Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sitting on the tracks

They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:13-25

In this passage we read about Jesus healing a blind man. After he was healed, some who wanted to discredit Jesus took the formerly blind man to the Pharisees to tattle on Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. As the Pharisees questioned the man, they continued to try to get him to admit that Jesus was a sinner. His response is wonderful. “Whether He is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

In other words, he really didn’t want to get into the political or religious issues the Pharisees were trying to stir up. He only knew what Jesus had done for him. Isn’t it interesting how Jesus was able to heal the man who was physically blind, but the spiritually blind simply refuse to be healed?

I read a story several months ago about a man who was killed by a train in Baltimore, Maryland. While we hear of people dying in train crashes from time to time, this one was unusual because the man was sitting in a lawnchair on the tracks. No, he wasn’t committing suicide, he just simply had no idea he was on railroad tracks. He was visiting his brother who was homeless and had a campsite near the tracks. The conductor said he spotted the man but was unable to stop the train in time to avoid him. The conductor also said that it seemed the man had no idea there was a train coming.

We are very much like this man who did not see or hear the train coming. We sit in our comfortable lawn chairs without a care in the world. All the while, the consequences of our sin and disobedience are speeding toward us with the intent to destroy our lives. We sit blindly thinking we have control over our lives, families, jobs, money, health, and relationship with God, but in reality, the wages of our sin will find us sooner or later.

How can we avoid this train wreck? We can ask God to cleanse us and help us to turn from our destructive behavior that blinds us to the truth. If we seek Him, He says in His word that He will hear our prayer and rescue us. What a wonderful promise from Almighty God! Give Him your life and get off the tracks!!

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see
John Newton
You say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked
Revelation 3:18

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