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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

“True Love, False Love”

John 9:13-17

Jesus does not fit the expectations of the Pharisees, the religious leaders.  They are taking a narrow focus.  Everything for them is a matter of the law.  The irony of course is that Israel never followed the law faithfully (I Kings 21:15).  Nonetheless it has been true throughout history that those who are most critical and judgmental are often the most likely to betray the standards they want to impose on others.

Which is more important, healing a blind man or conforming to a strict adherence to the Sabbath?   The question answers itself.  Jesus said the Sabbath was made for humanity not humanity for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).  The Pharisees are divided about Jesus.  Yet this all comes down to Jesus quoting again from Hosea 6:6. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matt. 12:7).  We can never show enough mercy (Rom. 11:32).

The irony here is that the former blind person is being treated as though he has done something wrong.  He cannot answer their questions about Jesus.  As far as he knows Jesus is a prophet.  That’s all he can say.

The law is not our authority.  As we mentioned in church this past Sunday the law’s benefit lies in defining the will of God.  However beyond that the law can neither empower us nor condemn us (Rom. 8:1)

You cannot define love or mercy by a list of commandments.  This is why our freedom in Christ is so important (John 8:36).  Yet we are often hesitant to live out that freedom.  Rules and commandments give us a measure of security.  Jesus however pushes the envelope.  He calls us to come out of our comfort zone.  To be faithful to God we may have to break the law.  Jesus certainly did (Matt. 12:1-5).

Loving and merciful God and Savior give me the grace and courage to reach out to those in need.  Keep me from being bound by anything that hampers your love and mercy.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.