So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him,
“God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”
“I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:24-25)
Read: Psalm 105 – 106
Relate: The greatest piece of cinema ever created is unquestionably, without doubt, the original Matrix movie. Of course an honorable mention does have to go to a few different trilogies: The Godfather, the original Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings trilogies all are amazing works of art. For some strange reason there are people out there who would like to point to another, older movie as the greatest of all time. I’ve watched it once or twice but just do not see the appeal. The only truly great moment in this supposedly great film, Casablanca, is the last line. You know the line. Ingrid Bergman has been pleading with Humphrey Bogart to let her stay. He simply looks at her, says, “Here’s lookin at you, kid” and walks off into the night.
I do not know what the original script line was for that cinematic moment. What I do know was that “here’s lookin at you kid” was kind of an inside joke between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman that most of those on the set would have been in on. You see, in between takes Bogart was trying to teach Bergman poker. Every time she did well, that is what he would say. Soon every time anyone involved in the filming did something well, someone else would use the line. At least that is how I’ve been told the story. So in effect, Humphrey was telling Ingrid she just did a great job delivering her lines. Now his complementing “line” has become one of the most famous and often quoted sentences in cinematic history. Even those who have never had to endure an entire setting of Casablanca have probably heard or even used that quote dozens of times.
React: The Pharisees had a script they wanted the man born blind to follow. At first, they wanted to just ignore or at least discredit the story but neither of those options were viable. The story was getting out. For whatever reason, this was a story that was getting around. So instead of stopping it, they decided to control the spin. Their approach was to give God the glory in spite of Jesus rather than through Him. The script was that Jesus is an evil, filthy, vile sinner yet God in His mercy chose to heal you in spite of Jesus’ unworthiness. That’s their story. For anybody except Jesus, it would have been true. We are all sinners. When I pray for someone and God heals them, it is not because of me. It is not because of the faith of the person being healed. The very fact that they want healing and I am willing to pray shows that both of us have faith enough. Healing comes because of God’s grace and His goodness in spite of our unworthiness.
Jesus is holy. He is perfect. He is truly good. The Pharisee’s script of trying to tait Jesus never could stick no matter how often they tried to apply it. It was a line the man born blind refused to use. When he went off script, this healed young man gave us a line that would one day make it into one of the most famous and beautiful songs ever written. “I don’t know about Jesus being a sinner. All I know is that once I was blind but now… Now I can see.
God, this world has a script it wants me to follow. My family, my boss, my coworkers, my culture… they all have a role they want me to play. You help me to do better and go beyond. You help me to blow away the expectations this world has placed on me. Where they call me stupid, You call me wise. Where they write down failure, You edit in forgiven. Where they say average, You say extraordinary. Where they assign a bit role, You make it essential. I am called for so much more than this world believes possible. Help me to flip the script and rewrite history with You dictating my lines.
6 thoughts on “Going Off Script”
Think of all the spin doctors we have now. The media broadcasts half-truths and lies. Fox News even won a court case where it was settled that the news doesn’t have to be accurate – they could lie if they want to. It is now law.
We have to constantly be on our guard for the half-truths and the lies and proclaim Jesus risen and the tomb empty. We must never let the legalizers get hold of our faith. By grace we are saved and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.