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Read Introduction to John


41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”


41 Jesus said to them,

Jesus’ answer surprised the Pharisees who, as spiritual elitists, thought they knew what they knew was true.

If you were blind, you would have no sin;

If the Pharisees had not known the Word of God, they would not have been vulnerable about knowledge of God. They would not have shut out the light of the world because they could have claimed ignorance as a defense. If these people had not been knowledgeable about God, they would have been better off than knowing the truth yet rejecting it.

The Pharisees arrogantly thought they were right with God because of their legalism. They were not aware of their self-imposed blindness toward God. Jesus said that they were exposed to the light of His revelation but rejected it. This was a deplorable condition—to know the truth and reject it. They were guilty of rejecting plain, stark revelation.

but now you say, ‘We see.’

Because the Pharisees claimed spiritual insight, they asserted knowledge of God. They claimed that they clearly understood God’s plan, but they were blind to it.

Therefore your sin remains.

Pharisaical claims of spiritual knowledge made the Pharisees culpable before God. Their sin of unbelief rejected Christ. They could not assert ignorance. They were willfully blind spiritually. Their sin of unbelief “remained” in them.

Since the Pharisees did not recognize the greatness of their misery, they could not embrace the Savior. They rejected the possibility of their eternal salvation.

Blindness would be an excuse if they had had no understanding of spiritual things. They could not have been blamed for acting out of ignorance. However, they acted out of rebellion against the revelation of Christ. They had the law and understanding of justification by faith. Had they acted on the knowledge that Jesus was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies, they would have welcomed Him as Savior. They didn’t; therefore, they remained spiritually blind and lost. The healing of the blind man was clear evidence of this. Jesus’ charge against the Pharisees was one of willful rejection.


Repudiation of God’s grace renders people lost.


The arrival of Jesus was the moment of truth for those listening to Him. Both the Pharisees and the blind man stood at a crossroads. Jesus drew a line in the sand. Would people believe in Him or reject Him? Jesus will judge the authenticity of those who genuinely believe in Him.

Unless God opens our eyes, we cannot see eternal truth. People need to accept their utter spiritual poverty and blindness.

To be blind is to not believe. Sight is faith that leads to God’s light. In life, the physically sighted do not see spiritually; they are blind to God. This becomes a judgment itself. Those who outwardly see only apparently see.

Is 6:10, “Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.”