21 “but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
“but by what means he now sees we do not know,
As to the question of “how,” the parents did not venture an answer.
or who opened his eyes we do not know.
The parents pled that they did not know who healed their son. They avoided association with Christ in any way.
He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”
The parents cast the problem back onto their son. He was of legal age to formally answer for himself.
His parents said these things because they feared the Jews,
The parents evaded the consequences of telling all the facts they knew about their son. They were in a predicament.
for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ,
Despite unequivocal testimony about the facts of the case, the Pharisees were not open whatsoever to listen to the claims of Christ. They went to great lengths to take control of the minds of people in the community.
he would be put out of the synagogue.
The Pharisees agreed beforehand that anyone acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah would be formally put out of the synagogue. The synagogue was the heart of community activity. The outcasts would lose not only religious privileges but civil rights of the community. They would be excommunicated in a major way from society. The Pharisees’ method of influencing people was extrinsic, not intrinsic. It was motivation by force, not an appeal to the will.
Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
This statement shows the fear and caution that the parents had of the Pharisees. They were very careful about giving a candid answer to the Pharisees. They shifted the issue onto their son.
Fear of being ostracized from community immobilizes candid communication.
Avoidance of facing a problem in communication is an issue to many people. They want to “pass the buck” or the problem on to someone else. This is operation from fear. One of the main reasons people function from fear is avoidance of being social outcasts. Even if we had the temerity to share our faith, we fear that people will view us as odd or unacceptable to society. God, however, has given us the privilege of claiming boldness in these situations.
2 Ti 1: 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.