“You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” ~John 9:27 I’m not certain if the freshly sighted man asked this in innocence or insouciance…or in some other way. It didn’t matter. The reaction was immediate and visceral: They reviled him ~John 9:28a Seems a bit over the top for clerics to go around reviling people. The word in the Greek for reviled is: λοιδορέω (loi-do-re’-ō) and originates from a word meaning “mischief”. But, it sounds rather odd to say that the preachers mischiefed him. We get a bit closer with the more modern word, abused. That works nicely. They abused him. It was a council full of priests swearing – in the old fashioned sense of the word (i.e. oaths and pejoratives) – at a solitary, young Jewish man who had just been given the gift of sight. Imagine that! You get healed and you get sworn at by a flock of frocks.
But it gets worse…they return to the whole “Who’s your daddy?” line of reasoning. It was their default go-to: They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.” ~John 9: 28,29 The healed man asks a simple question. It is a justifiable question in respect to their overt nosiness. They remind him of their storied leader, Moses. They get out in the weeds once more regarding the geography of Jesus’ hometown. They’ve become predictable. And then, this lone figure resumes his stream of consciousness brilliance: The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” ~John 9:30-33
Professional lecturers are not used to being lectured. Totally ignoring the merits of the argument put forth, they threw a clergy hissy fit: They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out. ~John 9:34. The formerly blind man was summarily excommunicated. If you’ve not the wherewithal to counter the message, then destroy the messenger. In philosophy this is referred to as a logical fallacy or an ad hominem attack. It’s been around for ages. It’s still going strong today. Many are afraid to think or to be proven wrong. Absent a reply, the character of the opponent is assassinated. You were born entirely in sins… They nailed the ad hominem.