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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

“True Love, False Love”

John 9:24-34

Bad religion is worse than no religion.  The religious leaders can’t let the healing of this blind man go unchallenged.   They are no longer simply questioning him.  They are putting him through a cross examination.  Why is this so important to them?  They have placed their confidence totally in the Law of Moses.  They cannot see that Jesus is the fulfillment of that Law.  With their second questioning of the healed blind man they say, “Give glory to God!”

But that is what the man is doing.  Jesus is the expression of God’s glory.  The irony in this story of course is the fact that the blind man now sees and the religious rulers remain spiritually blind.  There is a lesson for all of us here.  We resist change.  We don’t want to have to rethink our chosen perspectives on faith and life.  Yet the God who is always doing a “new thing” challenges us to do exactly that (Isa. 42:9).

Holding firmly to the Law of Moses in the face of Roman idolatry was not only commendable but an excellent example of faithfulness in the face of persecution.  Yet faithfulness cannot be the same as inflexibility.  Jesus tells the disciples that they will do greater works than he has done (John 14:12).  How can we recognize these “greater works?”  They have to be seen as expressions of Jesus’ love and his saving power in people’s lives.  This doesn’t mean that we automatically accept every new interpretation or idea.  Nonetheless we have to take risks in following Christ.  We always walk by faith and not by sight (II Cor. 5:7).

What is the response of the blind person to all this?  He simply says, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”  The rulers want to dismiss this claim or at least invalidate it.  They in effect are trying to tell the man that he hasn’t really been healed.  In frustration they finally dive him away.  Their religion has kept them from being able to see Jesus.  We have to always remember that religion is a human response to God.  God himself continues to work in surprising ways.  We need to be open to “new things” in Christ.

Eternal and loving God keep me from clinging to my beliefs in a static, inflexible form.  Give me the grace to see you at work in surprising and unexpected ways.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.