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

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Then [the people questioning the man who had been healed of his blindness took him] to the Pharisees, because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, "He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!"

Some of the Pharisees said, "This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath." Others said, "But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?" So there was a deep division of opinion among them.

Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, "What's your opinion about this man who healed you?"

The man replied, "I think he must be a prophet."

— John 9:13-17 NLT

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 "work" of healing 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 disagreements to wall out and condemn people, or when we use them to make God's good work appear to be something bad, then those theological positions become evil. Theological principles can be misused, but that misuse doesn't mean we water down the plain teaching of Scripture on morality and all others aspects of our lives as disciples or on the nature of Jesus; it does mean that we should be 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. May I always love and respect people as you do. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 5:8-10
  • Matthew 23:13-15
  • Matthew 12:9-14

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of John 9:13-17 NLT — "I think he must be a prophet."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.