Fear or Faith? (Part 1)
The narrative continues unfolding in John 9:13-17:
"They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, 'He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.' Therefore some of the Pharisees said, 'This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.' Others said, 'How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?' And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, 'What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?' He said, 'He is a prophet.'"

Those who had inquired pertaining to how the blind man was given sight proceed to take him to the religious leaders. Why would they do this? Probably because of the fact stated in 9:14--it was a Sabbath! Thus, they likely believed that this act of healing was a violation of Sabbath law and should be reported.

The man's answer in John 9:15 as to how he received his sight was straightforward and true to the facts - "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see."

Some of the Pharisees did not believe that Jesus was from God because of His actions on the Sabbath. However, they were mistaken. Jesus did not violate the Sabbath law. He kept it and every other law of the Old Covenant perfectly (cf. Heb. 4:15). The problem was that Jesus did not keep the Sabbath traditions that the Pharisees practiced! Elsewhere Jesus had already devastated their "reasoning" on this matter (cf. Matt. 12:1-14; John 5). Jesus' activities here did not violate the principle of not working on the seventh day. It was lawful for Him to do good for this man!

Unfortunately, rather than rejoicing in the miracle, some of the Pharisees sought to discredit its significance by attacking the character of its giver. Their lack of compassion is evident in that their only concern is whether their traditions have been violated. They find no joy in the fact that a man who was born blind can now see! This exposes the character of these men.

But, not all of the Pharisees agreed on this matter - "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" (John 9:16). Some argued that a person who was a sinner couldn't do the things Jesus did, regardless of the day of the week.

These religious leaders were divided over this issue and wanted the opinion of the man who was formerly blind to help settle the matter - "What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?" Their words here seem to acknowledge the fact of the miracle, yet in the very next verse the Pharisees deny its genuineness. Truly, they are confused, but the man who had been healed is seeing clearly in many ways.

The man affirmed in response to their question - "He is a prophet" (John 9:17). It should be observed that this is a much stronger confession than what he had previously stated (cf. 9:11). Time and further reflection upon the matter had caused this man's faith to grow. Although he wasn't fully aware of the identity of Jesus, he could safely conclude that He had acted by the power of God and therefore must be a prophet. It took faith and courage to express this truth, and we will see as we continue studying this context that this man has an abundance of both.