Trouble with the Jewish Leaders

A woman lived in a small house built at the foot of a tall mountain. The mountain obstructed her view and made the inside of the house dark. She had read Jesus’ promise about faith moving mountains. (Matthew 17:20) Taking it literally, one night she prayed that the Lord would rem … More

Disbelief
Because of Jesus compassion and healing of this blind man He soon found Himself in trouble with the Jewish leaders (v. 16). His act of deliberately healing the man on the Sabbath Day caused the Pharisees great concern. In their eyes He had broken the Sabbath in three ways (vv. 13-16):
  1. He spat on the ground and made mud.  His spitting on the dirt violated the Sabbath because, to them, making mud is work. A man could not even cut his finger nails or pull out a hair of his beard.
  2. He healed on the Sabbath and the Jewish rule was not to heal on the Sabbath. Medical attention could only be such as to keep the patient from getting worse, not to make him any better. For instance, a man with a toothache could not suck vinegar through his teeth.
  3. He used spit. Instruction in the rabbinical literature stated that spit could not be used because spit is medicine.

The Pharisees knew Christ had broken the Sabbath and since He had broken the Sabbath, He could not be of God. Others argued that it was impossible for a sinner to perform miracles. Since He did perform a miracle, maybe He was not a sinner. So they asked the man his opinion of Christ. The beggar was not intimidated by the threats of the Pharisees but boldly responded that He is a prophet (v. 17). The Jews still refused to admit the miracle and said that he probably wasn’t even born blind. These religious leaders did not want to see Jesus given this kind of high recognition. Then they talked to the parents who confirmed that he was born blind but they didn’t explain how he was healed (vv. 18-21). They were afraid of the Jews so wanted their son to speak for himself (vv. 22-23).

Application

I can never please God by obeying a set of rules but only by obeying my Lord who gave His life on the cross of Calvary to cover my sins. I never want to be intimidated by the questions of others.

 

John 9:13-23 (English Standard Version)

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 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." 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. 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." 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 and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 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." (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.) Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

More John commentaries

John 6:1-14
Philip Fails the Exam

John 6:15-27
Jesus Calms Their Fears

John 6:30-40
What’s Your Motive for Following Jesus

John 6:36-44
The Reaction of The Jews

John 6:45-55
Drawn to Christ

John 6:56-59
Confusion of The Body And Blood of Christ

John 6:60-71
Rejection by Many Followers

John 7:1-14
The Advice of Jesus’ Brothers

John 7:15-24
Judge Rightly

John 7:25-29
Jesus Origin

John 7:30-36
Blinded to The Truth

John 7:37-53
Divided Opinions About Jesus

John 8:1-7
Pharisees Condemn The Adulterous Woman

John 8:8-11
Jesus Forgives The Adulterous Women

John 8:12-20
Jesus is The Light of The World

John 8:21-30
Jesus Predicts His Death

John 8:31-38
The Truth Will Set You Free

John 8:39-47
You Are of Your Father The Devil

John 8:48-59
Jesus’ Claims To His Identity

John 9:1-12
Contentment in Any Circumstance

John 9:13-23
Trouble with the Jewish Leaders

John 9:24-34
The Testimony of the Healed Man

John 9:35-41
The Pharisees Blindless

John 10:1-13
The True Shepherd

John 10:14-21
The Good Shephard Knows His Sheep

John 10:22-30
Rejected by the Religious Leaders

John 10:31-42
Renewed Efforts to Stone Jesus

John 11:1-6
News of Lazarus’ Death

John 11:7-16
The Disciples Warn Jesus About Going to Judea

John 11:17-27
Jesus Arrives at Mary and Martha’s House

John 11:28-37
Emotions of Jesus

John 11:38-44
Jesus Calls Lazarus Forth From the Grave

John 11:45-57
Jesus Withdraws to Ephraim

John 12:1-11
Mary Anoints Jesus’ Feet

John 12:12-19
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem

John 12:20-26
Some Greeks Seek Jesus

John 12:27-36
Jesus Predicts His Death

John 12:37-50
Hardened Hearts and the Fear of Man