13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
I actually find this a scary passage of Scripture. On the surface I like that this guy is giving the Pharisees some real lip! But as I sit in this story I am struck with the reality that these men who are pressing the formerly blind man and his family with questions, these men are so committed to a particular path, a particular way of life, that they refuse to accept the evidence before them. They were committed to a way of life that gave them honour in their society. To become a believer and follower of Jesus would be to lose that honour, to literally be kicked out of the Synagogue. The blind man on the other hand had nothing to lose and was ready to believe and follow Jesus. He received a great miracle.
As I look at my life, I see that there is faith and growth in God in some areas. In others, there is stifled growth or no growth. These areas of little or no growth are areas where, like the Pharisees, I am still somewhat committed to another path, another way of living. For me, some of the common paths that distract me from the way of Jesus are comfort, wealth and pleasure.
Lord there is too much at stake to be playing around with dead-end paths. Comfort is no guarantee, wealth perishes and worldly pleasure is fleeting and can turn into hideous pain. Lord help me double down on your path, your way!
Written by Andrew Mellor