He’s being shunned, put under God’s judgment, discarded by the highest religious authorities on earth. In a real sense, the story could end there — with the man born blind’s excommunication from the synagogue.
The Pharisees had made their ruling — he was steeped in sin at birth, was unapologetically lecturing these men of God, and deserved the harshest punishment short of stoning! But at least he had his sight!
I wonder what was going through his mind as he is alone, kicked out of the synagogue, thrown out with words of judgment and rejection. I wonder if his new eyes could only look in one direction — down.
And then Jesus came. I wonder who told Jesus about the man’s excommunication. And I wonder if they also might have become a follower of Jesus after the event.
At any rate, we read those precious words, “and when he found him.” Jesus is looking for people. He is seeking the least, the last, and the lost. Here He looks for and finds the outcast, the heretic who called Jesus a prophet and the One whose prayer God heard. He finds him. Jesus took the time to seek this man out and to engage him in an eternity-changing conversation.
If I had been Jesus, I might have said things like, “I’m really sorry for all the trouble my healing you has caused. I should have known that doing that on the Sabbath would have gotten you — and me — in trouble! How’s the vision, by the way?”
That’s not what Jesus says. In fact, He simply asks the man a question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” John’s gospel, the “gospel of belief” as one commentator labels it, emphasizes the more important issue. What others deem critical and vital Jesus ignores. He goes directly to the most vital question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (to be continued)