Characteristics of Blindness
John 9:1-25
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.…

I knew such a blind man once — sharp, shrewd, clever. I was staying on the Cornish coast and the good man of the house sat in the settle by the fire. I was anxious to make his acquaintance and seeing he was blind, I said, with as much sympathy as I could, "Yours is a great affliction, my friend." To my astonishment he got up and turned upon me angrily, and denied it utterly. "No, it is not," said he — "not a bit." And he groped his way out. His wife hurried in to apologise and explain. "Oh, sir, I am so sorry; I meant to have asked you not to say anything about my husband's blindness. He always gets so angry. You know, he thinks eyes are such stupid things. And he can do a great deal more without his eyes than many men can do with them." That blind man opened my eyes. I watched henceforth most carefully, and I think I learned this — that, generally speaking, a blind man is not conscious of his infirmity. A deaf man sees that he is deaf, but a blind man cannot see that he is blind. As the result of my altered manner I got an invitation to address some two or three hundred blind people. I was almost shocked at the reason given for asking me. "He won't pity us." Not pity the poor blind! — why, it was the appeal that had often diverted my earliest pence from some indulgence. But I knew what they meant, and was glad that they had discerned my knowledge — the blind only know that they are blind by being pitied.

(M. G. Pearse.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

WEB: As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.

The Jews and Jesus
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