Beyond Assumptions: Embracing the True Image of Jesus
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. — John 9:13-16
So this blind man, who many know, has experienced undeniable change. A miracle of healing. He was a blind man who is now a seeing man. And you would think this miracle would be a cause for celebration. At least, that is how I would assume people, especially religious people, to respond. But you'll notice there isn't much of a celebration. Instead, there is this need for validation. And as a result, a group of religious people drags this man toward religious authorities.
But I love what Jesus has done here. He does almost the same thing he did the last time he was in Jerusalem. Do you remember what that was? It was the event that spawned the interrogation of Jesus and got this whole movement against him started. He healed a lame man at the pool on the Sabbath. Read the devotional here. And note: this is not accidental. It's intentional. Jesus purposefully did this again and on the Sabbath day. And this time, he does it to another man more willing to testify about him.
I think far too often, we imagine the persona of Jesus wrongly. We conceive and contrive an image of him that is merely socially or religiously acceptable. We develop and found this idea from faulty religious views, cultural assumptions, or simply the best ideas we have about the person that we want him to be. And then we are shocked when he does something that does not meet our expectations and norms. We are shocked and then find this need to validate rather than celebrate because we don't realize we have constructed a god of our own making. Therefore instead of validating Jesus and celebrating what he has done, we attempt to validate the god we have constructed in our mind so that we can celebrate who we expect this god to be.
So instead of validating your ideas about Jesus, start seeing Jesus for who he is. Look beyond what your religious leaders and teachers say about him. Dig deeper into Jesus's stories. Identify any assumptions they make or that you have made. And look a little closer at his interactions, proclamations, and miracles because Jesus was not some soft, passive, religious insider. He was the Messiah who came to reveal the truth, which meant offending our need for personal validation about a god of our own making that he could not celebrate.
ASK THIS: Do you only see Jesus the way you want to see him? What assumptions have you made about him? Do his stories communicate anything different?
DO THIS: Confess any idolatrous idea or image you have about Jesus.
PRAY THIS: I confess that I have limited my perception of Jesus based on my own expectations. Today, I surrender my idolatrous ideas and seek to know Him as He truly is. Open my eyes to see Jesus authentically, beyond assumptions, and let me embrace the awe-inspiring reality of His character.
PLAY THIS: Open Up Our Eyes.
SIGN UP — THE DAILY DEVO
short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.