This morning I woke up and read John 9. In the quiet of the morning. Can you believe that?!?! My kids slept in. Seriously?! I give up trying to get up before them and then it just happens naturally. Sometimes you just have to learn to let it go and things happen without all the effort. I was thinking about it this morning in the car on the way to work though. What if the reason that my kids kept waking up before me was so that they could see me actively reading my bible? I mean it certainly seems like a "God thing". It's important that we model for our kids what we'd like them to be like. Maybe it wasn't a coincidence at all. Mind you, I hadn't finished the reading when my husband was getting them up for school so they still saw me reading my bible. There's meaning in there somewhere, I'm sure of it.
John 9 is almost like a Cole's Notes on spiritual blindness. It begins with Jesus healing the man who was blind from birth. My favourite part of this encounter was the disciples asking if it was the man's fault of the fault of his parents that he was born blind. This is a Moses' Law thing. You know, for every sin the father makes I'll revisit it on his children. It was popular belief from the Old Testament, which is the only testament the people of the time had to go on. Jesus sets them straight though. It's neither the son's sin nor the father's. (Huh??) It actually happened to show the good works of God. Think about this in modern times. I'm going to use a personal example. I was an atheist from early teens to about 27-28 years old. My mom passed away when I was 27, but not before 10 long months of suffering while she waited for a liver transplant. Did she do something wrong? Did her parents do something wrong? No. She suffered to show the good works of God. How can I say that? Because it was a year after she passed away that I became a Christian. I saw her in her weakest state and I still wanted what she had. Assurance. If that hadn't happened in my life, I may not be the follower of Jesus that I am today. I may not be using my experiences with depression, organ donation and other aspects of my life to help people in the same situation I was in. If it wasn't for her suffering, passing and my subsequent depression, I never would have hit rock bottom in my life the way I did at that time. Do you know who's with you at rock bottom? Jesus. And he wants to help you too! I was blind, but now I see. I didn't know God, but now I do.
Back to John 9. Jesus uses this analogy of blindness when he's speaking about the Pharisees. Sometimes we think we know all there is to know about something and become "experts" on the whole thing. That can actually work against us because we become so prideful about what we know that when something real and genuine comes along related to our own knowledge we may overlook it. Are ya pickin' up what I'm puttin' down here? The Pharisees knew the Old Testament like the back of their hand. They knew the Law like I know the spelling of Mississippi. Backwards and forwards. They could quote anything from it and they could hold everyone accountable for their cleanliness based on it. These guys were "The Guys" of Law knowledge during the times. People feared them because they didn't want to be cast out of the synagogue. Much like the blind man's parents. Yet, when the Messiah comes they are so prideful they don't even recognize him. In fact, they persecute him. They were spiritually blind. You see, there is a difference between knowing all the verses and being able to recite the bible, but until you live it and your actions prove it, you're spiritually blind too. The Pharisees may have known it, but they were so nit picky on the rules it blinded them.
I always find it such a shame when someone claims to be a Christian yet their actions don't send that vibe at all. Like the person who goes to church on Sunday but passes judgement on Monday. Judgement is a hard thing to understand. I know that the bible tells us not to judge the world by our standards and yet that happens all the time. We are to be lights like Jesus, pointing towards him through our love of others. Unfortunately a lot of times that's not the case. That's the very reason why a lot of people refer to Christians as hypocrites. Well, that's safe to say about any group. There are radicals in every group that take some aspect of their unity to the extremes. As for myself, I just want people to know Jesus through my story. I want to help others the way Jesus helped me. It may be a little light, but I'm gonna shine it baby!
What did you take away from John 9?
You know the saying, the grass is always greener on the other side? This is my attempt to find greener grass right where I am in my life.
BTW - I'm the one on the right, just in case you didn't already know that.