Here we have the story of the healing of a man born blind that is not really about his healing at all. The story is really about spiritual blindness rather than physical. While the man is blind, he is able to see who Jesus truly is and puts his faith in him. The Pharisees and religious leaders are those who are actually blind, though they can see with their physical eyes. They are blind to Jesus’ true identity because of their own religious legalism and self-righteousness. Because they believe that they are the arbiters of all truth, they don’t believe in Jesus even though he is doing things that could only be done by God.
We can often be just like the Pharisees in this story. We believe that we and our own tribe are the only ones who possess the truth and everyone else is lost. The reality that John shows us is that we have to become aware of the evidence around us. Jesus tells us that we will be able to tell a tree by the fruit it bears (Matt. 7:15-20). So, instead of judging other believers who are different from us, we must test the fruit of their lives to see if it is good or not. If the fruit is good, we should join in what they are doing instead of shunning it. Is it possible to be blind without knowing it?