Chapter-a-Day John 9

David Tennant used the skull of pianist Andre ...
David Tennant used the skull of pianist Andre Tchaikowsky for Yorick's skull in a 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company production. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” John 9:39 (NLT)

Wendy and I love Shakespeare, and we love to see Shakespeare staged whether it’s our local Pella Shakespeare Company‘s performance in the park or the Royal Shakespeare Company in England. One of the things that I’ve learned in watching the Bard’s work is that you always want to pay particular attention to the fool. The fool is never quite as foolish as you think he is, and quite often the fool winds up confounding the wise.

That’s why I’ve always loved today’s chapter. It has all the qualities of a great Shakespearean scene. On one side we have the wise, learned, pompous religious leaders with all of their power, wealth and education. Before them stands a lowly, poor, once blind beggar who is not the fool they think he is. Jesus gave physical sight to the blind fool so that the spiritual blindness of those who claim to see could be revealed. That’s great drama.

This morning I’m chewing on the reality that Jesus, while repeatedly reminding his followers that they were not to judge anyone, continually explained that He came to judge. I find that we love Jesus the lover and healer, but no one really wants much to do with Jesus the Righteous Judge. Today’s chapter reminds me that Jesus not only came to give sight to the blind, but to judge those who think they see for their spiritual blindness. Jesus said He came to both save and condemn. One without the other makes for both a boring story and a weak character.

6 thoughts on “Chapter-a-Day John 9”

  1. Judgement is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Christian faith today. Nonbelievers and believers alike love to say, “You can’t tell me I’m wrong because the Bible says you can’t judge me.” The Bible does say not to judge people, but nowhere does it say that we are not to correct people in error. We cannot judge to condemnation because only God knows the heart of an individual. Only He knows for sure if a person is right before Him or not. But it is repeated over and over in the New Testament that we are to correct a brother or sister who is in error. If they act in a manner that is not consistent with Scriptural commands, it is our duty to try to bring them back to the right path, and the Bible provides us with a step by step way to do it too.
    But we must be careful to keep ourselves right with God before we go pointing fingers. Correction of error is not meant to be pointing the finger. Blame and shame are not acts of love. We must check our motivations for making judgements. Are we trying to puff ourselves up by tearing another person down? Or are we trying to restore them to a right relationship with Christ, trying to protect the image and name of Christ by correcting our fellow Christian, trying to stop others from being led astray or starting disputes over someone’s actions?
    We are nowhere called to check our brains at the door and adopt an “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophy. We ARE called to make judgements. But we are not called to act AS the Judge.


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