John 9:13 – 34
13They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18The 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 19and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Healing on the Sabbath was breaking the Sabbath Law, according to the Pharisees, as was making mud – considered work because it resembled pottery making. The neighbors, who had been fighting about whether or not this really was the man who had been blind, now take him before the Pharisees. And the Pharisees began to question him – and he explained what happened. But their response was divided – some thought he could not be from God because he did not observe the Sabbath (according to their preconceived notion, or rules, of what Sabbath observance entailed), while others said “how could a sinner perform such signs?” (Note: the author is her referring to this healing as a “sign”.) So they asked the formerly blind man what he thinks about him, and he replies “He is a prophet.”
Now the religious leaders do not like that answer, so they decide he must not be the same man who had been blind. (If you don’t like the answer, you can always decide not to believe the expert – this is what they were doing – looking for someone who would give them the answer they wanted.) They call the man’s parents and ask them, “Is this really your son?” “Was he really blind.” The parents reply that he is indeed their son and he was born blind, but they do not know how it is that he now sees, saying, “Ask him; he is an adult.” Now the author tells us that the parents were afraid of being put out of the synagogue; they are being as evasive as they can.
So – once again, they call the formerly blind man, telling him to change his testimony and to declare the man was a sinner. His answer is a classic, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
What testimony could be more powerful? “though I was blind, now I see.” The simple truth is more powerful than all the manipulations the Pharisees went through. Simple truth is always the most powerful testimony. And it infuriates them, and the conflict continues.