John chapter nine records the amazing account of Jesus healing a man born blind. The whole chapter is devoted to this miracle and the consequences it sprung.
As a result of such an undeniable supernatural act, the religious leaders went into an absolute conniption, desperate to deny any glory due to Jesus (if Jesus was proven to be the Messiah it would lesson the influence the leaders wielded with the people).
First, they denied the man had ever been blind, then they interrogated his parents. Then—when all else failed–they said this:
Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
With everyone aware that a miracle had been done, it would have been crippling to the influence of the leaders to deny it. The best they could do would be to limit the perception that Jesus was the source of the miracle. Thus they conceived this compromise: They told the man who was blind to go on and “give God the praise.” Praise Jehovah, not Jesus. God, as they saw it, blessed the man with sight, so God should receive the blessing. Of course, giving Jesus the blessing is giving God the blessing, but that’s just not how they were seeing it.
As for Jesus, the Pharisees added “we know that this Man is a sinner.” This was their rationalization and mental compromise of the whole event: God blessed the man and Jesus—the sinner—took credit for it. That’s not how it happened at all but that’s the revisionist history the leaders had concocted.
The man, however, did not buckle under the pressure of his leaders. This man who was a beggar, down at the bottom of the totem pole, stood defiant against those who were in the wrong:
He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
The man’s faith was unshakeable. How could it waver? He lived this miracle! There was nothing the Pharisees could do or say to him that would convince him otherwise.
Instead he offers one of the most beautiful statements any man has ever made in response to encountering Jesus: “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Simplified, the statement is: “I know this, I once was blind, but now I see.” It’s a line so profound and so beautiful we sing it in our Gospel hymns. It’s an expression that has taken on a greater, spiritual meaning, as we think of Jesus as the one to give sight to the spiritually blind.
In this context, however, it’s spoken by a man who lived it.
He can’t tell you everything about Jesus. He may not have fully understood His nature. He didn’t seem to grasp the full scope of His mission. He didn’t even know where He went after He was healed…He didn’t even know what He looked like!
But it didn’t matter. The proof was in the pudding: I once was blind…but now I see.