“What? Are we blind too?” I love how the Lord Jesus let people come to their own conclusions. He doesn’t answer their question “Yes!” or “No!” But He says, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin . . .” So, in one sense, they were not blind. Is Jesus saying that one’s ignorance of one’s sin means one is not guilty of sin?
“Your guilt remains.” These last three words conclude this story of the man born blind. The only other time we read of him is in John 11 where Jesus has allowed his good friend Lazarus to die so that He could raise him from the dead. Before He calls forth Lazarus from the tomb, we read that “Jesus wept.” Some respond to Jesus’ weeping by saying, “See how he loved him!” Others said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (v. 37).
The answer, of course, was yes! Jesus could have kept His friend from dying. But He didn’t. There was something more important than Lazarus’ physical survival. The risen Lazarus becomes a reason for many to believe in Jesus — and “so the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well” (Jn. 12:10)!
There is a price to pay in following Jesus. For the man born blind, it was excommunication from the life of Israel. For Lazarus, it was a contract on his head because many were believing in Jesus as a result of his testimony.
For those of us whose guilt IS GONE, what price are we paying to follow Jesus? I look forward to meeting this anonymous man born blind in heaven. I want to thank him for his boldness, for his courage, and for his simple new life of following Jesus. (I’ve written up a fictional account of this man which tries to fill in some of the details of his story. Let me know if you wish a copy).