Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where He comes from.” John 9:28, 29.
Odd retort. I guess it follows hard on their complaint to Jesus that they don’t know where He came from, not at all saying they didn’t know His parents or city. The fact that they “hurled insults at him” tells me they were threatened by his answers, frustrated in their attempts to discredit Jesus and angry because they couldn’t find anything else to say.
As if being a disciple of Jesus were something bad or foolish, the Jews were almost thumping their chests in superiority. They followed Moses, a man proven by miracles and writings to be approved by God.
Wait a minute!
Did they just ignore some vital evidence standing right in front of them?
I think they did. Here’s a man who was born blind now able to see and all they can do is insult the very one God displayed His power through in an unprecedented way. They were being quite childish, stubborn and slow of heart to believe all that the law and prophets had written. In fact, like most of us, they used the power of their vehemence to shut him up and shut out the call on their own hearts.
The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where He comes from, yet He opened my eyes. We know God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
At this point their pride took over and they threw him out for presuming he could question their conclusions. Those who listen to the gospel will fall into one of three major categories: 1) acceptance 2) apathy 3) outright rejection. There are, of course, mixtures of these which we won’t go into right now except to say sometimes people accept Jesus on certain levels but not on others. The man healed gave the best argument he could ever give by being a miracle himself. His ability to see was beyond question, his past blindness an obvious fact testified by his parents and friends, and his healer was the only one in history who had ever done this type of thing.
What’s the best way to kill a truth? Shut it out? Silence the messenger? Deny it? Spread rumors about those who support it?
We were all blind in our sins. If we now see it is only because the Savior put eyesalve on our useless spiritual eyes and showed us the light. Whatever the Word of God says, we adhere to. Our study should include the whole of the Bible so that we get a balance between what is required of man in his sinful state and what God’s grace has delivered us from in order that we might become the righteousness of God.
Traditional views said God could not work through sinners. This is accurate only in so far as it means those who are unrepentant sinners for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God except One. Since we know that Jesus never sinned, His ability outstrips ours as the Sun outshines the moon. Yet in Christ we take on His power, His ability, His character and His mind. We do not become Him but like Him. Only through Him can we “do greater things than these” for the kingdom of God. Yet our motivation must never be the need to display “our” power through Christ but to serve the world for Him.
Ignoring his healing the Jews called on their traditional view of disease and misfortune by reminding the man he had been “steeped in sin at birth” or, in other words, completely outside the mercies of God in their opinion. The fact that he stood there whole as a testimony of God’s grace and mercy failed to move them at all. They didn’t want to acknowledge Jesus and nothing, not even a miracle could make them question their position. So they did the only thing left for them to do: insulted his background and made him an outcast.
It wouldn’t work for them because the power of a testimony that says, “I was once blind but now I see” is far too effective and powerful to keep quiet by social pressure; especially when God determines it otherwise. What does Proverbs say? There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” Proverbs 21:30. It’s complete madness to think we can silence God’s voice just by social pressure. If God wants something done, it will be done.