You may remember the famous line in the movie Dirty Harry….. “Go Ahead, Make My Day”. You didn’t bluff and bully Dirty Harry. Well, it seems the blind man in John Chapter 9 had a little bit of “Harry Callahan” in him…. he was one smart, tough, and holy cookie.
After Jesus healed the man blind from birth, the Pharisees tried to bully him and make a fool of him, but he gave it right back. Here is some of the dialogue. The man explained how Jesus had healed him, saying Jesus is a prophet. The Pharisees responded that Jesus is a sinner…. he responds “if he is a sinner, I do not know… one thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.” When they asked him to repeat his story, he said ‘I told you already and you didn’t listen… why do you want to hear it again.. do you want to become his disciple too? They ridiculed him, but he responded “this is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes ….. God does not listen to sinners but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him…. if this man was not from God, he would not be able to do anything….” The Pharisees ridiculed him some more saying” you were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us? Then they threw him out.” (John 9:1-41)
The name of the blind man is not mentioned, but he was really something. After being blind all his life, he went “toe to toe” with the learned men of Israel. He did not back off even though they were men of power. Jesus caught up with him later and the eternal friendship was sealed. “I do believe Lord and he worshiped him”. I bet Jesus had a smile on his face as he heard how this man stood for the truth.
When people allow evil to take root, it’s very hard for them to back away from it; they become blind. The Pharisees in this passage hated Jesus. They didn’t care about the wonderful healing of this poor man blind all his life. They were blind… “I came into the world for judgement, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” (John 9:39) They are left with bullying and ridicule as their weapons… no longer seeking the truth.
We need courage to stand up to the bullying and ridicule and lies of the evil one. May the healed blind man, “Holy Harry”, pray that we have that courage. And in the process, may many who are blind come to see.