The once-blind teaching the blind

I love the story found in John 9:1-34 of the blind man healed by Jesus. There was a man blind since birth, and Jesus applies mud to his eyes and tells him to wash it off. When he does this, he can see for the very first time.

Instead of rejoicing with the man, the Pharisees drag him before them and want to know how he received his sight and who it was who had the audacity to heal him on the Sabbath. Imagine, doing the works of God on God's day!

The man told them the truth: a man named Jesus healed me. He once was blind, but now he sees. This enraged the Pharisees because they were clouded in their thought in at least two ways. First, no one who claimed to be a man of God would sin by violating the Sabbath. And second, they just didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

What makes this story even more crazy is that after the healed man began to remind them of how God works (vs.30-33), these Pharisees threw him out of the synagogue for trying to teach them. After all, this man was born entirely in sin according to the Pharisees, so who was he to try and teach them? Were the Pharisees actually claiming to be above sin?

I see many parallels in this story to the ways that followers of Christ can behave today. We claim to be above sin when we rail against certain moral issues (homosexuality, abortion, etc.) yet we are the greatest of hypocrites when we refuse to acknowledge our own sins (pornography, gossip, adultery, etc.). Also like the Pharisees, we can tend to conform so much to tradition and personal preferences that we reject those who don't see it our way (denominations, anyone?). And I also believe that we can be so prideful that we refuse to believe that we can discover anything new from God apart from a suit in a pulpit.


Anonymous said...

I love to read this story, especially the remark of the man who was healed to the Pharisees. He asks them, "Do you want to become His disciples too, do you?"
I can imagine the outrage from the Pharisees.

I appreciate your post a lot. This past Sunday in church we were in Mark 7. It really hammers home the issue of sin in our own lives. How we need to be consistant and in contant evaluation of our lives.

Soli Deo Gloria

Sterling Griggs said...

It's definitely one of my favorites as well. In fact, chapter 8 is also one of my favorites with Jesus forgiving the woman in adultery.

It seems that we (that meaning Christians) are becoming more and more unteachable and unreachable (sorry to rhyme like a bad homiletician). Caedmon's Call does a great song about this passage on their very first CD.

Anonymous said...

What song?

Sterling Griggs said...

It's called "All I Know" and it's off "My Calm Your Storm."

The honest hypocrite

The Bean There, Done That looks like any other coffee shop near a major college campus. Olive colored walls, dim ligh...