What Jesus Did! 'Bending Reality to Fit Our Theology' — John 9:13-17

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Then the people brought the man to the Pharisees. This was the man that had been blind. Jesus had made mud and healed the man's eyes. The day Jesus did this was a Sabbath day. So now the Pharisees asked the man, "How did you get your sight?" The man answered, "He put mud on my eyes. I washed, and now I can see." Some of the Pharisees said, "This man (Jesus) does not obey the law about the Sabbath day. So he is not from God." Other men said, "But a person that is a sinner cannot do miracles like these." These Jews could not agree with each other. The Jewish leaders asked the man again, "This man (Jesus) healed you, and you can see. What do you say about him?" The man answered, "He is a prophet."
— John 9:13-17
Illustration of John 9:13-17 — "He is a prophet."

Key Thought

Isn't it interesting how we can "bend" reality to make it fit faulty theology? This man was healed. He was healed on the Sabbath. But, in the theological wrangling of the Pharisees, that was a violation of the Sabbath so either Jesus was bad or the man hadn't really been healed. Some disagreements on obscure or much debated minor theological points are inconsequential. However, when we use them to wall out and condemn people, or we use them to make God's good work appear to be something bad, then those theological positions become evil. That doesn't mean we water down the plain teaching of Scripture on morality or the nature of Jesus; it does mean that we are a lot more humble and generous when it comes to the value of people.

Today's Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times that I have wrongly used your word to hurt other people. Empty me of my theological and doctrinal arrogance that could blind me to your work in the people around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then the people brought the man to the Pharisees. This was the man that had been blind. Jesus had made mud and healed the man's eyes. The day Jesus did this was a Sabbath day. So now the Pharisees asked the man, "How did you get your sight?" The man answered, "He put mud on my eyes. I washed, and now I can see." Some of the Pharisees said, "This man (Jesus) does not obey the law about the Sabbath day. So he is not from God." Other men said, "But a person that is a sinner cannot do miracles like these." These Jews could not agree with each other. The Jewish leaders asked the man again, "This man (Jesus) healed you, and you can see. What do you say about him?" The man answered, "He is a prophet. " The Jews still did not believe that this really happened to the man. They did not believe that this man was blind and was now healed. But later they sent for the man's parents. They asked his parents, "Is this your son? You say that he was born blind. So why can he see now?" The parents answered, "We know that this man is our son. And we know that he was born blind. But we don't know why he can see now. We don't know who healed his eyes. Ask him. He is old enough to answer for himself." His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The Jewish leaders had already decided that they would punish any person that said Jesus was the Christ. They would put those people out of the synagogue. That is why his parents said, "He is old enough. Ask him." So the Jewish leaders called the man that had been blind. They told the man to come in again. They said, "You should give God the glory {by telling the truth}. We know that this man (Jesus) is a sinner." The man answered, "I don't know if he is a sinner. But I do know this: I was blind, and now I can see." The Jewish leaders asked, "What did he (Jesus) do to you? How did he heal your eyes?" The man answered, "I have already told you that. But you would not listen to me. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you wantto become his followers too?" The Jewish leaders {became angry and} said some very bad things to the man. Then they said, "You are a follower of that man (Jesus). We are followers of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses. But we don't even know where this man (Jesus) comes from!" The man answered, "This is a very strange thing. You don't know where Jesus comes from. But he healed my eyes. We all know that God does not listen to sinners. But God will listen to a person that worships and obeys him. This is the first time that any person ever healed a man that was born blind. This man (Jesus) must be from God. If he were not from God, he could not do anything {like this}." The Jewish leaders answered, "You were born full of sin! Are you trying to teach us?" And the Jewish leaders forced the man to leave.

John 9:13-34

Related Scripture Readings

Then Jesus said, "Stand up! Pick up your bed and walk." Then immediately the man was well. The man picked up his bed and started walking. The day all this happened was a Sabbath day. So some Jews said to the man that had been healed, "Today is the Sabbath. It is against our law for you to carry your bed on the Sabbath day."

John 5:8-10

"It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees. You are hypocrites. You close the way for people to enter the kingdom of heaven. You yourselves don't enter, and you stop the people that are trying to enter. "It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees. You are hypocrites. You travel across the seas and across different countries to find one person that will follow your ways. When you find that person, you make him worse than you are. And you are so bad that you belong in hell!

Matthew 23:13-15

Jesus left that place and went into their synagogue. In the synagogue there was a man with a crippled hand. Some Jews there were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of doing wrong. So they asked Jesus, "Is it right to heal on the Sabbath day?" Jesus answered, "If any of you has a sheep, and the sheep falls into a ditch on the Sabbath day, then you will take the sheep and help it out of the ditch. Surely a man is more important than a sheep. So the law {of Moses} allows people to do good things on the Sabbath day." Then Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, "Let me see your hand." The man put his hand out for Jesus, and the hand became well again, the same as the other hand. But the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus.

Matthew 12:9-14

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.