Written by Darrell B. Harrison |
Saturday, October 14, 2023
The Pharisees knew, ironically, as a result of their own zealous study of the Law, that no mere mortal — and every mortal is a sinner (Gen. 6:5; Eccl. 7:20; Lam. 3:39; Rom. 3:23) — could ever make a blind man see. They knew that whoever could perform such a miraculous and merciful act would have had to be as holy, pure, righteous — and sinless — as God Himself. Which is to say, he would have to be God incarnate.
Recently, as I was in my home office studying John 9:13-16, I was taken aback at the blindness of the Pharisees who, upon hearing that Jesus had healed a blind man (John 9:13) — from the formerly blind man himself (John 9:15) — complained only that Jesus has dared to perform such a fete on the Sabbath (John 9:16).
What hardened hearts the Pharisees had (John 9:41)!
To be so obdurately tethered to the Law as to ignore the literal eye-witness testimony of something that was humanly impossible is, frankly, astounding! It is no wonder, then, that Jesus would so severely admonish the Pharisees, saying, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind” (John 9:39).
Nevertheless, despite their self-righteous incredulity, the one thing for which I do give the Pharisees credit is that they at least appeared to have understood that no sinful person could ever have done what Jesus did by restoring sight to a man who was congenitally blind. That the Pharisees knew this is affirmed by their posing the following rhetorical question in John 9:16, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” [emphasis added]