John 9: 1-5 (MsgB)
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent Me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”
In our last session, we looked at Jesus’ second great I AM claim found in John 8: that He is indeed the world’s Great Light. Again, here in John 9, Jesus is once again found reminding His followers about who He is and the Light He brings into our darkened world.
And speaking of light, these first five verses in John 9 are equally enlightening when it comes to illuminating for us how very often Jesus needs to stop His closest friends (the future leaders of His church), correcting them on their mistaken perceptions about God and the way He works.
Here, as Jesus is about to heal a man born blind, we find Jesus’ disciples standing off to the side, analyzing and processing proper theology. And instead of participating with the Master and His compassion for this distraught man, we find the Twelve asking meaningless questions of Jesus while the Lord wants to focus on this present moment of Kingdom ministry.
Isn’t it interesting how the disciples are absolutely obsessed with identifying the root cause of one man’s troubles? Yet as they stand there with Jesus, acting like stubborn bulldogs who won’t let go of a bone, Jesus has to literally pry them away from their line of thought in order for them to follow where Jesus wants to take them.
How often do we church leaders do the exact thing these first-century disciples are found doing? Fixated on a subject that intrigues us, while Jesus is left there twiddling His thumbs? Stuck on mental gymnastics while our Lord desires us to move on, following Him in His train of thought instead of being caught up in our own?
Let’s be honest, my pastoral friends. While you and I argue over pre-set traditions and well-established doctrines, we place Jesus and His Kingdom ministry in a box off to the side. A box so small that it barely gives Him room in which to operate. We pepper each other with our un-ending questions that focus exclusively on our pre-set suppositions. And as we continue to jabber away, obsessed with our human-derived questions, Jesus, unfortunately has to slip away, going on with His Kingdom business, while we stay frozen in our own private conversations.
So how long will it take for us to realize that, like these friends of His here, we’re simply asking Jesus the wrong questions, majoring on the minors, while the Holy Spirit would prefer for us to focus on what God is doing in the midst of this precious moment of time called today?
Maybe it’s time to close up our interesting conversation on theology and get to work with those things Jesus is doing in our midst? The sun’s shining, my friends. Maybe we better start making some hay for Jesus while His light is still here to work by? I’m just sayin’.
My prayer: Jesus, I know that my curious mind wants to know, but in truth, that same curious mind can also become a big detriment to my ‘hands-on’ involvement with Your Kingdom work here on earth. Empower me, Holy Spirit, to save my questions for later, so that I can be fully available and faithfully present with all You are doing right now. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Our world revolves around our intellectual approach to life. Yet when does ‘my need to know’ put me in a distinct disadvantage when it comes to partnering with Jesus? When might I have missed a miracle or lost a precious moment of ministry with God because I was so consumed with my own understanding? What would it look like for me to step right into His ministry without first passing the situation through my reluctant processor or fixed pre-set theologies?
So what is God speaking to you today as we follow Jesus the Nazarene, the Leader of the Church?
Between now and the end of 2015, we will be sharing with you a blog series we first developed in 2013. We call it Follow The Leader: Re-defining Successful Leadership from the Gospel of John. In order to keep all 46 blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Follow The Leader home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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