You guys, I am such a church girl. I love church. I need church. I actually can’t manage life without a church. (My husband will attest to this. When we move and have to go through the “church shopping” phase, I nearly lose my mind. True story.) “Home” for me is wherever my church is. I believe that being a part of a church family is one of the best ways to grow spiritually, to develop our spiritual gifts in ministry, and to learn to love people the way that Jesus does.
However, sometimes us church people just get it wrong, don’t we? In John 9, we see some glaring examples of this. The chapter opens with the story of a man who had been blind since birth. “Who is to blame?” the disciples wanted to know. “Was he born blind because of his parent’s sin or his own sin?”
Have you heard a version of this question? I have. Especially when someone’s situation has gone on and been prayed over for many years, us church people may demand an explanation and begin to assign blame. Jesus cut them off immediately. “’Neither this man, nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened that the works of God might be displayed in him’ (John 9:3).”
What an entirely different way of looking at life! When bad things happen to us, instead of assigning blame or wallowing in self-pity (as we are so inclined to do), we can look for the ways that “the works of God might be displayed” in us.
After Jesus healed the man, we might assume that people would be happy for him. Tragically, that isn’t always the case. The people who were the least happy for the formerly blind man were…church people. The Pharisees were outraged that Jesus had worked outside of their narrow view of how He should have worked. For some, grace is not only amazing, it is infuriating!
The Pharisees even brought the man’s parents into their conflict, insinuating that the family had made the man’s blindness up (imagine his mom and dad trying to keep a straight face through this). Fearing that they might be thrown out of the temple (their church) the man’s mom and dad treaded lightly, but when the Pharisees tried to get the newly healed man to agree that Jesus was a sinner, he said something profound. “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see (John 9:25).”
The entire Gospel is summed up in that simple sentence. Once we were blind, but then we met Jesus and now we see. Today, do people see the dramatic difference that the Savior has made in our lives? I hope so, because it might be the very thing that leads to their eyes being opened as well.
(For those who have missed any of the previous lessons, you can go to https://comethirstyministry.com/blog/ and view all previous postings.)
Day 1: John 2:1-12 (Mary)
Day 2: John 4:1-26 (Woman at the Well)
Day 3: John 8:1-11 (Woman Caught in Adultery)
Day 4: John 9:1-41 (Blind Man’s Mother)
Day 5: John 11:1-44 (Mary and Martha)