Guest Post: Abigail Hamilton
Sometimes following Jesus has consequences. John chapter 9 tells of a young man who had been blind from birth. This is the young man who Jesus had anointed his eyes with clay and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. After this man had washed in the pool, he received his sight. What I found the most interesting about this story is what happened after this man was healed.
It wasn’t long before the Pharisees had sniffed out that Jesus had performed another miracle on the Sabbath. This young man was soon cornered and so were his parents. Verse 19 tells us what they inquired, “Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? How then doth he now see?”
The parents were afraid! Knowing the situation could get them in trouble, these parents were not about to credit the “troublemaker” Jesus with anything. Afraid they might get kicked out of the synagogue, which was one of the worst social punishments of the day, they quickly retorted, “He is of age; ask him.”
However, this young man wasn’t afraid to get into hot water. All he knew is that he had been blind since birth and now he could see! He didn’t care if the Pharisees thought Jesus was just another sinner. He knew a miracle had been performed. Even knowing the consequences, he proclaimed the name of Jesus loudly.
This man was amazed. Jesus had worked a wonder…and all these Pharisees were concerned about was their spiritual and political power being threatened! Alas, he ended up being put to shame and was thrown out of the synagogue. But, to him, it was worth it!
John 9:35-38 tells us the rest of the story:
Jesus heard that they [the Pharisees] had cast him out, and when He had found him, He said unto him, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” [The young man] answered and said, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” And Jesus said unto him, “Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Him.
John later tells us, in John 12:42-43, that even chief rulers believed on Jesus but because of the Pharisees they wouldn’t confess. These rulers were afraid they would get kicked out of the synagogue “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
Today, Jesus is still saving and healing. Just as back then, the Pharisees are still upset. However, do we sometimes not obey the Lord or tend to shrink back from His calling because of fear? Do we love the praise of men more than the praise of God?
“We fear men so much, because we fear God so little.” G. K. Chesterton
photo credit: Joanna Wheeler