The irony in this passage is very thick.
The man who had been blind could see who Christ really was and worshiped him. The people who could see all their lives, couldn’t recognize who Jesus was though he was standing right in front of their faces. Worse, they couldn’t recognize him though they saw all his miracles, and all the arguments they tried to bring against him fell to the ground, leaving them speechless.
Why couldn’t they see? Because they already thought they knew it all. They “knew” what the Messiah was supposed to look like and be like. They “knew” the truth of the Old Testament, the books of the Law and the Prophets. All their lives, they lived in pride of that knowledge they held. So when Jesus came and shattered all they had thought they knew, they found it hard to let go. They found it hard to admit they were wrong.
For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind. (39)
What did he mean? He meant that he is the dividing point. The fork in the road. And those who humble themselves and accept him as Lord and Savior will see and be saved. But those who refuse to let go of their pride and think they know it all will become blind to who he really is. Not because they can’t see, but because they close their eyes to the truth.
The Pharisees this way. They asked Jesus,
What? Are we blind too? (40)
So many people today say the same. “I’m blind? You’ve gotta be joking. I’m an educated man. I’m an educated woman. I’ve experienced life. I know.”
But Jesus said,
If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. (41)
In short, “Yes, you are blind. And if you were humble enough to admit it and your need for help, your sin could be forgiven. But because you are too proud to admit what you don’t know, because you’re too proud to hear the truth that I give, your sin remains.”
And he says the same to people today.
How about you? Do you think you know? Or are you willing to humble yourself, and accept the truth that Jesus gives? Are you willing to accept that Jesus himself is Truth?