top of page

Day 12 - Tuesday, March 7, 2023

"Then “the Pharisees reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out." - John 9:28-34

Who is truly blind in this passage? The Pharisees, of course! The backdrop of this story is that Jesus healed a man of his blindness on the Sabbath which astounded his family and friends. The man is taken to the Pharisees who doubt the legitimacy of this healing, declare that a sinner such as Jesus couldn’t do such a thing, not to mention that doing such a thing on the Sabbath is a sin anyway, and finally end up throwing the healed man out of the synagogue declaring him to also be a sinner. The Pharisees are the learned ones; they’ve read the Torah; they know the laws backwards and forwards. The words say to honor the Sabbath so this man, Jesus, must not be of God. This man, Jesus, is changing the law, the Torah, the Bible, so he must be evil. Everything they have believed and held to be sacred is being compromised by this Jesus. Surely, he is a threat to be extinguished!

We, as 21st century Christians are so quick to judge the Pharisees because we know the stories; we know the lessons they teach. Of course, they should have known that this man was not blind from birth because of his own sin or the sin of his parents! Of course, there is no harm in giving sight to the blind man on the Sabbath. Of course, they should have believed in Jesus after witnessing such a miracle especially after the identity and infirmity of the man was confirmed by his parents. Of course! Yet, do we do the same? Are we humble enough to see the Pharisee in ourselves? Do we believe that our way is the only right way? Are we quick to pull passages out of context from the Bible to support our views. Do we get so hung up on the words in this sacred book that we miss the “word” that can guide and change our lives today? Do we forget that our Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He also said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” Do we judge those who may receive a different message from God’s Word than we do? Do we acknowledge that God is God and we are not and that his heart and compassion and forgiveness is far greater than we can understand. Are we blind to the fact that God is bigger than we know and it’s up to him to figure out who is sinning and who is not? Who is blind here? I know I am. Are you?

Dear God, help me acknowledge that you are God, and I am not so I need to leave the judgment up to you. Help me focus on listening for your direction for my own life and know when to speak up for my beliefs and when to keep my mouth shut. Help me stop trying to fix everyone else and instead try to strip away the plank in my own eye, bit by bit by bit so that my eyes may be opened to your will and your way! Thank you for the example of Jesus! May I try my best to love like he did! Amen.

-Ellen Austin


bottom of page