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John 9

New International Version

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 3 Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.' 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. 7 Go,' he told him, 'wash in the Pool of Siloam' (this word means 'Sent'). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, 'Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?' 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, 'No, he only looks like him.' But he himself insisted, 'I am the man.' 10 How then were your eyes opened?' they asked. 11 He replied, 'The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.' 12 Where is this man?' they asked him. 'I don't know,' he said. 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. 'He put mud on my eyes,' the man replied, 'and I washed, and now I see.' 16 Some of the Pharisees said, 'This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.' But others asked, 'How can a sinner perform such signs?' So they were divided. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, 'What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.' The man replied, 'He is a prophet.' 18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents. 19 Is this your son?' they asked. 'Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?' 20 We know he is our son,' the parents answered, 'and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.' 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, 'He is of age; ask him.' 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. 'Give glory to God by telling the truth,' they said. 'We know this man is a sinner.' 25 He replied, 'Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!' 26 Then they asked him, 'What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?' 27 He answered, 'I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?' 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, 'You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from.' 30 The man answered, 'Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.' 34 To this they replied, 'You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!' And they threw him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' 36 Who is he, sir?' the man asked. 'Tell me so that I may believe in him.' 37 Jesus said, 'You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.' 38 Then the man said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, 'For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.' 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, 'What? Are we blind too?' 41 Jesus said, 'If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
English Standard Version

1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.
King James Version

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
New American Standard Bible

1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?' 3 Jesus answered, 'It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 'We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 'While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.' 6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 7 and said to him, 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam ' (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. 8 Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, 'Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?' 9 Others were saying, 'This is he,' still others were saying, 'No, but he is like him.' He kept saying, 'I am the one.' 10 So they were saying to him, 'How then were your eyes opened?' 11 He answered, 'The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.' 12 They said to him, 'Where is He?' He said, 'I do not know.' 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, 'He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.' 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, 'This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.' But others were saying, 'How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?' And there was a division among them. 17 So they said to the blind man again, 'What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?' And he said, 'He is a prophet.' 18 The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, 19 and questioned them, saying, 'Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?' 20 His parents answered them and said, 'We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.' 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23 For this reason his parents said, 'He is of age; ask him.' 24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, 'Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.' 25 He then answered, 'Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.' 26 So they said to him, 'What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?' 27 He answered them, 'I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?' 28 They reviled him and said, 'You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 'We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.' 30 The man answered and said to them, 'Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 'We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 'Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 'If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.' 34 They answered him, 'You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?' So they put him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' 36 He answered, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' 37 Jesus said to him, 'You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.' 38 And he said, 'Lord, I believe.' And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, 'For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.' 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, 'We are not blind too, are we?' 41 Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.
New Living Translation

1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 'Rabbi,' his disciples asked him, 'why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?' 3 'It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins,' Jesus answered. 'This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.' 6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man's eyes. 7 He told him, 'Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam' (Siloam means 'sent'). So the man went and washed and came back seeing! 8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, 'Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?' 9 Some said he was, and others said, 'No, he just looks like him!' But the beggar kept saying, 'Yes, I am the same one!' 10 They asked, 'Who healed you? What happened?' 11 He told them, 'The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.' So I went and washed, and now I can see!' 12 'Where is he now?' they asked. 'I don't know,' he replied. 13 Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, 14 because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, 'He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!' 16 Some of the Pharisees said, 'This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.' Others said, 'But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?' So there was a deep division of opinion among them. 17 Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, 'What's your opinion about this man who healed you?' The man replied, 'I think he must be a prophet.' 18 The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. 19 They asked them, 'Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?' 20 His parents replied, 'We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don't know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.' 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That's why they said, 'He is old enough. Ask him.' 24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, 'God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.' 25 'I don't know whether he is a sinner,' the man replied. 'But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!' 26 'But what did he do?' they asked. 'How did he heal you?' 27 'Look!' the man exclaimed. 'I told you once. Didn't you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?' 28 Then they cursed him and said, 'You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but we don't even know where this man comes from.' 30 'Why, that's very strange!' the man replied. 'He healed my eyes, and yet you don't know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn't have done it.' 34 'You were born a total sinner!' they answered. 'Are you trying to teach us?' And they threw him out of the synagogue. 35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' 36 The man answered, 'Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.' 37 'You have seen him,' Jesus said, 'and he is speaking to you!' 38 'Yes, Lord, I believe!' the man said. And he worshiped Jesus. 39 Then Jesus told him, 'I entered this world to render judgment--to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.' 40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, 'Are you saying we're blind?' 41 'If you were blind, you wouldn't be guilty,' Jesus replied. 'But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
Christian Standard Bible

1 As he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him: "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," Jesus answered. "This came about so that God's works might be displayed in him. 4 We must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 6 After he said these things he spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. 7 "Go," he told him, "wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means "Sent"). So he left, washed, and came back seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar said, "Isn't this the one who used to sit begging?" 9 Some said, "He's the one." Others were saying, "No, but he looks like him." He kept saying, "I'm the one." 10 So they asked him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" 11 He answered, "The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So when I went and washed I received my sight." 12 "Where is he?" they asked. "I don't know," he said. 13 They brought the man who used to be blind to the Pharisees. 14 The day that Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Then the Pharisees asked him again how he received his sight. "He put mud on my eyes," he told them. "I washed and I can see." 16 Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he doesn't keep the Sabbath." But others were saying, "How can a sinful man perform such signs?" And there was a division among them. 17 Again they asked the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he opened your eyes?" "He's a prophet," he said. 18 The Jews did not believe this about him--that he was blind and received sight--until they summoned the parents of the one who had received his sight. 19 They asked them, "Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" 20 "We know this is our son and that he was born blind," his parents answered. 21 "But we don't know how he now sees, and we don't know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he's of age. He will speak for himself." 22 His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews, since the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed him as the Messiah, he would be banned from the synagogue. 23 This is why his parents said, "He's of age; ask him." 24 So a second time they summoned the man who had been blind and told him, "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner." 25 He answered, "Whether or not he's a sinner, I don't know. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!" 26 Then they asked him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" 27 "I already told you," he said, "and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don't want to become his disciples too, do you?" 28 They ridiculed him: "You're that man's disciple, but we're Moses's disciples. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But this man--we don't know where he's from." 30 "This is an amazing thing!" the man told them. "You don't know where he is from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, he listens to him. 32 Throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he wouldn't be able to do anything." 34 "You were born entirely in sin," they replied, "and are you trying to teach us?" Then they threw him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown the man out, and when he found him, he asked, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" 36 "Who is he, Sir, that I may believe in him?" he asked. 37 Jesus answered, "You have seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." 38 "I believe, Lord!" he said, and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind." 40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things and asked him, "We aren't blind too, are we?" 41 "If you were blind," Jesus told them, "you wouldn't have sin. But now that you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.

What does John 9 mean?

This passage of the gospel of John heightens the tension between Jesus and His followers, and the religious leaders who despise Him. In prior chapters, Jesus has confronted the hypocrisy of those who claim to understand Scripture, but who reject what it says. He has also challenged tradition by healing on the Sabbath day. In this chapter, Jesus will once again perform a miracle on the Sabbath, resulting in no small controversy. When the dust settles, local religious leaders will be thoroughly embarrassed not by Jesus, but by the man who has been healed.

John chapter 9 opens with Jesus passing by a man who has been blind his entire life. The disciples react to this situation with the typical worldview of their era. In their minds, suffering is always a punishment for something, so they ask Jesus whose sin this man is suffering for: his own or that of his parents. Jesus' response proves that not all hardship is "our fault," so to speak. While it's true that our own choices have the greatest impact on our lives, it's also true that bad things can happen to those who've done nothing to deserve those particular struggles (John 9:1–3).

Jesus heals the man by putting mud on his eyes and sending him away to wash. The end result is a man who can see, though he'd never been able to before. The ideas of light, sight, and blindness are often used in Scripture as symbols of spiritual knowledge. In this case, the man's experience is a metaphor for the Christian experience. The "light" that comes when we are saved is something we never previously had, and never could have, until Christ chose to grant it to us (John 9:4–7).

This healing is also prophetic: the Old Testament speaks of the Promised One healing blindness (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7). In all of Scripture, only Jesus is credited with miracles which give sight to the blind. This is not only proof of His identity, it symbolizes the unique way in which the Messiah grants understanding of the truth (Matthew 11:5; Matthew 12:22–23).

As with other miracles, Jesus' critics are more interested in finding ways to debunk the miracle than to understand it. Even those who are not hostile to Jesus are still focused on knowing "how" Jesus performed the healing, rather than "why." The Pharisees' immediate reaction, predictably, is to condemn Jesus for not properly honoring their Sabbath tradition. This, for them, is stronger evidence than the miraculous healing of blindness. For his part, the formerly blind man only knows that whoever granted him sight must be from God. The man refers to Jesus—whom he has not actually seen, yet—as "a prophet" (John 9:8–17).

John uses the phrase "the Jews" as a reference to Jerusalem's religious leaders and their most ardent followers. This includes the scribes and Pharisees, who have already decided that Jesus is a fraud to be rejected. At first, they don't even believe that a healing has occurred. After questioning the once-blind man, they summon his parents. Their tactics are clearly meant to intimidate, hinting that the parents themselves might even be bending the truth about their son's condition. These leaders have threatened to excommunicate anyone who supports Jesus, so the man's parents are quick to point out that their son is capable of answering questions for himself (John 9:18–23).

The second attempt to interrogate the healed man ends in disaster for the scribes and Pharisees. After implying the beggar is lying and needs to tell the truth, they suggest Jesus is "a sinner," meaning that He cannot really be performing godly miracles. The man's response is a poignant explanation of the Christian experience. For all he does not know, what he does know is beyond doubt: "though I was blind, now I see!" The investigators repeat the same questions they have already asked. The formerly-blind man responds with sarcasm, openly mocking the religious leaders' insincerity. They, in turn, heap insults and verbal abuse on him. In a dramatic turn, the beggar gives a brilliantly simple counter. He points out that God would not give a sinner the power to perform miracles which have never been done before! Having lost face, and the argument, the religious leaders hurl more insults and bar the man from the synagogue (John 9:24–31).

At this point, Jesus once again approaches the man. Presumably, the man realizes that Jesus is the one who has healed him. And yet, he does not fully understand to whom he is speaking. Jesus refers to the Son of Man, which Jews of that era would recognize as a Messianic figure. The man openly admits that he wants to believe, but does not know who he should turn to. When Jesus identifies Himself, the healed man responds with faith and worship. Jesus uses that reaction as an example of one aspect of His earthly mission: to separate those who are willing to believe from those who are willfully, spiritually "blind" (John 9:35–41).

The themes discussed in this chapter introduce the subject of Jesus' next teaching, which heavily involves the symbolism of a shepherd. Those words are meant to be understood in the context of this chapter, where the Pharisees' hypocrisy and failed leadership are on full display.