As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. [John 9:1-3 CEB]
If you continue to read on in this chapter, you see that Jesus healed the blindness in this man by, of all things, taking some dirt from the ground, spitting on it and rubbing the mud on the blind man’s eyes. Why was this necessary? In Luke 18:35-44, Jesus heals a blind man in Jericho just by saying, “You are healed.” The answer may have something to do with the disciples’ question.
They’re being incredibly insensitive to the feelings of the man before them. Here is a man who has been without sight his whole life and the disciples use him as a prop to ask Jesus a theological question. So, Jesus does something different in healing this man. Something unexpected. If the disciples want to use this unfortunate man as a case study, Jesus will do the same. But, Jesus’ objective is to show the disciples that this is a living, breathing human being, made from the dust of the earth, as the Book of Genesis states. A man with feelings and hopes and dreams. Jesus was saying to the disciples, "you want to know who sinned?," don’t ask that question. Neither he, nor his mother, nor his father sinned to cause his blindness.
Later, we see the religious leaders still trying to debate the sin and blindness question. So, Jesus used this moment to flip their whole outlook on being blinded. Who are the ones that are really the blind? Spiritually blind. To be a disciple, one must look at others as God sees them. One must have pure motives and not destructive motives when dealing with others. Or as Jesus says in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” They will have the eyes of God.