13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
The healing of the blind man and former beggar created a stir because Jesus healed him on the Sabbath. Lines are beginning to be drawn between various groups.
Verses 13 to 34 record the Pharisees examination of this man. The whole scene shifted from amazement of the miracle by the crowd to skepticism by religious leaders.
Verses 13-17 reveal three attitudes towards Jesus:
The wonder of the neighbors
The testimony of the healed man
The skepticism of religious leaders
They [neighbors] brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees.
Neighbors in Jerusalem brought the blind man to the Pharisees, who were experts in biblical law. Their interpretations of the law directly affected Jewish lifestyles. They deemed themselves to be custodians of the faith. The apostle Paul had been a leading, fastidious Pharisee before becoming a believer (Php 3:5). Jesus depicted their teaching as legalistic.
Now it was a Sabbath
“Sabbath” refers to the seventh day of the week—the day on which God rested from His creation. The Jews celebrated Sabbath not on Sunday but Saturday—and they did not work on Saturday. The statement “it was a Sabbath” signaled a major problem to religious leaders (Jn 9:16). At this point the plot thickened between Jesus and the religionists. Even the making of mud was a violation of the law in their minds.
Pharisaical law allowed for healing on the Sabbath to save a life but not for healing of the blind. Jesus knew very well that His healing of the blind man would cause offense to religious leaders.
when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
To the Pharisees, Jesus’ healing of the blind man was violation of the Mosaic law.
Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight.
The Greek for “asked” indicates that the Pharisees kept inquiring about how this man received his sight. He was under interrogation. This experience with the Pharisees was an ordeal for this man.
He said to them,
The response of the man healed was simple.
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
The formerly blind man plainly stated the facts—nothing more, nothing less. The Pharisees had to deal with facts, not interpretation.
If people shut their eyes while the sun shines, they bring darkness on themselves.
The blind man stated the bold, bald facts without interpretation. Those negative to Christ often cannot deal with plain fact. People deliberately close their eyes to truth. They investigate the claims of Christ from negative volition. Prejudice blinds minds to the facts.
The testimony of every believer is, “Once I was blind, but now I see.” Testimonies strike hard into the souls of those without Christ. God can use our testimony in powerful ways.