(12) Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” (13) They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. (14) Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. (15) Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” (16) Therefore some of the Pharisees said, 'This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.' Others said, 'How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?' And there was a division among them. (17) They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” (18) But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. (19) And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” (20) His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; (21) but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” (22) His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. (23) Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” (24) So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” (25) He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” (26) Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” (27) He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?” (28) Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. (29) We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.” (30) The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! (31) Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.
Knowledge plays a part in the man's healing; this theme is suggested by the fact that each of the parties claim both to know and not to know something. Since the claims and the reasons for them differ, the contrasts highlight their various types of knowledge. By their questioning, the Pharisees try to discredit the man's testimony, attempting to find a cause to brand the healing a fraud and to attack Jesus (verse 19). They imply that the parents should stop lying and come clean (verses 20-21). Yet, the parents affirm two facts: that the healed man was indeed their son and that he was born blind. They knew this, and they were not afraid to affirm it.
Conversely, they denied knowing how he came to see and who did the miracle. Why do they not acknowledge what they know of Christ's role in the healing? “They feared the Jews.” They know that the leaders would excommunicate anyone who confessed Jesus as the Messiah. The parents simply did not want to get involved. They were afraid to acknowledge what had been revealed to them.
This is an accurate picture of many today. The truths of Christianity have been proclaimed to them—perhaps by parents, friends, or the church. Intellectually, they know and even believe these truths, but they will not admit them. They are afraid to acknowledge Christ for fear of the consequences.
— Martin G. Collins