"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 9 Deepening Conflict (Jn 9.1- 10.42)

9.1 Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar and the Reaction (Jn 9.1-41)

91And as he was passing by he saw a man blind from birth. 2And his disciples asked him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this fellow or his parents, causing him to be blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this fellow sinned nor his parents, but it happened to show God's works in him. 4We must do the deeds of the one who sent me while it is still day: night-time is coming when no-one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6While saying this, he spat on the ground and made a mud paste from the sputum and he smeared the mud on the man's eyes. 7And he said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he went away and washed and returned sighted.

8Then the neighbours and those who knew before that he was a beggar said, “Isn't this the fellow who sat and begged?” 9Some said that he was; others said, “No, but this fellow looks like him.” He said, “It's me.” 10Then they said to him, “How [then] were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The man called Jesus made a mud paste and smeared it on my eyes and he said to me, "Go to Siloam and wash." Then after I had gone away and washed, I saw.” 12And they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don't know.”

13They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14Now the day on which Jesus made the mud paste and opened the man's eyes was the Sabbath. 15So they went on asking him questions and the Pharisees asked how he saw again. Then he said to them, “He put mud paste on my eyes and I washed and I saw.” 16So some of the Pharisees said, “This person is not from God, because he does not observe the Sabbath.” [But] others said, “How can a sinner do such signs?” And there was division between them. 17So they spoke again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said that he was a prophet.

18Then “the authorities” did not believe that he had been blind and recovered his sight until they summoned the parents of the one that had received his sight. 19And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? 20How then does he see now?” Then his parents answered and said, “We know that this man is our son and that he was born blind. 21But we don't know how he now sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is grown up: he speaks for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of “the authorities”. “The authorities” had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged that Jesus1 was Messiah, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23Therefore his parents said, “He is grown up: he speaks for himself.”

24Therefore they summoned for a second time the man who had been blind and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25Then that man answered, “I don't know whether he is a sinner. I know one thing: I was blind and now I see.” 26Then they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? Surely you don't want to become one of his disciples, do you?”

28And they reproached him and said, “You are his disciple but we are Moses' disciples! 29We know that God spoke to Moses but we don't know where this fellow is from.” 30The man answered and said to them, “Now that's amazing! You don't know where he's from, yet he opened my eyes.... 31We know God does not listen to sinners; but if someone is observant and does God's will, God listens to them. 32It has never ever been heard before that someone opened the eyes of a person born blind; 33unless this fellow was from God, he couldn't do anything!” 34They answered and said to him, “You are entirely born from sin and you are teaching us‽” And they threw him out.

35Jesus heard that they had thrown him out and found him and said, “Do you put your trust in the Son of Man?” 36And that man answered and said, “Who in fact is he, sir? Tell me2 so that I may put my trust in him!” 37Jesus said to him, “In fact you have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38So he said, “I do trust, sir.” And he worshipped him.

39And Jesus said to him, “I have come into the world for judgement, so that the ones who don't see may see, and the sighted may be blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “We aren't blind, are we?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have any guilt, but now that you say 'We see', your guilt remains!”

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1literally he

2“tell me” supplied