Jesus healed many blind people, often in different ways; by word, by touch, even spit. The blind person in these verses regained his site only after he left Jesus and washed his eyes as instructed. Jesus was not even there at the moment he first could see! Only later running into Jesus again do we get this dialog.
Upon seeing him again later, Jesus asks him if he believes in the Son of Man and he answered “Who is he sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him.” He responds to Jesus’ question with an admission of his own ignorance but with an open heart – the total opposite of the Pharisees.
In this reunion, encounter, there are nearby Pharisees (no surprise there, they seem to always be keeping a close watch) that hear Jesus say “…I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” The Pharisee answers, “What? Are we blind too?” A rhetorical question meaning – “you’re not saying I don’t understand spirituality!” and laughing.
The ending is fascinating. Jesus seems to say, God does hold all people accountable – but – (“If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin;”) those who come to God in humility, admitting weakness and seeking truth, are met with grace and forgiveness – judge on that standard VS. the proud, those who are wise in their own eyes, who claim to have spiritual sight, (“but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”) will be judged accordingly – by their own standard? You could write a whole book in this closing verse!
Regardless…We are all sinners, called to repent with humility as Jesus’s sacrifice has paved the way for our acceptance in Heaven with Him for eternity.