F. Evidence of the blind who see (Jn 9:1-12):
The event of this miracle was incidental. Jesus was going somewhere and “passed by” a man whom He saw was blind (Jn 9:1). As with the disabled man at the pool of Bethesda, this healing was only incidental to what Jesus was doing or to where He was going. He did not call a great crowd of people together, and then select out of them those who volunteered to be healed. He called no one up on a stage in order to do a theatrical performance before the people.
We must “read between the lines” in order to better understand what transpired on this occasion. As Jesus walked by, He noticed this blind man who had been blind since birth (Jn 9:1). In order to heal the man, Jesus made mud by spitting on dirt. He then put the mud on the man’s eyes. He then instructed the man, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (Jn 9:7).
It seems that Jesus did not want the blind man to be healed in His presence, or the presence of the disciples. And probably most important of all, he wanted the man to know that it was Jesus who healed him. Therefore, it would be a healing that would be known first only by the blind man himself. So obediently, the man “went his way and washed. And he came back seeing” (Jn 9:7). He was led away, and then probably came back by himself. There were no crowds to be amazed, and no cheers of praise from an overenthusiastic audience.
It was only later when the neighbors who knew the man, began to question as to how he gained his sight. The questioning by the neighbors as to how he was able to see affirms the fact that the man was actually blind. They had walked by the man for years and given him alms as he begged on the street. But now he could see. They knew that while he was blind, he was not deceiving them for contributions. Their testimony is that he was truly blind.
“Where is He?” the neighbors questioned. “I do not know,” was the reply (Jn 9:12). John wants us to know that Jesus did not unveil the supernatural on this occasion in order to draw attention to Himself at the time and on this occasion. All the healed man knew was that it was Jesus who did the deed.
Since this was probably the Passover/Pentecost feast that Jesus attended during His ministry, He was building inquiry, or curiosity, in the minds of the people that Someone was in town who was the Prophet about whom Moses had prophesied. The name “Jesus” would become renowned as time went by, and by the time Jesus visited two more Passover/Pentecost feast after this occasion. It would be throughout this time that Jesus would build a case file of miracles that would demand the conclusion that John later affirmed from the record of only seven of His miracles: “… that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (Jn 20:31).
[Tomorrow is the last part of this lesson.]