Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 Chronicles 28-29; John 9:24-41
26 They questioned him: “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?”
27 He replied, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 They insulted him: “You are his disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this man is from.”
30 The man answered, “This is incredible! You don’t know where he is from, yet he healed my eyes! 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners. God listens to anyone who is devout and does God’s will. 32 No one has ever heard of a healing of the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man wasn’t from God, he couldn’t do this.”
34 They responded, “You were born completely in sin! How is it that you dare to teach us?” Then they expelled him. (John 9:26-34, Common English Bible).
In a sermon not too long ago, I talked about how we love the acronym, “TGIF, Thank God it’s Friday.” When Friday rolls around we are ready to get away from the office of the plant or the whatever it is we call our work (of course if you are self-employed or in one of any number of other professions, there is no Friday or at least there isn’t a day that matters in the same manner. If you work in retail or the food industry, you work when the boss puts you on the schedule. One day is just like any other, whether it is Tuesday or Sunday.
Still, most of us love TGIF so much, a restaurant chain named their eateries after the letters. It might not be as effective if we were talking about Tuesday. Friday means the end of the grind. Friday means time off. Friday means being able to play with the kids. Friday means being able to relax.
But what would you say if I told you that our happiness isn’t based on a day of the week? Really, it’s true. According to a major university study (sorry, when I write these I never know the direction they will take when I start out and today I don’t have the source with me), we are not measurably happier on Friday than we are on Monday or Tuesday.
Today’s lesson from John is a continuation of yesterday’s lesson from John, the healing of a man who was blind from birth. The Pharisees are furious over it, presumably because Jesus healed the guy on the Sabbath.
It makes me wonder, would they have been happy if Jesus healed the guy on a Tuesday? Without question, it would have taken at least part of the Pharisee’s argument away. But I think Jesus really did care that it wasn’t Tuesday. He was, in my humble opinion, quite happy this did happen on a Sabbath. In his Gospel account, Mark tells us, “The Sabbath was created for humans; humans weren’t created for the Sabbath…”
As far as the Pharisees, I think they were a bit happier it happened on the Sabbath because it did give them an argument to use with Jesus, or so they thought. What they really wanted was for Jesus to play by their rules, regardless of what day he was doing something.
For Jesus, this wasn’t about the day of the week, it was about bringing grace and wholeness, the ability to live a full life to a man who had never known what a full life is like. That is something that was and still is central to what Jesus taught. People come first!
Does that mean we should ignore the Sabbath? Of course not. We honor the Sabbath when we can, but where people are concerned, they come first because, “The Sabbath was created for humans, not humans for the Sabbath.”
There is one more thing, this is something the Pharisees actually did get right. They accuse the now former blind man of being “…born completely in sin.” They did get that part right. He was born completely in sin. But, so were they. So are we. Every human born of the face of this earth, save one, has been born a sinner. And that is why we all need grace. Grace isn’t just for those Jesus heals, God heals. Grace is something for you and for me. Grace is something we can have at no cost. And that grace, it changes everything. It changes it regardless of the day. Be it a Tuesday or the Sabbath, when we experience grace as the blind man experienced grace, God just changed our lives. Then maybe, just maybe, we might be a little more committed when the next Sabbath or even the next Tuesday comes around.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved