John 9:24-25 (NIV) 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
On verses 24-25: When questioned again by the Pharisees, the “once was blind but now I see” man is not afraid to testify about what Jesus has done in his life. He didn’t claim to have all the answers. Rather he simply boldly shared his experience about the difference Jesus made in his life. To be an effective witness for Jesus, you don’t need to have all the answers, but you do need to be willing to share your story.
John 9:26-34 (NIV) 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
On verses 26-34: The Pharisees try to put down and embarrass the healed man, but only end up getting embarrassed themselves. The Pharisees argue that whereas they follow Moses who was known as being sent from God, this healed man follows Jesus and they don’t even know where he comes from (v28-29). In response, the healed man says that the miracle he experienced is amazing and unheard of (v32) and could only be done by someone who is from God (v30-33). According to the healed man, the fact that the Pharisees don’t know where Jesus comes from and yet Jesus opened his eyes suggests that the Pharisees are not experts about God after all (v30). Not knowing what else to say the Pharisees resort to name-calling, calling the once blind man “steeped in sin at birth” (v34). In so doing they reveal yet another prejudice they had, this time against blind people. They also play the power game with him (“How dare you a commoner lecture us the elite!”) by throwing him out of the temple courts.
What can we learn from this? When you share your faith in a respectful way and people respond with anger and name-calling, don’t take it personally. What may be going on is that deep down their insecurities have been triggered and the only way they know how to respond is with disrespect and aggression. But later on, when they are clearer headed, they may find, with the help of the Holy Spirit, that you have a point worth considering.
Lord Jesus, I pray that like the healed man I would not be afraid to share with others about the difference You have made in my life. I pray that I would handle people’s questions about You in a respectful way and not take it personally if they respond in offensive ways. May I be an effective witness for You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!