John 9:17 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. How desirous the Pharisees were to obscure the glory of this famous miracle which Christ had wrought: in order to which,
1. They re-examine the man, to know what his thoughts were of the person who had done this for him: they judged him to be an impostor and a great sinner: the man declares freely, That he believed him to be a great prophet.
Hence we learn, That there may be, and sometimes is, more true knowledge of Jesus Christ in one poor man, than in a general counsel of learned rabbies. This blind man saw Christ to be a prophet, when the Jewish sanhedrin saw nothing in him but imposture. This man is not of God, says the council: Verily, he is a prophet, says the blind man.
2. They next examine his parents (being unwilling to believe the man himself) Whether he was their son, or not? If so, whether he were born blind? Lord! what obstinate and willful blindness was found in these Pharisees! How do they close their eyes and say, We will not see; What endeavours are here used to smother a miracle, which undeniably proved Christ to be the expected Messias! They examine first the man, then his parents, then the man again; hoping, that being over-awed with fear, they would either deny, or at least conceal, the truth; but the more they strove to darken and obscure the truth; the more conspicuous and evident they made it. Great is truth, and will prevail, how many soever oppose it, and set themselves against it.
Observe next, The wisdom and cautiousness of his parents answer: they expressly own, the blind man was their son; that he was born blind; but for the way of his cure they wave that, possibly because they did not see this cure wrought, and fearing the sentence of excommunication, a decree being passed among the rulers, That whoso confesseth Christ, shall be put out of the synagogue.
Hence learn, 1. That excommunication or separation from the society of the people of God, is an ancient and honourable ordinance in the church of God, and as such to be revered and esteemed.
2. That this ordinance of God has been, and may be, abused by wicked men, and the edge of it turned against Christ himself, and his sincerest members.
3. That the fear of unjust excommunication must not discourage persons from confessing the truth, when called to it. The parents of the blind man durst not confess Christ, for fear that they should be put out of the synagogue.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.