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When he is brought before the Pharisees they don’t seem surprised by the amazing transformation in this man. No, they are too concerned about the fact that the healing took place on the Sabbath. Isn’t it amazing how some people can just “major on the minors.” They get so caught up in the little things that when huge amazing things happen, like a man’s sight being restored, they completely miss it. As the old saying goes, they can’t see the forest for the trees.
“This man is not from God” they say about Jesus as a result. Still others question how a “sinner” could do such miraculous signs. Going even further in their unbelief, they question whether the man before them is the same one who was blind before!
His parents are brought before these men of great learning and religious standing in the community. The acknowledge that he is their son, and that he was born blind, but stop short of standing by him in his faith for they fear being excluded from the synagogue. This, for any Jewish person, is a fate worse than death. Exclusion from the synagogue would mean total exclusion from their family. Friends would reject them, and worst of all their place of worship would be out of bounds, restricting them access to worship their God and the God of their ancestors.
The man is brought before the Sanhedrin for a second time and interrogated once more. There is an obvious change in this man, for he is willing to speak up for Jesus in an unheard of way. For him, it wasn’t just a miracle of sight being returned to him, but of his spiritual eyes being opened as well. His willingness to now suffer extreme persecution for the sake of Jesus leads him to that fate that his parents feared so much. Verse 34 tells us that he is thrown out of the synagogue. Ironically, John ties in the Pharisees rebuke of the man with the disciples initial thoughts about this man – he is steeped in sin from birth.
This previously unknown man had known of the power of social exclusion, so this was not really new territory for him. But the reason for ignoring him before, his physical disability, was within the confines of the law. He could not see why the Jewish leaders were rejecting him based on something that was good. God had performed a miracle in his life and he was restricted from entering any house of worship to give thanks to him for that.
Jesus, upon hearing that he had been excluded from the synagogue, seeks out the man. Perhaps Jesus heard that this man had stood up for Jesus. Perhaps he wanted to follow him up after his healing. From what we have of this conversation we know that Jesus has much more in mind than just his physical wellbeing.
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?” It’s a very direct and poignant question; penetrating right to the heart of Jesus’ mission on earth. The ultimate question that John keeps in the forefront of our minds throughout the gospel - “
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