The eyes that once were like a dark veil had now been changed and the veil was lifted. No longer would he stumble in darkness, his eyes had been opened. There was no fear of the angry mob trampling him, he could see. I can imagine his surprise as his eyes beheld for the first times the things his ears had labored so hard to describe. I can picture his amazement that people didn’t marvel at the things around them with all the color and detail that had been painted by the Creator. Did people really just walk past trees with all of their intricate branches and the thousands of leaves that danced with every puff of breeze that blew through its branches? Would nobody stop to admire the wispy, white clouds soaring overhead at distances unimaginable? There was a mesmerizing current of water flowing through the valley and out of the springs, and people just trampled around it like it was an inconvenience. He must have wondered at everyone’s disinterest for the beautiful world the Creator had placed around them.
I imagine he hurried to the temple, where for years he had heard traveler after traveler speak of its carved and etched beauty as they had entered that foreboding gate. There would be no one to bar him from worshipping God in the temple today, his eyes worked perfectly.
The excitement of his new sight was soon caught up in a cultural storm unlike he had ever been a part of. For years, he had been ignored and despised. Now, with working eyes, there had never been so much attention given to one person. The Pharisees were the most intrigued having ordered his friends and neighbors to bring him to them so they could inspect what all the others claimed.
“Come close, young man, and tell us how you received your sight.” The Pharisees certainly in this moment had forgotten their self-acclaimed master, Moses, and what he taught about blindness and sight in Exodus 4:11. The seeing man innocently responded, “He made clay and put it on my eyes. I washed it, and now I can see.”
Jesus had told His disciples that this man was born blind so that the glory of God could be demonstrated in Jesus through this man. In this moment, there was no greater testament to the deity of Jesus than the fact that Jesus had healed a blind man. With incredulity, the man echoed this reality and finally said to the Pharisees, “What is so unbelievable for you? So you don’t know where he is from, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I used to be blind, but now I can see.”
It was as plain as the gorgeous creation around them, but in their self-righteous, God-forgetting, others-condemning sinfulness they were blind to the thing that was so clearly seen. What was the hang up for them? The problem was the same problem that we saw in John 5. Jesus had healed this man on the Sabbath. In the minds of the Pharisees, compounding the problem, Jesus had “made clay” on the Sabbath, a task expressly forbidden in their extra-biblical laws. According to their hypocritical religiosity, Jesus couldn’t have done this miracle and been right with God. Their absurd reaction confirmed that no amount of evidence could convince them that Jesus had come from God. They would never believe. Only one was healed of blindness on this day. Sadly, the others would be slaves of darkness forever.
Food For Thought: Read John 5:1-18. What problems did the Pharisees find with each healing (be more specific than “Jesus healed on the Sabbath)?