One Sabbath day Jesus anointed the eyes of a man blind from birth, and the man's eyesight was restored. It was a startling and inspiring manifestation. Unfortunately, however, some who learned of it would not rejoice that one of the local citizens had his vision returned.
"Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man [meaning Jesus] is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them." (John 9:16.)
At the April 1989 general conference, Elder Howard W. Hunter said: "With such a controversy inside their ranks, this group did a very intelligent thing — they asked the opinion of the man who had been healed. 'What sayest thou of him, that
"As he spoke, the blind man undoubtedly looked directly into their eyes (a new and precious privilege). He said plainly, 'He is a prophet.' (John 9:17.)
"But that was an unsettling answer," Elder Hunter continued. "After much discussion, including conversation with the man's parents, the Pharisees agreed to acknowledge that there had indeed been a miracle and that it might have come from God, but that this man must deny any role Christ may have played in the process:
" 'Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man [Jesus] is a sinner.' (John 9:24.)
"Unencumbered by theory or law, the man said, slowly enough for everyone to hear, 'Whether [Jesus] be a sinner or no, I know not: [just] one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.' (John 9:25.)
"The Pharisees, in total frustration and unable to argue with that single greatest and undeniable fact in the case, cast the man out of their presence. Then comes this sweet conclusion to a story about renewed sight and brighter light:
" 'Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
" 'He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
" 'And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
" 'And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.' " (John 9:35-38.)
Elder Hunter said that sight had been given twice — once to remedy a congenital defect and once to behold the King of kings before He would ascend to His eternal throne. "Jesus had quickened both temporal and spiritual vision," he noted. "He had cast His light into a dark place, and this man, like many others in that day as well as in our own, had accepted the light and had seen."