So why was there weeping and gnashing of teeth?
In this old and familiar story, the first question raised about this man is “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
|“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3|
Well, this miracle sure caused a stir among the man’s family and neighbors. And finally, the man was brought before the Pharisees
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath.” John 9:13-14
Now, let’s examine the plight of this man, the blind man whose sight was not returned, but brought to him for the first time. The Jews believed that all things, good or bad, came from God. The man’s blindness had to be the result of either his sin, or that of his parents. This brought shame to him and his family. The man was reduced to begging in order to survive. Undoubtedly, he was treated with disdain by his family, neighbors and others whom he encountered. What was the sin that led to this man’s affliction?
Furthermore, since he was a man tainted by such visible sin, he was denied access to the temple. Can you imagine the pain this pious man suffered, being made to sit outside the temple walls, hearing those within sing their praises to God? How much he must have wanted to join them, to enter the Lord’s house. He was denied entry.
Then, on the Sabbath, he was healed by this unseen man; a prophet he would claim; the man called Jesus.
The Pharisees did not believe this was actually the man they had seen for years, begging in the streets. So they called on his parents for verification
Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” John 9:19
We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” John 9:20-21
Why would any man’s parents deny their child and not be praising the miracle of his returned sight?
Simple enough, they were pious people, they feared the Lord.
Earlier, the Sanhedrin had issued a proclamation that any who became disciples of Jesus would be banned from the temple. For the Jews, this would be an absolutely life shattering event. It was beyond the ex-communication we see today. It meant that they would be shunned by their neighbors and friends. They would be unable to earn a living. It would be a living death. “He is of age, ask him” they said to the Pharisees. Because the man-made whole was “of age,” he could speak for himself and his parents were removed from this event in the eyes of the leaders.
When the man was again called before them, he again proclaimed the miracle performed by Jesus. He would not deny the Lord, even challenging the Pharisees.
|He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” John 9:27
To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. John 9:34
In the belief of the Pharisees, this man was separated from God. Thrown from the temple, he was ex-communicated.
And there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Weeping and gnashing of teeth occurred when someone died. To the Pharisees, to his neighbors and friends, to his parents, the blind man restored was now dead. They were in anguish, mourning for his death.
But rather than falling in despair, the man turned to Jesus when he saw Him.
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. John 9:38
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” John 9:39
How the Lord God feels joy when the blind see. How He grieves when those who see become blind. For the later, even (especially) from God, there must be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Alive in the Word