Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jesus and the Argumentative

“He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner of not, I don’t know. One thing I do know, I was blind but now I see!’”

~John 9:25 (NIV).

Can you just imagine the conundrum the Pharisees had? A blind man healed, but on the Sabbath. They didn’t like the Jesus fellow anyway; this only clouds their judgment as they question and consider the once blind man.

But the once blind man was never talking the Pharisees around—it was never going to happen.

The Pharisees, like many today, had a divergent, entirely self-serving and evil intent. Manufacturing a godless rule-bound faith was their stock-in-trade, and they were determined to ruin any case that didn’t cooperate with theirs—which is based in a corruptive power; a mind of its own and certainly not after God’s mind on things. Certainly this is what led to Jesus’ trial, flogging and crucifixion. From the Pharisees’ viewpoint Jesus had to be dealt with. Little did they know this was his precise Divine purpose!

But now in John 9, the Pharisees met their match with the blind man.

He argues very effectively (in John 9:30-34) that Jesus must’ve been from God. So, the Pharisees throw him out. The Pharisees (and those like them today and through all ages) are those who can see but who’re spiritually blind (John 9:39).

Jesus beckons the argumentative of all ages. ‘Taste and “see” that I’m good,’ he says. In other words, ‘Decide, now, upon the evidence I’m showing you.’

The blindness of stubbornness and stupidness a.k.a. argumentativeness is far worse than physical blindness. We know this when we find ourselves in a fight with someone who won’t let go of their issue, no matter how sound our argument or case is. They simply will not listen. (Of course, our challenge is still to listen to them.)

There was a reason Paul had the tradition of going into the Synagogues for three consecutive Sunday’s in a new mission destination (Acts 17:2); he had to give the Jews the opportunity to hear about this Jesus, the Saviour of the world.

But all too often he met the same theme: spiritual blindness and hardened hearts.

And so what are we to do?

In our belief, we’re going way on beyond the argumentative.

They’re stuck—and perhaps forever so—in their argumentative and spiritually blind states. And there they shall remain, without light and certainly without hope and knowledge of a God who loves them with a love beyond any earthly love.

And they do not need God (though we know this to be a vast folly, pervasive through humankind). Our Jesus came to turn the tables on the spiritually proud. He offers a ‘leg-up’ to those poor-in-spirit, that he might come and make all the difference.

And this is our golden reality: the Divine ‘lottery ticket’ we all qualify to win.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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