Friday after Cantate
Scripture: St. John 9:14-34 (NKJV)
9:14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”
Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”
18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”
25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
26 Then they said to him again, “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? Do you also want to become His disciples?”
28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”
30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.
There is quite a contrast between the man who was born blind and his parents. His parents were afraid of the church leadership for fear of being put out of the synagogue. They could have confessed the truth and said, “Jesus healed our son who was blind from birth.” But being excommunicated from the synagogue would bring social and financial problems they did not want to endure.
On the other hand, the man who was healed fearlessly spoke the truth of what had happened to him. The parents got to stay in the synagogue, while their son was thrown out.
So what do we learn from this? For some people the take away might be, “Don’t rock the boat. Look at what happened to that guy.” Sadly, that is the approach taken by many people when it comes to church doctrine and practice. They fear what others think more than they fear what God has to say. People find it easier to not “rock the boat” and find excuses to explain why they remain in heterodox church bodies. They may even appeal to church officials as ones who know more, even when those church officials speak contrary to what Scripture plainly says.
God calls us to speak the truth and avoid “those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned” (Rom. 16:17). The man who was healed was cast out of the synagogue, but would later be found by Christ and placed into the Church.
Prayer: Bring to naught, O Christ, the errors which bring divisions in Thy Church. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.