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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“True Love, False Love”

John 9:18-23

The man who had been born blind has now been given his sight by Jesus.  The religious leaders (simply called here “the Jews) feel threatened by Jesus and therefore don’t believe the blind man had received his sight from him.  In the face of such a miracle why wouldn’t these leaders accept Jesus for who he is?  They call in the parents of the man and ask them if their son really had been blind.  They question the parents about their son’s sight, “How then does he now see?”

Yet these leaders are asking an impossible question.  How can one explain a miracle?  More to the point, how can anyone explain Jesus?  The parents obviously also feel threatened.  They protest that their son is of legal age.  They say, “Ask him.”  Behind their evasion is the threat that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue which is to say, would be rejected and ostracized by their whole community.

It’s easy to identify with these parents.  None of us likes to be put on the spot.  Still less do we want to face rejection.  In reality these parents don’t want to get into a debate about Jesus.  Did he really heal their son?  Can he truly perform miracles?  Is he in fact the Messiah?  They’ don’t want to go there.

Yet questions about Jesus cannot be avoided.  Jesus invariably makes his presence felt.  Questions about him arise again and again. Peter tells us that we should always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us (I Peter 3:15).

What emerges here is that these parents apparently haven’t formed a clear understanding themselves of who Jesus really is. They are not, at this point away, hoping and trusting in him. They basically want to avoid the question.  They already seem to know that supporting Jesus can be costly.  They don’t want to give a definite answer.  We can certainly sympathize with their feeling threatened.

However questions about Jesus can’t be avoided.  The final answer can never be, “We don’t know.”

Gracious and loving God and Savior, give me the grace and the courage to give an answer for my faith in Jesus Christ to anyone who asks.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.