on John 9 :17
He is a prophet - They had intended to lay snares for the poor man, that, getting him to acknowledge Christ for the Messiah, they might put him out of the synagogue, John 9:22, or put him to death, that such a witness to the Divine power of Christ might not appear against them. But, as the mercy of God had given him his sight, so the wisdom of God taught him how to escape the snares laid for his ruin. On all thy glory there shall be a defense, says the prophet, Isaiah 4:5. When God gives any particular mercy or grace, he sends power to preserve it, and wisdom to improve it. The man said, He is a prophet. Now, according to a Jewish maxim, a prophet might dispense with the observation of the Sabbath. See Grotius. If they allow that Jesus was a prophet, then, even in their sense, he might break the law of the Sabbath, and be guiltless: or, if they did not allow him to be a prophet, they must account for the miracle some other way than by the power of God; as from Satan or his agents no good can proceed - to do this it was impossible. So the wisdom of God taught the poor man to give them such an answer as put them into a complete dilemma, from which they could not possibly extricate themselves.
on John 9 :17
What sayest thou of him? ... - The translation here expresses the sense obscurely. The meaning is, "What sayest thou of him for giving thee sight?" (Campbell); or, "What opinion of him hath this work of power and mercy to thee wrought in thee?" (Hammond).
He is a prophet - That is "I think that the power to work such a miracle proves that he is sent from God. And though this has been done on the Sabbath, yet it proves that he must have been sent by God, for such a power could never have proceeded from man." We see here:
1. A noble confession made by the man who was healed, in the face of the rulers of the people, and when he doubtless knew that they were opposed to Jesus. We should never be ashamed, before any class of men, to acknowledge the favors which we have received from Christ, and to express our belief of his power and of the truth of his doctrine.
2. The works of Jesus were such as to prove that he came from God, however much he may have appeared to oppose the previous notions of men, the interpretation of the law by the Pharisees, or the deductions of reason. People should yield their own views of religion to the teachings of God, and believe that he that could open the eyes of the blind and raise the dead was fitted to declare his will.
on John 9 :17
9:17 What sayest thou of him, for that he hath opened thine eyes? - What inference dost thou draw herefrom?