John 9:22-25 NKJV His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. (23) Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” (24) So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” (25) He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
In John chapter 9 we meet a man that was born blind and has spent his entire adult life begging (v8). He was well known by those that visited the temple at the Mt. of Olives. As Jesus left the temple after supernaturally avoiding being stoned after He revealed Himself as I AM he passed by this man and healed him.
Later this man’s neighbors saw him seeing, questioned him about who healed him, and took him to the Pharisees when he told them that some guy named Jesus healed him by putting mud in his eyes and sending him to go wash it off at the pool of Siloam. Everyone was shocked that this man could see. The Pharisees sought confirmation from his parents that he had indeed been blind from birth. Once they confirmed they were asked how Jesus could heal their son and what they thought about Him. That’s when they became afraid. His parents believed that this miracle pointed to the reality that Jesus was the Christ, but didn’t know how they could even begin to scripturally explain their belief. They also knew that saying such a thing would have them excommunicated from the synagogue and they would be harshly criticized.
Sometimes people don’t speak up because they are not confident in their understanding of Scripture to answer all the arguments that people have. Praise God, you don’t have to. In verse 25 the man previously blind speaks up saying, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know; that thought I was blind, now I see.” His statement proves you don’t have to have a theology degree to speak up about Jesus. All you have to do is tell others what He’s done for you. But what about His parent’s fear of being criticized and socially outcast… well they did kick this man out of the synagogue, but then Jesus found him, strengthened him, and ministered to him.
I hear from people that tell me they are too afraid to tell people about Jesus. First of all that is selfish. People are dying and going to Hell because they don’t know Him and they are concerned that someone won’t like them. Well if they wake up in Hell and know you could have at least told them about Jesus they really won’t like you. Sometimes they tell me they just don’t know enough or how to answer the questions that people ask. Neither did this ex-blind guy in John 9 but he told them what he did know. He told them what Jesus had done for them. Nobody can argue that. Secondly, so what if you are ostracized. This man was kicked out of the synagogue and then Jesus strengthened and ministered to him. His parents fear kept them in the in crowd, but it also kept them from being personally strengthened and ministered to by Jesus
What freed the man born blind from fear? Perhaps it was that his whole life he had already been a kind of social outcast relegated to begging for an income. If you’ve never really been accepted the threat of rejection might not hold as much power. Or maybe it was the fact that he had a LIFE CHANGING encounter with Jesus that was so fresh to him, he simply couldn’t keep his mouth shut. I lean to the latter. Keeping ourselves grateful and in mind of all that Jesus has done for us empowers and emboldens us to share what He’s done with others without fear.