Why did the lame man in John 5:1-15 not know that Jesus healed him, but the blind man in John 9 knew that Jesus healed him?
Neither one asked for Jesus to heal him. The lame man could see, but didn’t recognize Jesus who healed him:
Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. (John 5:13, ESV)
The blind man did not see Jesus when or after he healed him, but knew that Jesus healed him:
He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” (John 9:11)
The blind man fit into Jesus’ theme of being the light of the world. It was fitting that he recognized Jesus and believed in him. But what is the historical basis?
Perhaps it is because people usually learn names by hearing and not seeing them. The blind man was preoccupied with receiving help from others. He was listening. The blind man picked up on Jesus’ name by hearing, while the lame man was preoccupied with trying to get into the pool to be healed and wasn’t listening.
The lame man was at Bethesda (בֵּית חַסְדָּא) = house of mercy. He was busy with a scheme to heal himself when he needed Jesus’ ability to heal him. Perhaps John included this miracle in his gospel to point out our need for Jesus to save us.
Is this valid hermeneutics? Is there more historical reasons to explain this question?