Knowledge plays a part in the man's healing; this theme is suggested by the fact that each of the parties claim both to know and not to know something. Since the claims and the reasons for them differ, the contrasts highlight their various types of knowledge. By their questioning, the Pharisees try to discredit the man's testimony, attempting to find a cause to brand the healing a fraud and to attack Jesus (verse 19). They imply that the parents should stop lying and come clean (verses 20-21). Yet, the parents affirm two facts: that the healed man was indeed their son and that he was born blind. They knew this, and they were not afraid to affirm it.
Conversely, they denied knowing how he came to see and who did the miracle. Why do they not acknowledge what they know of Christ's role in the healing? “They feared the Jews.” They know that the leaders would excommunicate anyone who confessed Jesus as the Messiah. The parents simply did not want to get involved. They were afraid to acknowledge what had been revealed to them.
This is an accurate picture of many today. The truths of Christianity have been proclaimed to them—perhaps by parents, friends, or the church. Intellectually, they know and even believe these truths, but they will not admit them. They are afraid to acknowledge Christ for fear of the consequences.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part Three)
As his gospel begins, the apostle John writes that Jesus Christ "came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11). That He "came to His own" describes the content of John 9, where we find Him healing a man born blind (John 9:1-38). Chapters 9-12 emphasize Jesus' calling out a people of His own in the midst of, and in spite of, growing hostility from Jewish authorities. As His own people are rejecting him, Christ begins to call out a new people, first exemplified by the story of His calling of the blind man.
This miracle, which John alone relates, occurs in a conspicuous setting. The sixth of eight miracles recorded in his gospel, it is an illustration of the previous day's significant affirmation of Jesus as "the Light of the world" (John 8:12). He is the Light of divine salvation that overcomes the darkness of man's moral and physical blindness. Thus, as the Light, He gave sight to a blind man.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part One)
The miracle of healing displays Jesus Christ giving sight to the blind. Healing is a work of the God of the Old Testament, as seen in Psalm 146:8, "The LORD opens the eyes of the blind . . ." (see also Exodus 4:10-12). Giving sight to the blind is also a work of the Messiah, as prophesied in Isaiah 35:4-5, "He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened. . . ." Jesus' healing of the man born blind, then, is another testimony of His Deity and of the fact that He is the Messiah.
In spite of this great testimony, most of the witnesses missed the miracle's message, and the religious leaders persecuted the newly healed man. Moreover, they condemned the Healer, Jesus Christ, calling Him a sinner. Greater blindness existed in their lives than in the man Christ healed; he was only physically blind but their blindness was spiritual, of the heart and mind.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part Two)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing John 9:31: