John 9:13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath and, in our passage, the Pharisees were giving the formerly blind man a hard time. They just couldn’t get their heads around what appeared to be a stark contradiction. Jesus performed acts only a man of God could perform, yet he often defied the laws and ordinances of God. Healing was considered “work” in ancient Israel, so healing on the Sabbath meant “working” on the Sabbath, which was a clear violation of the 3rd commandment. It just didn’t add up for the Pharisees.
It’s definitely easier to live in a world where everything is black and white – when you don’t have to think so much or wrestle with deep questions. Just do what the bible says. Yet the older I get the more I realize God can move outside of convention, even the convention of scripture. Jesus is a clear example of this. So if I’m a follower of Jesus I need to be willing to follow Jesus outside of the lines. That’s a challenging idea for me this morning.
Lord give me grace to follow wherever you lead. Even if it’s outside of my boxes. Amen.
One thought on “Following Jesus outside the lines…”
The law G-d gives is to keep the sabbath wholly. The Jews set working as restricted in order that work that might be sinful would not be done and that no man would be commanded by his master to do work that would be sinful. The error of the Pharisees is to take the law out of it’s context. The Jews also had a law that if in trial all the members came to a guilty verdict that the defendant would be set free. They did this because they realized the error prone state of man and yet in the above story the Pharisees have forgotten there own fallibility, context, the purpose of the law and how it came to be. Jesus does work on the sabbath which is wholly as all Jews are commanded to do; for example is not prayer and reading the torah work? Indeed the chief job of the rabbi is to study and teach the torah and this includes doing so on the sabbath. So the Pharisees do work on the sabbath and Jesus reveals unto them there own hypocrisy which they are to blind to see via a blind man having sight! G-d truly does love a good joke!