1 Chronicles 28-29 John 9:24-41
“Some of the Pharisees who were nearby heard Jesus say this and asked, ‘Are you saying we are blind, too?’ Jesus said, ‘If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you keep saying you see, your guilt remains.’” (John 9:40-41 NCV)
It began when Jesus healed a blind man. The next stage in the process was that the Pharisees started arguing with Jesus. The final stage was the Pharisees incriminating themselves and looking foolish. It happens every time. It’s easy to feel sorry for the Pharisees, but the truth is, they did it to themselves, every time. In this situation Jesus used the physical situation of the man born blind to teach a spiritual lesson. Those who were blind would see and those who thought they could see would become blind. The Pharisees took umbrage at this comment and protested that they weren’t blind. Jesus’s response was devastating. In essence, if they were blind to the reality of God’s ways, they wouldn’t be guilty of sin, but, because they claimed to be able to see, and understand God’s ways, they were guilty in their sin. Jesus put them in a lose-lose situation where the only way out would be to follow Him.
It’s important to remember that when Jesus talks to or about the Pharisees of His day, He’s talking about the religious leaders of the day. When we bring this over to our time, this means that those of us who think we’re talking for God, when in reality, we’re blind to the things of God. The problem with Pharisees, and with today’s religious leaders, and I include myself in this bunch, is that we’ve forgotten that the Father sent Jesus down to earth to pay the penalty for sin. Jesus brought forgiveness for sins to all people who turn to Him. Instead of talking about grace and forgiveness, though, we emphasize guilt. We try to make non-Christians follow some set of rules we’ve devised so that people will know how Christians should live. Even though we ourselves can’t follow those rules, we seek to impose them on others. In claiming to know and understand God and His ways, even though we’re blind to the promise of grace and forgiveness, we become guilty of the very sin we accuse others of. Meanwhile, those who don’t follow Christ yet are blind to the things of God, which means they don’t understand what it means to have a relationship with God. They’re not guilty of the sins we would impose on them, but they need to accept the grace and forgiveness of God through Jesus. No one comes to God because they followed the rules and regulations, and we who are “in the know” need to stop focusing on those things and start focusing on experiencing the love and grace of God through Jesus Christ.
Lord, remind me that the joy of the Christian life isn’t found in following the rules and regulations people establish, but in knowing and experiencing fellowship with you.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.