What Do You Say About Him?
Read John 9:13-17 (ESV)
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was division among them. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
Why were the Pharisees so upset about Jesus healing a blind man? What caused division between some in the crowd and the Pharisees?
What do you say about Jesus? Was He merely a man? Just a wise teacher? Was He crazy for considering Himself the Son of God? Was He simply a prophet?
If you’ve never given it any thought, why not? It’s a question that people have been asking ever since His arrival on this planet. The Jewish religious leaders were certainly asking that question. In fact, everyone who witnessed or heard about the miracles He performed, asked that question. The problem is, they were coming up with different answers even then, just as many people today have different answers to that question. What do you say about Jesus?
Remember from last week that Jesus had just healed a man who had been blind from birth and the man’s neighbors were baffled. Is this the guy who used to be blind? How was he healed? When they asked the man, he told them that Jesus healed him by putting mud over his eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. He obeyed and was able to see (John 9:1-13).
In today’s verses, the people brought the man to the Pharisees and the man told the miraculous story of receiving his sight again. But most of the Pharisees weren’t impressed with this miracle. Why? Because Jesus had once again healed a man on the Sabbath. Remember in John 5 when Jesus healed the paralyzed man? Instead of rejoicing with this man for his restored health and praising God for the miracle in his life, they were hyper-focused on what day of the week the miracle had occurred—the Sabbath.
Now, it’s true that the Lord commanded the Israelites to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (Exodus 20:8-11). They were supposed to rest and not work. The problem was their interpretation of the word “work.” They added all of these restrictions to God’s law, detailing what constituted work and what didn’t. In Luke 13:15, Jesus called out their hypocrisy for this after He freed a woman who had been possessed by a demon on the Sabbath: “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?” His point was that they didn’t view the necessary caring for the farm animals as work on the Sabbath. But when Jesus met the needs of people on the Sabbath, they took exception to it.
In Mark 3:4, right before healing a man with a withered hand, Jesus challenged the Pharisees by asking “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” Jesus was not breaking God’s law by healing hurting people who needed His care. Still, in today’s verses, we read that because He healed on the Sabbath, the Pharisees referred to Jesus as a “sinner” who couldn’t possibly be from God.
But not everyone saw Jesus’ actions that way and this created division among them. Some pointed out that logically, it doesn’t make sense that a sinner would be able to heal someone no matter what day of the week it was. In their eyes, the fact that Jesus had the power to heal sicknesses, disabilities, and even raise the dead was a good sign that Jesus wasn’t merely a man. So they asked the blind man who he thought Jesus was to which he replied, “He is a prophet.”
But was Jesus merely a man and just a prophet like Moses, Elijah, Isaiah and many others in the Old Testament? Or do His works indicate that He is so much more? Of course, as a believer in Christ, I believe that Jesus’ works proved that He isn’t merely a man. He is the Son of God! But it’s a conclusion that all of us have to come to for ourselves. What about you? What do you say about Him?
Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. No sinful man could do what You’ve done. No human prophet could accomplish what You’ve done. You are awesome in power and compassionate towards those in need. Praise You, Lord. Amen.
Reveal: Is there a friend or acquaintance that you can ask what they say about Jesus? It could lead to some revealing faith conversations.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford