᾶς; καὶ ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω.
Therefore they [the Pharisees] summoned the man who was blind a second time and said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man [Jesus] is a sinner.” Then that one [the formally blind man] replied, “I don’t know if he [Jesus] is a sinner. This is what I know: that while being blind, I am now seeing.” Then they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes [cause you to see]?” He replied to them, “I told you already and you didn’t listen to me. Why do you desire to hear it again? Do you not also desire to become his followers?”
And they criticized [heaped insults on] him and said, “You are that man’s follower, but we are followers of Moses! We know that God has spoken to Moses, but we don’t know where this one [Jesus] came from.” The man answered and said to them, “For this is an astonishment because you don’t know where he came from and he opened my eyes [caused me to see]! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone may be godly [a sincere worshipper of God] and may do his will, he [God] listens to this one [who is godly]. From the ages [eternity] , it has not been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one who has been blind from birth [cause one who was blind from birth to see]. Except this one was from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything!” They answered and said to him, “You were born entirely in sin, and you are teaching us?” And they threw him out.
There are many lessons in this passage. I will first point out a few things in the greek, but after that, I’m going to preach!
ὅτι τυφλὸς ὢν ἄρτι βλέπω [that while being blind, I am now seeing].
This is very interesting passage in the greek. ὢν is a present active participle of “I am”. In the greek, this participle’s action is a continuing action. The choice of this word could indicate that the man was still blind, but in spite of being blind, he is now seeing. Think of it this way, if the man is continually blind, then the miracle has to also be continual in nature as well. Have you heard of the phrase “the gift that keeps on giving”? That can be applied here. The miracle that Jesus performed here is an active, continual, and on-going thing.
μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς θέλετε αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ γενέσθαι; [Do you not also desire to become his followers?]
The man is introducing a little sarcasm here. μὴ means “not” in greek and is used here to imply a “no” answer. In other words, the man knew that the Pharisees did not want to be disciples of Jesus.
The REAL lesson learned
The Pharisees, the one’s who thought they were the most devout in their own eyes, would not rejoice with this man’s healing. They should have been overwhelmed with joy that God would work through a man [Jesus] and heal a blind man who had never seen anything in his life! They couldn’t get past their own rules that they had created and believed. Jesus had healed this man on a Saturday, or the Sabbath. The Pharisees thought that it was a sin to do any type of work on the Sabbath. Apparently, it didn’t matter if the work performed was a miracle from God or not. It went against what they believed, so it had to be wrong. They didn’t believe that something like this could be done by someone who did not see “eye to eye” with them or believed the way they did. Instead of rejoicing with the man, they insulted him and then threw him out of the Synagogue, their church. The man that had just been touch by God! It could be stated that they didn’t want this “miracle man” in their church at all.
I see this all of the time today. Some of us have gotten to be so “holy” that we are no earthly good. We think “We are the only ones who know the truth!” We don’t think anyone, other than ourselves, is godly and we certainly don’t think that God has anything to do with anyone other than ourselves. Who are we to question other people’s experiences, healings, and miracles just because they go to other churches that don’t believe the same way that we do? Do we honestly believe that they are doing these things “By the power of Beelzebub, the ruler of demons” [Luke 11:15]?
Have WE become modern day Pharisees? Do WE wear our tassels on our garments longer than everyone else so that they will think that we are holier than they are [Matthew 23:5]? Do WE pray to God and thank him that we are better than this tax collector [Luke 18:12]? Are WE truly the Vipers of this age [Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart. Matthew 12:34]?
What if WE are the one’s who are wrong? What if WE cause new believers to slip away because of our elitist* attitude? How would WE answer to God in such matters?
*The term elitism is also sometimes used to denote situations in which a group of people claiming to possess high abilities or simply an in-group or cadre grant themselves extra privileges at the expense of others. This form of elitism may be described as discrimination. Such elitism has social and psychological consequences. [Wikipedia]