Does our pious logic cause us to deny the truth? Why are we so quick to judge contradictions?
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “ Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “ I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28 They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.” 30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, andyet He opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “ You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out.
This is another one of those passages that normally I would skim over and not stop to think about too much. “ok, they doubt him and that Jesus healed him, blah blah blah.” However, there are much more profound elements in this part of the story. I’ve discussed lately about the lack of waste in God. God never wastes a hurt; God never wastes time. I truly believe that God never wastes words either and if it is in the bible, then there is a reason for it. I could spin off a discussion on the validity of the bible but I will save that for an article on my project Why We Don’t Believe.
You can’t deny the truth.
The passage starts by questioning the action and the actor. Now, first, I’d like to point out that even though they are supposedly condemning Jesus for supposedly sinning (He made mud on the Sabbath), they are still at wonder by what He did. To the Pharisees, it didn’t make sense. Their pious logic is still blinding them to a bigger truth. They simply can’t handle the truth: that it is all about more than their religious rules. I love the response of the (once) blind man, “I don’t know who this guy is, sinner or not, but I do know that because of Him, I now can see.” Regardless of how well we know or don’t know God, we cannot honestly deny His existence. From the healing of the blind, to turning water into wine, to the resurrection and the pouring out of the Spirit, there are truly things that happen that can only be explained by the power of a higher being. I hear people say, “show me proof that God exists.” Look around you! All of this cannot certainly be an accident. Despite the fact that I don’t believe in coincidences, I have not yet found one person who can convince me that this earth, the living beings upon it, and the fact that it continues to exist is a result of happenstance. Honestly, that’s harder to believe than the existence of God!
It’s not about following man.
I’ll try not to go too deep into this since I have already written extensively about it. We need not put our faith in man. Man is sinful, regardless of how pious he or she might be. It is one thing to look to others for examples, but we must maintain a healthy boundary of understanding that our relationship with God is not supposed to depend on the credence of another human being. If that is the case, then simply put, we are putting our faith in men and women instead of God Himself. The Jews that are having this discussion boldly tell the blind man that they solely rely on the teachings of Moses. Maybe I’m nitpicking here, but evenso it’s a good place to make an important point. If we solely rely on the teachings of just one man, what happens when that man falls? Moses sinned against God. It is why he was not allowed to enter the land of Israel. Furthermore, this is exactly why our faith is in Jesus. He is more than a man. He is God. He is God in human form, some may say He is the face of God: the way God made for us to interact with Him. I’ve ben asked by some friends why anyone should put their faith in a man. Following and believing in Jesus Christ is not about putting your faith in a man, but God Himself. This is what the Pharisees could not understand because they loved to base their practices on the hearts of men.
Contradictions are a red flag for misunderstanding.
I have studied some supposed biblical contradictions and what I have learned from them is that they are an indicator of the need for more study. Now, I’m certainly not trying to say I have it all figured out. I’m asking questions every day. It is why I write this. We see this man explaining something to the Pharisees, who of course reject what he is saying because he is a “sinner” (side note that physical affliction and ailments were seen as a result of sinfulness). Having an analytical mind, whenever I see a contradiction, biblical or otherwise, I attempt to dig deeper. It is always possible that there is a true contradiction, however why are we so quick to judge and turn away? Similar to the way the Pharisees treated this man, they were never of a mindset to learn more, to expand their understanding of God, or even of miracles. Rather they had other, more conceited motives. I believe we do the same thing in our own lives. We immediately reject something because it doesn’t line up with what we know (or think we know) and doesn’t help us in our own righteousness (as we know it). Quite frankly, this is most presumptuous of our own superiority (in knowledge, faith, or whatever) and we are foolish when we do so.
What is it that you reject and probably deserves a second look?