That he was blind - Ὁτι τυφλος ην : but, instead of this, προσαιτης, when he begged, or was a beggar, is the reading of ABC*DKL, seven others, both the Syriac, both the Arabic, later Persic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Sahidic, Gothic, Slavonic, Vulgate, eight copies of the Itala, and some of the primitive fathers. This is in all probability the true reading, and is received by Griesbach into the text.
Beggars in all countries have a language peculiar to themselves. The language of the Jewish beggars was the following: כי זבי Deserve something by me - Give me something that God may reward you. מך גר זכי ני רכי O ye tender-hearted, do yourselves good by me. Another form, which seems to have been used by such as had formerly been in better circumstances, was this: אנא מה בי אסתכל הוינא מה כי סכי Look back and see what I have been; look upon me now, and see what I am. See Lightfoot.
The neighbours - This man seems to have been one who attracted considerable attention. The number of persons totally blind in any community is very small, and it is possible that this was the only blind beggar in Jerusalem. The case was one, therefore, likely to attract attention, and one where there could be no imposture, as he was generally known.
Again the priests and rabbis cried out against Jesus as a blasphemer. His claim to be one with God had before stirred them to take His life, and a few months later they plainly declared, “For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.” John 10:33. Because He was, and avowed Himself to be, the Son of God, they were bent on destroying Him. Now many of the people, siding with the priests and rabbis, took up stones to cast at Him. “But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” DA 470.1
The Light was shining in darkness; but “the darkness apprehended it not.” John 1:5, R. V. DA 470.2
“As Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.... When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” DA 470.3Read in context »
Oh, that we might comprehend the love of God, and even to a faint degree take in the compassion that has been manifested toward fallen man! How would we look and live! By beholding Christ man becomes changed and transformed in character from glory to glory. The conflict between light and darkness is entered upon. Look, poor sinner, represented by the lost sheep after whom the shepherd is seeking, look to the cross! ... In the poor blind man restored to sight by the compassionate Shepherd was one whom the self-righteous Pharisees thought only worthy of ... hatred (The Signs of the Times, November 20, 1893). LHU 207.5Read in context »