“They ridiculed him: “You’re that man’s disciple, but we’re Moses’ disciples. We know that God has spoken to Moses. But this man—we don’t know where He’s from!
“This is an amazing thing,” the man told them. “You don’t know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He listens to him. Throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything.”
“You were born entirely in sin,” they replied, “and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.” (John 9:27–34 HCSB)
Imagine that you went to Harvard University for your undergraduate AND graduate degrees. You are now a tenured professor at Harvard and all of your students gulp up every single word that tumbles from your wise, wonderful, erudite, incredible lips.
Until one day, you are teaching your class why there can be no such thing as transcendent truth. You are very eloquent. They are enthralled. You have them in the palms of your hands…then the janitor who was mopping the hall just outside the door steps into the back of the room and raises his hand. You ask him what he wants. He begins to completely dismantle your now recognizably idiotic, pathetic, emperor-has-no-clothes argument before all of your students.
This scenario is just an inkling of the impact that the ex-blind, ex-beggar’s words have on the Pharisees. The guy has probably never been in any formal schooling. He definitely cannot read. He is good for one thing, begging, that is all he has ever known and all he is ever done. He has NO education.
What do we find him doing? Instructing the Pharisees! “This is an amazing thing!” says the man. “You don’t know where He is from and yet he opened my eyes! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners…throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind.”
Ouch. Painful words for the super-educated Pharisees. Who did this guy think he was? He was nothing but a blind, beggar (ex-blind, ex-beggar, but they didn’t recognize the irony), who, by the way, was obviously a sinner or he wouldn’t have been born blind IN THE FIRST PLACE!
The ex-blind, ex-beggar sees the truth and proclaims it to the distinguished, tenured, erudite, Harvard professors of the day.
The Harvard professors are blind.
John uses irony again and again in his gospel and this is arguably the very height of his use of the device. Never were men more blind to the truth. Never was the truth more clearly presented to them. They refused to believe it.
You have the truth about Jesus here, dear reader. You can receive the truth like the ex-blind, ex-beggar, or you can reject the truth like the Pharisees. One thing is sure though, you do have the truth.