He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
An unhappy woman who has associated herself with a notorious atheist in this country, went down to a great northern city in England to deliver a lecture against Christianity, and the object of her able deliverance was to prove that Christ was a myth. A great crowd of working men assembled to hear her, drawn together, as I believe they often are on such occasions, a good deal more by curiosity than by sympathy with the lecturer. When the lady had finished, a man got up at the other end of the room and said, "My friends, you know me. I have lived among you for twenty-five years. Twenty-five years ago I was a drunken brute. I used to beat my wife and make my home a hell upon earth. Now, this lady says that Jesus of Nazareth is a myth. I am not quite sure that I know what a myth is, but I suppose that she means that He never existed, or, at any rate, is not what we declare Him to be. Now, my friends, twenty-five years ago, when I was a drunken, wife-beating rascal, Jesus of Nazareth met me and opened my eyes, and I saw that I was a sinner, and He forgave my sins; and you know what a change took place in me then, and you know what sort of a man I have been for the last twenty-five years. Perhaps the lady will be kind enough to explain me." Down he sat. The lady said that she could not explain him, and she did not deliver the two other lectures in that course, I have no doubt that she was perfectly familiar with all that Strauss has written, and with what Renan says, and with the difficulties which the great men of science have suggested, and she went down to that northern city flushed with the anticipation of victory; but there was one very awkward fact which she had overlooked — that there happened to be living in that very city a well-known man whose eyes Jesus of Nazareth had opened twenty-five years ago. What is the use of making most difficult and endless inquiries into the origin of ancient documents until you have explained me? And standing here addressing some whom I shall never meet again until we meet at the judgment seat, I present myself as a living witness. What you have to explain is me. My mind goes back twenty-three years, when, in a beautiful little village in Wales, Jesus of Nazareth opened my eyes, and I saw that He was my Saviour, and that God was my Father; and in that light I have been walking with perfect happiness for twenty-three years. That is what you have to explain, and you are in a very great difficulty, because there are so many of us. Two thousand years ago there was only one at Jerusalem, and they were able to dispose of him pretty quickly. They lost their tempers; and bullied him, and finally excommunicated him. But you cannot excommunicate us all. Let every man speak of that which he knows.
(H. P. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.