Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”
“I say, I say, don’t bother me with the facts son, I’ve already made up my mind.” A bit of wisdom from one of my favorite cartoon characters, Foghorn Leghorn. It also sounds a lot like the Pharisees in their discourse with the blind man whom Jesus healed in John chapter nine. Have you ever been so sure you were right about something, you knew there was no way you were wrong, only to find out later you were? Me too. On little things, it really isn’t that big a deal. We’re all wrong at times, and it’s important that we admit it; that’s how we learn. But, on the big order questions of life – it matters.
The Leaders of the Jews were convinced they were right about Jesus; they had Him all figured out. In their mind, there was no way He was from God. In fact, they thought Jesus was from the Devil (Matt. 12:24), but they couldn’t have been more wrong. As they grilled the blind man, who was healed (John 9:18-41) about Jesus’ origins, the Pharisees couldn’t accept that He was from God. The healed man was amazed at their blindness (John 9:30). How could they not know He was from God? No one in the history of the world ever gave sight to someone born blind.
Lent is a great time to discover new truth about ourselves, and about God. Through the practice of spiritual disciplines like prayer and fasting, God will open our hearts and minds to new knowledge of Him, as He draws us deeper into the Spirit-filled life. However, all that fasting and prayer won’t make a bit of difference unless we can be taught. Are you open to being taught?
Each Lenten season the Father shows me new areas of life in which He wants me to improve. Sometimes the learning process feels like a fire that burns away at me; other times it’s more like a flood about to overwhelm me. It’s in those feelings of being overwhelmed that I must learn not react defensively with God. If I really want to know I’m right, I must admit when I’m wrong, even though it hurts,
Most of the Jewish leaders couldn’t admit they were wrong about Jesus. They couldn’t admit their blindness. They were convinced they could see him clearly, and that’s why they were lost.
“Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” (John 9:41)
What about you? Are you too stubborn to admit your wrong, even in the face of overwhelming facts? Let God renew your heart by opening your eyes as you prepare for the miracle of Easter. Don’t be like my friend Foghorn. At the end of each episode, it never worked out for him. His stubbornness was his undoing. We laugh at cartoons, but this is real life. You can get a lot of things wrong in life, and still be okay. But, on the big order questions of life, if you get Jesus wrong…your eternity may hang in the balance.
My daily Lenten prayer – “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit. ” NRSV