19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
The context of verses 19-21 is the healing of the man born blind.
Therefore there was a division [schism] again among the Jews
This is the third time a division rose out of a statement by Jesus (Jn 7:43; 9:16). The “Jews” here probably refers to both the leaders and the people in general.
because of these sayings.
Division among the Jews arose from Jesus’ claim to die for sins and having the authority about the timing of His death and resurrection.
And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad.
The Jews charged Jesus with demon possession and insanity because they thought His claims were out of bounds. They altogether rejected Him as the Messiah.
The attribution of Jesus’ ministry to demonism was a turning point in God’s plan for Israel. He would reject them as His theocratic representative nation on earth.
Why do you listen to Him?”
Many Jews summarily dismissed Jesus’ words as ridiculous.
Not everyone agreed with the first group of verse 21. The other part of the division recognized Jesus as sane and credible.
“These are not the words of one who has a demon.
This group reached the same conclusion as the blind man (Jn 9:30-33).
Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
The assumption of many in Israel was that only God had the power to heal.
Jesus’ claims for Himself can be understood in no other way than that He is God Himself.
The issue of who Jesus was is still a controversy today. Either He is a madman or God almighty. There is no other adequate choice. The claims of Jesus put us on the horns of a dilemma. Which will we choose?