Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Pharisee in me

Friday night was a momentous occasion on our household; I took Anni to her first football game. I almost got teary eyed on the way to the field. So much of my life and happy times has centered around those 100 yards. It was a chilly evening, but we came armed with several blankets. Anni was nestled under a blanket with her friend eating popcorn. Suddenly her friend moved a bit and the blanket fell off. Someone sitting next to them said "oops, you stole her blanket." Immediately Anni says "Number 8 is 'do not steal'", referring to the 10 commandments. She just kept looking ahead, eating her popcorn, yet her words were spoken as if she herself had not fought with her brother over a toy or disobeyed her mother that day. We all got a chuckle, but at the same time it made me think of the times when I have been quick to judge someone's behavior without thinking about the things I had just done that were just as wrong.

Another time I was taking her to school and she said "mom, you have to learn how to not sin like I have learned not to sin." Wow, quite the feat for a four year old.

This morning our pastor preached on one of my favorite passages: John 9. It is where the Pharisees are asking Jesus if the man born blind had sinned or if his parents had sinned. It has always been an encouraging chapter in times when there has been sickness, hardship, or death and we may question "Who sinned? What did we do wrong." Jesus tells them, neither had sinned, but that the blindness was so the "work of God could be displayed in his life" (John 9:3). But today I read on. I mean I had read on before, but had never really linked them. After Jesus heals the man of his blindness, the Pharisees do some investigating to prove that the man was a faker, or for some way to prove Jesus false. As they question the man we see the following exchange starting with the man (formerly known as the blindman):
"'If this man [Jesus] were not from God, he could do nothing.' To this they replied, 'you were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!' And they threw him out." (John 9:33-34).

Today was the first time it struck me that this man who had been healed was later tossed out by the Pharisees. That no only were they trying to judge and trap Jesus, but they also condemned this man for his belief because it disagreed with theirs. Weren't those Pharisees always ready to cast stones...and they were none to happy when Jesus called them out on it.

I would like to think that I'm not like the Pharisees, that I let God be God and let Him be the judge. But I know that too often I am like the Pharisees. Sometimes on spiritual matters "I can't believe they call themselves a Christian and they (you fill in the blank)", and sometimes on matters that have no eternal consequence. My sister frequently reminds me that before I had children I swore my kids would not watch TV (hahahahahaha!)

I just pray that every time I pick up that stone to throw it that God would convict me to drop it and remember where I myself would be without Christ in my life...and to never say "my kids will never...."

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