This one hurt. Sometimes when God gives us a word or reveals something to us, it is freeing or encouraging but sometimes it’s a gut check – and that is what this one was for me.
I co-lead a small group with a friend of mine and we spent a few months studying the book of John. We were taking the book a few chapters at a time and we had some great discussion; however, when I was preparing for one of our meetings, God revealed something significant to me – I had been reading these stories from the wrong perspective. I was reading in chapter nine, which is the story of Jesus healing the man born blind, when God sort of nudged my spirit. I’ve grown up reading the bible. I was practically born inside the walls of a church so I’m pretty familiar with a lot of these stories. When I read them I’m usually looking for nuggets of gold in Jesus’ words, yet this time I realized that there could be a shift in my perspective. I am the Pharisees way more often than I would care to admit. It’s easy for us to read these stories and just sort of glaze over them. I’m just as guilty as the next guy of reading the bible to check it off of my “Christian to-do list” of the day, but this was huge for me. I immediately went back through the first few chapters and re-read many of the parts where Jesus is having conversations with the Pharisees and I didn’t want to believe it but it was true.
You see, the Pharisees were so focused on what they wanted their “Messiah” to be, that they were standing in front of the Son of God and missing every single word that he said. That is what made me nervous. I don’t want to be a Pharisee. I don’t want to be so focused on doing “good things” for Jesus that I stop being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Instead, I want to be the man born blind. It took a man who was desperate to recognize his need for a savior. It took a man who had suffered his entire life to see Jesus for he his truly is, and that’s the key.
We are sinners. We need a savior. The moment that we start to think that we are worthy of our positions, our opportunities, or our talents, we become a distraction. But when we remain humble, remember that we are desperate for salvation, then, and only through Jesus, we can be unstoppable warriors for Christ.