40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words,
Some Pharisees overheard the comment Jesus made to the beggar who believed.
and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
The Pharisees expected a negative answer to their question (Greek): “We are not spiritually blind, are we?” They arrogantly assumed they were people of spiritual perception. These spiritual guides were blind. How could they lead others to the truth? The Pharisees were incredulous that they would be identified with the spiritually blind.
The gospel has two effects: (1) to those who recognize that they do not see, God gives sight, and (2) the spiritually proud, who think that they see perfectly, are confirmed in their blindness. There is no spiritual cure for those who reject the ultimate cure for sins.
Self-righteous people today expect God to exempt them from judgment. This inability to accept their state makes their condition all the more lasting. The contrast between the immediate response of the beggar and the implacability of the Pharisees is striking. Spiritual blindness was the Pharisees’ fundamental sin. If they had been prepared to believe like the former blind man, they would not have been guilty of negative volition.
Pr 26: 12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.