Sixth Sunday of Pascha - The Blind Man
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When He had said these things:
He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, "Is not this he who sat and begged?" Some said, "This is he." Others said, "He is like him." He said, "I am he." Therefore they said to him, "How were your eyes opened?" He answered and said, "A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed, and I received sight."
Then they said to him, "Where is He?" He said, "I do not know." They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see." Therefore some of the Pharisees said, "This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself. His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him." So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, "Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner." He answered and said,
Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.
Then they said to him again, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?" He answered them, "I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?" Then they reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from. The man answered and said to them, "Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing. They answered and said to him, "You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."
Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.
The Holy Gospel According to Saint John the Theologian Chapter 9 vss. 1-38
Commentary - Saint Theophan the Recluse
Simplicity of faith argues with crafty unbelief. Faith, coming to the blind man who received sight, enlightened his mind’s eyes, and he clearly saw the truth. See how everything was logical for him. They ask him: what do you say of Him who gave you sight? He is a prophet, he answered, that is the messenger of God, clothed in miracle-working power. An indisputably true conclusion! But learned erudition does not want to see this trueness and seeks to evade its consequences. However, this being impossible, it approaches unlearned simplicity with the suggestion: give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. Simplicity of faith does not know how to connect these concepts—sinfulness and miracle-working, and expresses this openly: Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. What can one say against such deduction? But the logic of the unbelievers is obstinate, and even in the face of obviousness it is not ashamed to affirm that it does not know where he who opened the blind man’s eyes is from. Why herein is a marvellous thing, the sensible logic of faith says to them, that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing (John 9:17–33). It would seem as though after this nothing remained other than to bow down before the power of such a conclusion. But learned erudition could not stand the sensible logic of faith, and drove it away... Go now, prove the truth of the faith to those whose mind has been corrupted with obstinate unbelief. The unbelievers of all times are cut from the same cloth.