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

Monday, July 2, 2018

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 NLT
Illustration of John 9:13-17 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

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


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.

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.