|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:24-34 As Christ's mercies are most valued by those who have felt the want of them, that have been blind, and now see; so the most powerful and lasting affections to Christ, arise from actual knowledge of him. In the work of grace in the soul, though we cannot tell when, and how, and by what steps the blessed change was wrought, yet we may take the comfort, if we can say, through grace, Whereas I was blind, now I see. I did live a worldly, sensual life, but, thanks be to God, it is now otherwise with me, Eph 5:8. The unbelief of those who enjoy the means of knowledge and conviction, is indeed marvellous. All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject him. He argues strongly against them, not only that Jesus was not a sinner, but that he was of God. We may each of us know by this, whether we are of God or not. What do we? What do we for God? What do we for our souls? What do we more than others?
Verse 28. - They reviled him, and said, Thou art the disciple of that Man (ἐκείνου) - between whom and us there is an impassable chasm. Here is one of the strongest indications of the irreversible breach between the Jews and Jesus - but we, instead of being his disciples, are disciples of Moses. This speech shows that, whatever the blind man meant to convey by the reproachful entreaty of ver. 27, the Jews took it as proof of his virtual confession of discipleship to Jesus, and this they assumed was tantamount to breaking with Moses. They assume that their traditionary interpretation of the Mastic Law has all the authority of the great Lawgiver himself.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then they reviled him,.... Called him an impertinent, saucy, impudent fellow, for talking in this pert manner to them, the great sanhedrim of the nation; or, as the Vulgate Latin version reads, they cursed him; they thundered out their anathemas against him, and pronounced him an execrable and an accursed fellow:
and said, thou art his disciple; for they looked upon it a reproach and scandal to be called a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth; though there is nothing more honourable than to be a follower of him the Lamb whithersoever he goes: wherefore these Jews threw off what they thought a term of reproach from themselves to the blind man; and perhaps they might say this to ensnare him, hoping that he would own himself to be a disciple of Jesus, and profess him to be the Christ, that they might, according to their own act, excommunicate him. The Vulgate Latin, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read, "be thou his disciple"; if thou wilt, we despise the character; far be it from us that we should be followers of him:
but we are Moses's disciples. Thus they preferred Moses to Christ, and chose to be the disciples of Moses the servant, rather than of Christ the Son; though indeed they were not the genuine disciples of Moses; for if they had, they would have been the disciples of Christ, and believers in him, since Moses wrote and testified of him: they might indeed be so far the disciples of Moses, or of his law, since they sought for righteousness and justification by obedience to his law. This was a phrase in use among the Jews: so the Targumist (i) on Numbers 3:2 says,
"these are the names of they sons of Aaron the priests, , "the disciples of Moses", the master of the Israelites;''
particularly the Pharisees, as here, claimed this title to themselves: for it is said (k),
"all the seven days (before the day of atonement) they delivered to him (the high priest) two of the disciples of the wise men, to instruct him in the service (of that day), who were, , "of the disciples of Moses", in opposition to the Sadducees:''
from whence it appears, that these disciples of Moses were of the sect of the Pharisees, who assumed this character as peculiar to themselves; sometimes they call themselves the disciples of Abraham, though the description they give of such, by no means belongs to them; See Gill on John 8:39. They say (l),
"whoever has three things in him, is , "of the disciples of Abraham" our father, and who has three other things is of the disciples of Balaam the wicked: he that has a good eye, (beneficence, or temperance, or contentment,) a lowly spirit, and an humble soul, he is of "the disciples of Abraham" our father; but he that has evil eye, and a proud spirit, and a large soul (lustful or covetous), is of the disciples of Balaam.''
This last character best agrees with those very persons, who would be thought to be the disciples of Abraham and of Moses.
(i) Jonathan ben Uzziel in ib. (k) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 4. 1.((l) Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 19.
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