How to Overcome.
Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”
Thank you for joining as we continue our journey through Lent.
Over the past seven weeks we focused on the hot stoves of sin in our lives, those dangers we so often run toward. We have set to work at getting rid of them. Those old, hot, rusty, greasy, ugly things in our lives must go.
We discussed the tools available to us that help us get rid of those sin problems. They are the tools Jesus used and exemplified for us so like He did, we might live in continuous relationship with our Heavenly Father.
We studied the fact that the Tempter tries to dissuade us, to distract us, to call us to a laziness where we give in to our hot stoves and live complacently with them. He wants us to say: ‘Yes, it is ugly and old, and awful, but I like it there.’ If we do begin to achieve, the Accuser comes forward with blame. He doesn’t want us to understand the goodness and mercy our God – a goodness and mercy that overcomes every sin, every failure. In God’s eyes the past is gone, it is absolutely forgotten in the blood of His Son, Jesus. We don’t have to worry about it, but the Accuser wants us to worry and so remain complacent with our ugly stoves.
We have been called to spend this Lenten time, and indeed our entire lives focusing our efforts, our strengths and even our weaknesses on overcoming sins blindness and in turn to praise God Who gave His all to forgive.
There is a lot today in our scripture about blind spots and blindness.
Samuel and Jesse were into appearance, who they thought met God’s requirements for a king, but God remined Samuel: “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.”
Paul reminds the Ephesians to live in the light, for “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
God places great emphasis on seeing rightly, but we must be careful to draw a clear distinction between seeing by God’s light, by His vision for us, and our perceptions.
Perceptions are interesting. Look at our Gospel. The formerly blind man perceives the Pharisees as erudite men, studied, knowledgeable, honest and informed. Yet he encountered men who were looking out for themselves and who refused to see by God’s light. They missed the Messiah and lived in hatred of Him. The man’s parents perceived the ulterior motives of the Pharisees was more important than honesty; so rather than own up, they threw their son under the bus (or chariot at that time).
The only person who saw by the light of God was the formerly blind man. He was amazed, saying: “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.” Of course, he was thrown out, but instead of experiencing loss he followed Jesus.
If we perceive our hot stoves as other than what they are; if we perceive the work of the Tempter and Accuser as friendship, if we perceive darkness as light we must turn, repent, and start anew. Our opportunity to live as children of light, to see clearly, is here.