In John 10 Jesus taught an important lesson about the nature of the Church. In doing so, He wanted to use an object lesson. That object lesson involved a blind man who would be healed and then subjected to some bitter hours of recrimination. This man was already made to suffer for Jesus before he ever figured out who Jesus was. The suffering was real, but it had a point.
It was the best day of his life. He had been blind from birth. One day as he sat begging he heard himself being discussed. Men were asking a rabbi whether the blindness was because of his sins or his parents’ sin. The teacher replied that it was neither: instead, God wanted an opportunity to put His glory on display. Then the rabbi, whose name was Jesus, spit in the dirt, mixed up some mud, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” He said, “Wash in the pool of Siloam.”
The man obeyed, and as he wiped the mud away sight flooded his eyes. For the first time he saw water. He saw the stone steps leading down to the pool. He saw the sky. As he returned from the pool he saw his neighbors. They refused to believe that he was really the same man, but he insisted that he was. Then they wanted an explanation.
The man gave a straightforward narration of the events. Perplexed, the neighbors took him to the Pharisees, but those religious experts became indignant because Jesus had healed him on the Sabbath. The Pharisees began to grill him about Jesus, hoping to get him to denounce the one who healed him. Instead, every question moved the man closer to faith in Jesus. Finally they pushed him too far, and the man retorted, “I’ve already answered you and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Would you also like to become his disciples?” (John 9:27).
That word also was significant. It meant that the man had made his choice. He couldn’t have picked Jesus out of a crowd (a fact which quickly became evident).