Day 23: Crossed wires
Ideas have power. They move our lives in specific direction. Most of us know the ideas that are guiding us, at least at some level. When challenges comes into our lives these guiding ideas either confirm, confuse, or collapse our world. At times these situations and challenges, often painful, reveal wrong thinking, you might say, crossed-wires.
I like to work around the house. Minor carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. In these sorts of projects you get immediate feedback. Turn the water back on after a simple plumbing job and you will know if you are successful. Turn the power back on after an electrical project, and the circuit breaker will immediately “trip” if you have crossed a wire.
Tripped breakers expose crossed wiring.
Jesus exposes cross-wired ideas.
The story of healing the man born blind is a living example of cross wired thinking. Getting the wiring sorted out the right way however, can prove to be challenging. Consider:
- There is the man who can now see. His life is forever altered, his loyalty to Jesus on display for all. He knows he has gotten his wires sorted.
- Then there are the religious of the day. The “breaker has tripped”. They are filled with questions. Whose sin caused this person’s suffering. Accepting Jesus as the answer to suffering seems to be too much.
- Then there’s us. Do we stand in awe of Jesus? Do we have all sorts of questions? After all, God’s love can’t be that free, can it? Do we struggle because we have prayed and not received the cure we hoped for?
Before reaching conclusions, let’s consider a few thoughts.
The actual healing comes across again as a “happenstance”. Jesus is just wandering by, he uses a rather interesting technique (mud), the man is healed—and of course this happened on the Sabbath. (By the way, I am convinced that Jesus healed on other days of the week, but apparently the religious of the day did not pay attention.)
Throughout the reading you have to love the man who is healed. Not everyone is so enthusiastic. Think back to the man by the pool, he did not know Jesus’ name.
Not only does this man know Jesus’ name, he stands up for him. In fact, it seems like he is even a bit sarcastic with the religious of the day. In verse 27 he asks if the reason they are so interested is because they want to become one of Jesus’ disciples. Then in verse 30-33 he flat out challenges their logic. Love him.
The religious of the day are simply stuck. They view Jesus as a problem. He is out loving folks, healing them, and teaching them. He is resisting being made a political king, or a religious ruler for that matter. Yet they just cannot get out of their own way to see him for who he really is.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are emotionally invested? You know, you get angry and upset. When I am in those situations it is hard to deescalate my thinking. It is hard to even consider that I might be thinking about things the wrong way. I often need help.
Why do I ask? Because you are nine chapters into John’s Gospel. He started off in this glorious philosophical abstract language. Nobody in chapter one was asking you to believe in Jesus, and Jesus only. Now for eight chapters you have met the man Jesus. You have read of and seen His power. You have been in the presence of His compassion. You have also read and possibly reacted to His words.
I know when I talk to folks about Jesus I get different reactions. Some politely dismiss me. Nothing too rude. The subject is changed, or the comment deflected. A few get emotional. I have found that these are the folks who have either been hurt by Christians, or the Church, or they are folks that have had to face hard things in their world, like suffering, and they struggle to see a loving God.
I pray hard for these folks. People proclaiming Jesus in the middle of another person’s pain/struggle is at times confusing at best. Linking their suffering to Sin is akin to pouring “salt in their wound”.
I pray that Jesus will break through, because at the end of the day, the Gospel of John is suggesting that following Jesus is having yourself wired correctly.