If you grew up in church, you see the Pharisees as villains. You see them as really bad dudes. Yet, if they were sitting next to you today, I have a feeling you would not think that at all. In fact, you may have aspired to be like them. These men came from all walks of life. You did not have to be from a certain village, social strata, or economic status. If you were a man, you could be a Pharisee. The Pharisees were men passionate about the law. They loved the law, and desired with all of their heart to live in such a way that they never disobeyed it.
For example, we all know we should wash our hands before we eat. They even took that to an extreme. They were so focused on keeping themselves from being unclean that they would thoroughly wash their hands, for if they didn’t, by putting their unclean hand in their mouth when they ate, they automatically became unclean.
They weren’t bad people. They did not do these things to be evil. They lived this way because they desired to be godly. Unfortunately, they missed it. They were so wrapped up in how things should be done, that when God Himself came in and changed the game, they were blinded to what was happening. They could not see the Healer. They only saw the hated. They were haters!
It wasn’t just the Pharisees, though. Even those who knew this guy, and had seen him beg for years struggled with what happened. Some thought it was the blind beggar, and others didn’t. They couldn’t grasp that this guy could see, and then when they heard how the guy described this Jesus did it, they did the only thing they could think to do. They took him to the Pharisees.
The neighbors, the friends, the Pharisees, and even the parents focused on the wrong thing. Instead of seeing this miracle that just happened, instead of seeing how this blind man now possessed sight, they focused on the fact that Jesus worked on the Sabbath. Jesus spit in some dirt, and physically made mud to put on this man’s eyes.
These haters became blinded by their religion, when right before them was the One who could give them sight.
So before we move on, how do you think you would react if something like this happened today? Let’s put the story in today’s context. Imagine Jesus is tattooed up, pierced all over, and instead of doing something like this in a church, He runs into this blind man in a bar. He takes some whiskey; puts in in his mouth; swishes it around, and then combines it with some cigarette ashes and puts it on the blind man’s eyes, and then tells him to go wash it off in the James River.
What would you focus on? Would you focus on the fact that Jesus was in a bar? Or that He put whiskey in His mouth? Or would you focus on the healing? Would you focus on the sight restored? Or, would you be a hater?