Should Christians Worry About Blindness?
In our last posting we addressed the following words of Jesus: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This in turn led us to look at the definition of Judgment for a better understanding. In doing so we found that there are two distinct components of the term. In the first a decision of guilt or innocence made. In the second, a decision is made about the punishment appropriate for the offences committed.
In examining the statement of Jesus presented above, we determined that it was the delivery of punishment that Jesus was warning us about. Therefore, the statement of Jesus could be stated as: “Do not punish so that you will not be punished.”
However, as we will soon see, it is often the first component of Judgment that gets us into trouble. The following example will demonstrate this very well and sheds light upon our own frailties.
The example comes from the 9th chapter of John. It tells us about a man who was born blind but then receives his sight through the miraculous actions of Jesus.
This chapter also infers that the scribes and Pharisees must have believed that Jesus was a fraud as they repeatedly interrogated the once blind man and his family, obviously believing that they were less than honest. When the Pharisees discovered that this healing work was done on the Sabbath day, they concluded that Jesus was a sinner and as a result the healing could not have come from God.
In the end, Jesus makes the following statements that communicate their blindness to them:
And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.
In this passage, Jesus is once again using the word “Judgment,” stating that He came for Judgment. He came so that we could make a judgment about the love of God for His people. Since we were once blind God gave us the opportunity to see His Son the Truth for ourselves. So, now that we have seen the Truth what is our judgment? Do we embrace God and seek Him or do we ignore or deny what happened?
Therefore, people who knew little about God could to see the nature of God in the works and miracles that Jesus performed. They are the blind who lived in a total darkness and then saw a great light. They are the blind who can now see the Truth and believed in that Truth. Their sins have been forgiven.
On the other hand we have groups like the Pharisees who have often times devoted their entire lives to the study and understanding of God. They believed that they knew the truth. They believe that their interpretation of Gods commandments was an absolute truth. They would have never even considered that their viewpoint of the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy was flawed. But it was! They proclaimed that they could see because of their work, but in fact they were blind. As a result they were blind to the light of Jesus that stood right before them. Since they did not believe in Him, their sin remained.
The point is that this lesson applies to all of us today. One can support this premise by simply looking at all of the differing doctrines of Christianity today. The fact is that across the various churches of Christianity we find diametrically opposed views of what the truth. So, lets look at some examples: some believe that the use of modern technology is sinful, others belive that drinking is a sin, others believe that you can not eat meat on Fridays, and still others believe that healing is not for today (not an all-inclusive list.) No, I am not going to pick sides here. The point to be made is that when we have inconsistent doctrines of the faith, then someone has to be wrong about what they belive.
This means that our understanding of the truth can also be flawed, just like it was for the scribes and the Pharisees who incorrectly judged Jesus to be a sinner. For the Pharisees, this incorrect belief led to the fatal determination of punishment for Jesus.
If we think about this a bit then one has to ask; “Who are we to say that our belief system is the only one that is in line with what God wants?” Quite frankly, I believe that it is quite possible that none of us has it 100% correct. Gods ways are much higher than ours. Suffice it to say that it is because of these potential blind spots of beliefs that it is critical that be abstain for handing out punishment to others.