Jesus words towards the end of today’s reading are solemn. ‘For judgement I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.’ The blind man and the Pharisees illustrate these two outcomes.
On the one hand, the previously blind man, newly healed by Jesus, has been given his natural sight by the Light of the World. He also has an immediate grasp of spiritual truth – as new believers in Christ often do. ‘We know that God does not listen to sinners.’ ‘If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’ Notice that the man walks into serious opposition – verbal abuse v28 and being thrown out v34, the punishment his parents lived in fear of v22. New believers sometimes have to face such opposition, as Jesus foretold. Jesus has more for this man. He hears that he has been thrown out and looks for him. Jesus then reveals himself to him as Son of Man. The man born blind makes further progress with his spiritual sight and worships Jesus. He illustrates Jesus’ words, ‘the blind will see.’
The Pharisees, on the other hand, were conducting an enquiry into the story of this man. But far from discovering the truth they reveal to us that their minds are already made up. They have decided that Jesus is a sinner. They hurl insults at the man born blind and throw him out, declaring that he was a sinner from birth. Later, when some of their number meet Jesus, they are offended that he might be calling them blind. Jesus has some serious words for them in reply. ‘Now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.’ Despite what they said, the man’s blindness was not (verse 3) a punishment for sins committed before he was born, Jesus is not a sinner. The stark fact is that to ignore the truth and to deny the evidence, is to reject Christ. Jesus says that those who do so remain guilty of sin. That’s why his coming into the world is ‘for judgement.’ The Pharisees illustrate Jesus’ words, ‘those who see will become blind.’
The message is clear. If you hear the word of Christ, maybe calling you or teaching you today, if you have seen the evidence of the change that he brings into the lives of believers, don’t delay but obey.