8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” 9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.”
Opinions about the healing of the blind man in Jerusalem were divided into two camps.
Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said,
The neighbors and others argued over whether this person was the blind man who used to sit and beg. His healing was so incredible that it was difficult for some to believe.
“Is not this he who sat and begged?”
This blind man was a long-time fixture near the temple in Jerusalem.
Some said, “This is he.”
Some verified that this was the actual person who used to sit and beg.
Others said, “He is like him.”
Some people thought that this was a case of mistaken identity. Evidently this miracle was so great to the neighbors that they could not believe it.
He said, “I am he.”
The blind man made it clear that it was he who was healed.
Later in this chapter Jesus asked this man whether he believed (Jn 9:35). He answered that he did believe and he worshiped Jesus on the spot (Jn 9:36-38).
Note the progression of this man’s faith. First, he referred to our Lord as “a man called Jesus,” then as “a prophet,” and finally as “the Son of God.”
Faith rests on veracity.
Human beings are often baffled by tragedy. They have difficulty in accepting evil that happens to them. People often ask questions about “why.” However, faith rests on veracity of evidence. Non-Christians have difficulty in arguing with the personal testimony of one who believes.
There are no pat answers for sickness and suffering in the world. There are answers but no pat answers. There are those who try to tell us that it is God’s will for everyone to be healthy and that the only reason a person is not healthy is because of his lack of faith.
To blame a specific disability on a specific sin committed by particular persons is certainly beyond any man’s ability or authority. Only God knows why babies are born with handicaps. Only God can turn those handicaps into something that will bring good to the people and glory to His name.
Sometimes sin has its repercussions. If a man becomes drunk and falls down in the snow and isn’t found until the next morning, his fingers freeze and he must have them amputated. This is a direct result of his sin.
Other suffering is the lot of mankind because of the indirect results of Adam’s sin that unleased a whole wave of suffering on humanity in general.
Still other suffering is constructive in nature or may be intended to teach us a lesson.
God may allow His people to suffer just to show the world how a Christian can “bear it” by God’s grace.
Yet in other cases, God grants healing in answer to prayer. There are no pat answers but there are many variables in view from God’s perspective.