John 9: 39-41 (MsgB)
Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.” Some Pharisees overheard Him and said, “Does that mean You’re calling us blind?” Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.”
Yikes. Pastors & leaders of the church. Beware.
Unless I’m greatly mistaken here, Jesus of Nazareth, the Light of the World, just spoke an eternal truth in this passage in John 9 that you and I will truly need to take note of as we continue our trek as pastors and shepherds of God’s people.
What is this eternal truth, you ask?
Here it is: Anytime you and I claim to know all truth, adding that we see all things with 20/20 vision, there will be serious consequences that accompany those statements. Consequences that Jesus simply calls ‘accountability’.
And the last time I checked, most human beings I know really enjoy life when we are free to offer our highly esteemed opinions, but quite honestly, despise the times when we are held accountable for those same opinions! Let’s face it, folks, everyone relishes the moment when our words and thoughts are believed to be right. But how we all hate the times when those same words or thoughts are proven to be wrong or faulty to the core!
Opinions, as they say, are a dime a dozen. But rue the day when our opinions are held to some degree of accountability! This scenario occurs in almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives.
Consider, for example, the TV weatherman who confidently tells his or her audience on Wednesday afternoon that the coming weekend will be sunny with 75-degree temps. But where is that same weather guy on Saturday when you’re at the picnic in the park and it’s pouring down rain with 55-degree temps? Hmm? There he is, on TV yet again, guaranteeing us that next Thursday will most certainly be sunny and warm.
And then there’s the expert financial advice you get from Uncle Harry. Without a doubt, old Harry guarantees that your investment in ABC Exponents, Inc. will produce a nest-egg bonanza. But where is Uncle Harry in two years when the company folds due to gross mis-management? Hmm?
And how does this pride of expounding on our expert 20/20 vision play itself out in church life? Consider the times the pastor or priest preaches proudly from the pulpit on how sin can be controlled in 5 easy steps. Sadly, many churches have been rocked to the core when that same man or woman of God is found a few years later with his or her hand in the cookie jar, living out the very sin they told us earlier was so easy to control.
And so it goes.
Jesus states clearly here that He is the only true Light of the world and thus the only One who can see beyond our human blindness, looking with 20/20 vision into our souls and our human condition. As I see it, the sooner we leaders in the church can honestly admit to each other and to our parishioners that we need Jesus just as much as the next guy, the better it will be for all of us.
From one rodent to another, let’s all admit that we Christ-followers can be as blind as bats at times, and let’s let Jesus get on with His Holy work of restoring His Light back into our darkness. For His Name’s sake.
My prayer: Jesus, quite honestly, You are the only purveyor of Truth. Outside of You and Your Light, I’m a blind man, stumbling around in my own darkness. Holy Spirit, please illuminate those times when I offer great advice to others so that in the long term, I’m truthful, honest, and accountable for all the words I say. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: When was the last time I knew I was right and I insisted upon it? Am I truly willing to be held accountable, as Jesus says, for those times when I brag about my 20/20 vision? Am I willing to admit to blindness and allow that truth to lead me to His Light?
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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