“Where is he now?” they asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied.
Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!”
Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them. (John 19:12-16
Read: Psalm 47-49, 84-85, 87
Relate: The first time I saw this spoken word video, I thought it was pretty cool. By the five thousand four hundred thirty-eighth time it popped up in my facebook it wasn’t all that cool anymore. In fact, it was getting downright annoying. Even still, there is a bit of truth in this (though I would say “religiosity” rather than “religion”) so in case you have not yet seen it, here you go…
(I do apologize for those of you who have just been annoyed for the five thousand four hundred thirty-ninth time)
React: Jesus wasn’t very religious. Am I? Am I one of those Pharisees insisting that what Jesus has just done could not possibly be “of God”? Am I so caught up in the maintenance of propriety that when God moves in a manner that I consider “undignified” I don’t even recognize His hand at work? Now, I do understand that true religion is to care for the marginalized (ie widows and orphans) in their distress and to keep from being polluted by the world. In that sense, Jesus was the most religious person ever. However, the way Jefferson Bethke uses the word and how it is commonly understood is something to which Jesus definitely, and sometimes violently stood opposed. Am I? Are not our cliche’ phrases like “I don’t have religion, I have a relationship” simply another version of religion? Has our anti-religiousness simply a new way to be dignified? Have we just written a new script in the “religious” formula?
Respond: God, break through our formulas and the religious walls we put up to replace the religious walls erected by the generations before us. Help us to recognize Your move even when it comes in a way that upsets our sensibilities. Whether is it from mud in the eyes or from working on the Sabbath, You broke down paradigms. You upset the apple carts. Never let us, never let me fall so deeply in love with my way of doing things that I fail to recognize when You begin to do something different. Far more than my dignity, I just want You.