Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Division Among Them

John 9:14-16

Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see."

Therefore some of the Pharisees said, "This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them.

Wow. Here we go again. More division. Jesus had a knack for this! And Jesus a sinner?

The Pharisees again needed to hear, perhaps to be sure they had ample argument against Jesus, how this blind man was healed by Him.

Jesus wanted people to know Him. He wanted them to know that He was the Son of God. He wanted them to know that He was greater than all the sacrifices that had been made for the sins of the people. That He was going to become the once-for-all-sacrifice for our sins. He was willing to endure the comments, untruths. He hoped to open the eyes of these men, too.

What happens when others attempt to show what Jesus has done in their lives? Not all respond favorably. That's good enough for you, but not me. I don't need God. My life is fine the way it is. The world is tangible; I can see, touch, smell everything. I will put my trust in what I can put my finger on. We can't even see God.

Jesus came to turn the world upside down. He came to show the world if we trust in what is unseen (Jesus), our lives are more secure. Isn't that an upside down statement?  ...while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Corinthians 4:18)

The issue here was that Jesus did a miracle on the Sabbath, their holy day, a day of rest.That was unheard of in Jewish tradition. Jesus was not part of their tradition but a new way! This was a bone of contention for these men. He was upsetting their ways. How could this Man who claimed to be the Son of God, who knew the laws, do this? Isn't that a sin? They could not see that a new way (Way) was before them. We are called to all have teachable spirits...

While God took a day of rest after creating all things, I'm certain in Jesus' day He did not mean not to heal...or be about the Father's business if He so commanded. The day of rest then, and now, is to be a day devoted to God. A day of rest from work. We can still devote every day to God through our lives and our prayers, our communication with Him. If He urges us to do something, we do it, even if it's on that day of "rest."

All the Jewish religious leaders were challenged because they only knew what they had been required to do generation after generation. They might have felt their responsibilities would be in jeopardy because of this one Man. Their power was at stake. Who would listen to them, who would abide by their rules if this Man changed people's way of thinking? All Jesus wanted was for them to understand. I wonder how their lives might have changed had they believed? What changes might we have seen?

Rules and works...legalism. Today as then we need to realize we cannot do works to please God or enter His kingdom. We cannot buy our way or work our way to heaven. We must believe and have faith in God alone. Not a man, nor his ideas. Then our works are deemed good. Jesus was upsetting the Pharisees' apple cart. Part of what they had always adhered to was looking like it was about over. The laws, however, were still intact; God wouldn't change the commands. But He was about to change the means of entering the kingdom through one Sacrifice instead of endless ones which never achieved permanent forgiveness of sins.

But Jesus would and still does be that end-all sacrifice. By Christ alone. No works, no being good enough. A way made that even the most hardened criminal can enter the kingdom if he, with all his heart, turns to Christ and allows Him to transform his life. Imagine that. The person(s) one might so never want to forgive, God will. That's His job! (We ARE called to forgive...even our enemy.)

Like the blind man, we must "see." We must put our faith and trust into Jesus alone. The world nor the traditions of man have anything eternal to offer. If we think like a Pharisee we will stay lost. If we allow Jesus to transform our mind, we will be saved. In Christ alone.

I "saw" fifteen years ago. He touched my life and I knew it. I'm so thankful for Jesus allowing me, a blind person, to see.

Colossians 2:8-10 - Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

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