17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
Thoughts: Why would the man born blind say that Jesus was a prophet? For most of us the prophet is the one who foretells the future or speaks forth the Word of the Lord. But prophets also were so close to God, and God used them to do mighty works. So, Moses, the ultimate prophet, was used to provide water in the desert, a serpent on a pole to heal those bitten; So Elijah raised the widow's son; Elisha healing the Shunamite's son and healing Naaman's leprosy; Isaiah healed Hezekiah. The work of healing and helping were not isolated from a prophet, but were part of the work. The Westminster Shorter Catechism (below) speaks of Christ as a prophet because He reveals God's will for our salvation. God is here to help us, to save us. The healing of a blind man was part of the message of God's care for our needs.
John Calvin Abridged: The more diligently they inquire, the more impressively does the truth of God appear. They act as those who are trying to blow out a strong flame, but only make it higher. So we do not need to be afraid when the wicked try to snuff out the truth of God- they will only succeed in making it stronger. This blind man acknowledged Christ as much as he could (as a prophet) without knowing Christ is the Son of God. How shameful it is for those who deny Christ when they know He sits at the right hand of the Father and will come back as Judge of the whole world. The blind man did not quench the small spark of knowledge but openly confessed it. We ought also to openly acknowledge the faith that blazes inside our hearts.
Westminster Shorter Catechism:
Q24: How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A24: Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.