Lessons From the Pharisees

Today I’ve had some pretty impressive re-evaluations of what I should be looking for in my spiritual life.  I went to an intervarsity meeting tonight, and the topic was the story of the blind man whom Jesus healed by spitting into the dirt, and telling the man to wash off the mud from his face.  The man did so, and consequently could see (John 9)

This blind man was constantly badgered by the pharisees as to why he was proclaiming the story of Jesus.  The pharisees accused Jesus of being a sinner by breaking the sabbath.  The man who could see simply replied that he couldn’t say whether Jesus was a sinner or not-all he could say was that he was blind, and then he could see.  Later on, Jesus appeared to him and revealed himself as the Son of Man, and the blind man fell in worship at Jesus’ feet.

The story I want to focus on is not Jesus, not the blind man…but the pharisees.  Why? because out of the three “characters”, I feel that we today fit best into this category.

You see, the pharisees were the “spiritual leaders” of the day, just as we are now.  They knew the scriptures well, and were quick to rebuke (though not in love) those who failed to obey them.

Were the pharisees doing something wrong? After all, they were simply following the rules set down through Moses from God.  Does that sound so different from us, following the Bible, given to us as God’s divine word?

I think the pharisees thought they had it all figured out.  I thought they knew God so well they could predict His next move.  They confined God within the rules He had set down, and enforced those rules to the point that get this – they enforced those rules so much so that  when God himself came down to Earth, they accused Him of sinning! That blows me away! That’s how insensitive the pharisees had gotten to the presence of God in their lives – they knew the scriptures, the laws, the procedures…but missed out on the experience of God, which He values more than anything.

Have we today confined God to the box of reason, science, and modern society? Do we feel that we’ve got Him all figured out?  God is so much bigger than any net of understanding we try to cast around Him.

Will we let ourselves get so immersed in the intellectual and technical analysis of Scripture that we won’t even recognize the presence and experience of God when He enters our world?

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  All else comes secondary.  I pray that we will recognize Jesus as He walks beside you day by day, and that in humility you are willing to consider that you may perhaps be blinded like the pharisees, unwilling to recognize that God is too big for the box you have built around Him.

-God Bless