John 9:13-23 (ESVST)
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.
In our last message, Jesus had just healed a man who was born blind and this caused a lot of unbelief amongst the people. There was so much unbelief that this man was no longer blind to the extent that even when he told them that it is him, they still denied it. After questioning the formerly blind man, they decided to take him to the Pharisees. Now the Pharisees were among the leaders of the church.
14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.
It is important to understand that on sabbath, according to Jewish law, no one does healing except if it was a life threatening. Remember in chapter 5 when the Jews wanted to kill Jesus because he broke the rules of sabbath by healing a man on sabbath. So, it was well known that Jewish law forbid healing or any work on sabbath.
15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “ This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “ How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
The blind man again had to explain to the Pharisees how he was healed. Again the Pharisees took offence at what they saw as Jesus’s consistent failure to obey the sabbath. This they then said showed that he was not from God. Some then said but if this man is not from God and therefore a sinner, how can he do such signs, here they were not only referring to this miracle but all other miracles he did as well. They beleived that only a man who was given power by God could do such miracles. This is really what Jesus was trying to show them all along with the miracles, that he was from God. Finally some got it. Because of this, there was now not only divisions amongst the people but now there was divisions amongst the leaders as well.
17 So they said again to the blind man, “ What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
Well they asked the blind man his opinion of what he thinks of Jesus and unfortunately, gave the wrong answer. He said Jesus was a prophet. Clearly here this showed that not only were the Pharisees and the church leaders also spiritually blind but, this man who could now physically see, was also spiritually blind.
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “ Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
Only after the Pharisees and the church leaders called the parents to confirm that indeed the man was born blind, did they believe. The parents confirmed he was born blind and they said they did not know how he now sees and that they must ask him since he is old enough to can talk himself. Now, the parents did not want to give any witness testimony or any testimony at all because anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Christ, was threatened with being kicked out of the synagogue and for a Jew, that would be serious.