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.
The repeating of the same question and circular argumentation of the Jews reveal their unwillingness to accept the clear confession of Jesus as the Christ. They repeatedly declare He is a sinner without presenting any proof, while refusing to accept the obvious evidence of Jesus’ miraculous work that contradicts their false accusations of Him. The Pharisees’ prejudice toward Jesus being a sinner will not allow them to see Him and His ministry as He and it truly are. This sinful tendency toward God and His Word continues today. Many approach Christ and the Scriptures with the preconception that they cannot be true because that would contradict these people’s previous devotion to rejecting God.
The text ends with the Jews uttering a classic attack used by those opposed to the Truth presented by the Lord through Scripture and the Holy Spirit. How often is the confrontation of sinful behavior or a faithful confession of God’s Word met with the accusation of “you have no right because you are not without sin!” Unfortunately, the guilt of sin often leads to denial and defensiveness instead of repentance.
Christ tells us that He must do His Father’s work as long as there is time. Likewise, we must do the work that our heavenly Father has called us to as His children and disciples of His Son Jesus Christ.
We pray: Heavenly Father, give us the grace and wisdom to judge rightly and mercifully, always remembering that we poor sinners come before You purely by grace through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.