Since the world began - Εκ του αιωνος, From the age - probably meaning from the commencement of time. Neither Moses nor the prophets have ever opened the eyes of a man who was born blind: if this person then were not the best of beings, would God grant him a privilege which he has hitherto denied to his choicest favorites?
Opened the eyes of one that was born blind - It will readily appear that our Lord performed no surgical operation in this cure: the man was born blind, and he was restored to sight by the power of God; the simple means used could have had no effect in the cure; the miracle is therefore complete. That there are cases, in which a person who was born blind may be restored to sight by surgical means, we know: but no such means were used by Christ: and it is worthy of remark that, from the foundation of the world, no person born blind has been restored to sight, even by surgical operation, till about the year of our Lord, 1728; when the celebrated Dr. Cheselden, by couching the eyes of a young man, 14 years of age, who had been born blind, restored him to perfect soundness. This was the effect of well directed surgery: that performed by Christ was a miracle.
Since the world began - Neither Moses nor any of the prophets had ever done this. No instance of this kind is recorded in the Old Testament. As this was a miracle which had never been performed, the man argued justly that he who had done it must be from God. As Jesus did it not by surgical operations, but by clay, it showed that he had power of working miracles by any means. It may be also remarked that the restoration of sight to the blind by surgical operations was never performed until the year 1728. Dr. Cheselden, an English surgeon, was the first who attempted it successfully, who was enabled to remove a cataract from the eye of a young man, and to restore sight. This fact shows the difficulty of the operation when the most skillful natural means are employed, and the greatness of the miracle performed by the Saviour.
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 »