Blind. Blind. Blind. Who’s actually blind and who isn’t? Can you truly believe you can see but actually can’t? The man in this passage was blind but can now see while the Pharisees can see but are named to be blind. How does one make sense of this?
Jesus says, “I have come into this world so the blind can see and those who see will become blind” (verse 39). Huh? It must have all seemed very confusing to the first readers of John’s account of the life of Jesus and actually, it is easy to be confused by it all in today’s times.
The Gospel of John, as a whole, does provide a continuing thematic development of the relationship between light, darkness, sight and blindness. It soon becomes clear however that true understanding of all this only comes through a supernatural revelation as a consequence of a relationship with Jesus. It probably can’t be more simply put than by the last line of the chorus of the great hymn, Amazing Grace, “Was blind but now I see.” Certainly this would seem to be the experience of our blind man as he expresses when before the Pharisees. There’s something important for us to note here though, the blind man’s seeing didn’t come before the act of his hearing. And his hearing didn’t happen until something was said. Jesus spoke, the blind man heard, responded, and was healed, not only physically, but spiritually and for all eternity. It all started with a voice, a spoken word into the life of a lost, broken, and crippled man.