Jesus comes upon a man blind from birth. He tells His disciples that no, the man is not blind because he sins or because his parents sin. Rather he is blind “so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3, NIV)
Jesus spits on the ground to make a mud, which He places on the man’s eyes. Then He commands him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. The blind man obeys; he is healed, goes home seeing. His neighbors and other people say he’s the same man they’ve seen begging, but some say no, he just looks like that man. The man says, “I am the man.” (John 9:9) People want to know how he can see when he’s been blind his whole life. The man tells them about Jesus.
People take the man to the Pharisees, who demand to know how his eyes were opened. He tells them. Some of the Pharisees call Jesus a sinner, because He does not keep the Sabbath. They challenge the man, asking, “What do you say about Him? It is your eyes He opened.” (John 9:17) The man says, “He is a prophet.” (John 9:17)
The Pharisees doubt the man was actually born blind, so they send for his parents. “How is it that now he can see?” they ask. (John 9:18) Needless to say, his parents are terrified. They acknowledge the man is their son, and that he was born blind, but they deny knowing how he received his sight. They cop out. “He is of age; ask him.” (John 9:23)
The Pharisees demand the man “give glory to God.” Referring to Jesus, they spout, “We know this man is a sinner.” (John 9:24) The man says he doesn’t know if Jesus is a sinner or not; he only knows he was blind and now he sees. The Pharisees want to hear his story again. The man almost laughs, “Why? Do you want to become His disciples, too?” (John 9:27) In rage, the Pharisees boldly state they are “disciples of Moses” because they know God spoke to Moses.
Now the man challenges the Pharisees. He challenges their logic. “Nobody ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man is not from God, He could do nothing.” (John 9:32) The Pharisees insult the man in a fit of great anger and frustration; they then throw him out.
Jesus finds the man. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (John 9:35) The man wants to know who the Son of Man is so he can believe in Him. Jesus tells him, “You have now seen Him; in fact, He is the one speaking with you.” (John 9:37) The man acknowledges his belief; and he worships Jesus.
Jesus says, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” (John 9:39)
The Pharisees, who hear, protest. “What? Are we blind too?” (John 9:40)
Jesus responds, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (John 9:41)
The disciples suspect the man is blind due to sin; the man’s neighbors and other people in his community think he might be an imposter of the man born blind; the Pharisees claim Jesus is a sinner because He heals on the Sabbath; the man born blind realizes Jesus must be from God because God only works through people who “do His will.” (John 9:31)
Jesus displays God. He shows mercy in the healing of the man born blind. He condemns the Pharisees who claim they are not blind when they obviously can not see the Truth standing right in front of their eyes.