16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
The crowd had split over Jesus in 7:40-43, and now the Pharisees divided over Jesus. One group declared that He was not of God, and the other group was not so sure.
Therefore some of the Pharisees said,
The Pharisees declared their opinion about Christ.
“This Man is not from God,
Some unbelief is intractable to downright fact. Their system of belief blinded them to what was true
because He does not keep the Sabbath.”
The Pharisees’ conclusion about Christ was that He violated the Mosaic law. He could not be from God because He broke the Pharisee’s interpretation of the Sabbath. This was their overriding concern.
“Others” probably included Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. This set of Pharisees were not so rigid as the former group.
“How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?”
Others recognized the plain fact that Jesus healed the blind man.
And there was a division among them.
Pharisees held differing opinions about Jesus’ healing the blind man, so there arose a division among them. Not all division is bad; neither is all unity good. If truth is at stake, truth will divide.
They said to the blind man again,
The Pharisees asked the blind man for his opinion about Christ.
“What do you [emphatic] say about Him because He opened your eyes?”
This question was not an admission that the Pharisees believed Jesus healed this blind man but they merely accepted what he believed. The miracle itself—the formerly blind man—looked them in the face, but they did not believe.
He said, “He is a prophet.”
The blind man asserted that Jesus was a “prophet,” the highest office he probably knew about (Jn 4:19).
The more diligently the Pharisees inquired about Christ, the more truth became plain before them.
The Sabbath was made for the benefit of man, not man for the Sabbath.
Jesus offered people something greater than the Sabbath; He was the Sabbath! He is true spiritual rest (Mr 2:27; Mt 11:28-30).