The entirety of John chapter 9 deals with Jesus’ healing a blind man on the Sabbath Day and the controversy that followed. At the end of the account, the healed-man was excommunicated from Jewish society for refusing to deny that a miracle (by Jesus) had been done to him (the religious leaders had made it unofficial law that anyone publicly professing Jesus as the Christ would be punished). Jesus went and found the man and then made this interesting statement:
“For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”
The Lord is making a play on words here. Saying that He came to give sight to the blind (which He did, literally) as well as give blindness to the seeing. How is He doing that? Read on:
And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Throw a rock into a pack of dogs and you’ll know which one you hit (the one who yelps). Jesus tells the healed-man that there are spiritually blind people out there and immediately one of the Pharisees jumps out and says “oh that’s me, huh?!”
Well…if the shoe fits. Jesus responded to him in the last verse of the chapter:
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Jesus’ statement is almost paradoxical: the one who is blind is the one who sees. The one who sees is the one who is blind. Only the one who confesses that He needs God is truly seeing…and he needs God because he is blind. Only the one who insists that he is fine is the one who is blind, but though he is blind he insists he can see.
The meaning is this: If the Pharisees were to admit they were blind they would naturally seek out the cure (which is Jesus). But instead they ask, mockingly, “are we the blind?” (v40) because they don’t believe they are. Therefore, because they refuse to admit they are blind, they refuse to seek out the solution to their blindness (which is Jesus). You can’t convince a person to live who doesn’t think he’s dying. The Pharisees refuse to say they are blind, so their sin remains.
They’re like the willfully oblivious dog in the comic. Everything is burning down around them, but they are so far up their own arrogance that they just think “this is fine.”
They are blind.