We have a man who was born blind…and now he’s not. That should spark the awe and wonder of the people and the religious leaders…and it does not. What do we do with that?
First, remember that the opening section of the reading goes with the earlier part of the chapter. You have to read John 9:1-12 so that you know who John 9:13 is referring to.
From there, we see the development of the story of this man. The Pharisees do not know how to handle the fact of his healing. Here is Jesus, violating their understanding of the Sabbath, healing a man. Which is not something that medicine could do–they knew full well that nothing in human means could heal someone born with blindness.
What do they do with that? Try to ignore it. That was all they could come up with, ignore what God had done. Not the best approach.
We continue into John 10 and you can see what Jesus says here. He’s talking about the unity of the flock, with Him as the Good Shepherd. There are callbacks here to Micah 2 and Psalm 118, and it’s an illustration that everyone would have understood. The idea that someone would sacrifice himself for sheep? Sheep were plentiful…
Remember, though, that this is more about how good Jesus is and not primarily about us. Also, don’t take the “other sheep” any farther than Gentiles.
Then Jesus attends the Jewish Feast of Dedication–this is what we now know as Hanukkah. The foundation of this feast is in the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BC, and it’s a history worth knowing. A good study Bible will have that in the “Time between the Testaments” section. A nerdy study Bible will call it “Intertestamental History.” Take your pick.
The main thing we are seeing in this section is the growing division among the people about Jesus. They are soon to be forced to make a choice between Jesus and the way things have always been. The same choice that often confronts us.