John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 9:13 - 9:13

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 9:13 - 9:13


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13.They bring to the Pharisees. The following narrative shows that wicked men are so far from profiting by the works of God, that, the more they are urged by their power, so much the more are they constrained to pour out the venom which dwells within their breasts. The restoration of sight to the blind man ought undoubtedly to have softened even hearts of stone; or, at least, the Pharisees ought to have been struck with the novelty and greatness of the miracle, so as to remain in doubt for a short time, until they inquired if it were a divine work; but their hatred of Christ drives them to such stupidity, that they instantly condemn what they are told that he has done.

The Evangelist mentions the Pharisees; not that other sects were favorable to Christ, but because this sect was more zealous than the rest in maintaining the present condition. Hypocrisy is always proud and cruel. Being swelled with a false opinion of their holiness, they were chiefly wounded by the doctrine of the Gospel, which condemned all their counterfeit righteousnesses; and above all, they fought for their power and kingdom, under the pretense of endeavoring to maintain the Law.

When the Evangelist says that the multitude brought the blind man to the Pharisees, it is difficult to determine with what disposition or with what intention they did so. Scarcely an individual among them could then be ignorant of the inveterate hostility ofthe Pharisees to Christ; and therefore it is possible that many flatterers, in order to obtain their favor, purposely attempted to conceal the glory of the miracle. Yet I think it is probable that the greater part of the people, suspending their judgment, as usually happens, determined to refer to the arbitration and decision of those who held the government. But wilfully shutting their eyes, while the sun is shining, they bring darkness on themselves to obscure its light. It is a foolish superstition of the common people that, under the pretense of honoring God, they adore the wicked tyrants of the Church, and despise God himself, both in his word and in his works, or, at least, do not deign to look at him.