Pastor Chad Adelmund Heartland Community Church, La Porte City
Big buts of the Bible
We will be exploring the before and after difference Jesus makes in a person’s life! We’re going to be talking about stories of people who were headed one direction, BUT then Jesus entered their story And they ended up going a completely different direction! Fact is, the Bible is full of big buts (B-U-T-S buts) So if you think that you are too far gone, or that there’s no way you can change, this series is going to show you how to get your Buts out of the way, and let Jesus do his work in you!
First, I want to tell you something about myself. Anyone close to me knows this. I have an incredible ability to not see things that are right in front of my face. I can look and look for something. And Never see it. When in reality it was so close to my face if it was a snake it would have bit me on the nose!
My problem is not with my eyes, it’s with my attentiveness. It’s not that I don’t pay attention to things, it’s that I pay attention to the wrong things! My wife, Tami can also attest to the fact that I’m often attentive to things, just not the pair of socks I’m trying to find (that happen to be right in front of me).
My mind is directed elsewhere, and as a result, I don’t see the socks I’m looking for. There is a kind of blindness that has nothing to do with your eyes yet it leads us to miss things that should be perfectly clear because, sometimes blindness has more to do with our heart… than it does our with eyes.
This blindness causes us to miss God, when he is right there before us. Here is a story about a man who is physically blind, who ironically was the only person in the story who could actually see. Everyone else had a form of blindness that was far worse than his! (John 9:1-5) As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Now the first people to speak in this story are Jesus’ disciples. What they say reveals about a preconceived notion about God, that Jesus has to correct.
Religious blindness is what the disciples had, and this is when you have an idea about God and you’re so sure it’s right that you don’t see the truth right in front of you. The Disciples reveal their assumptions about what God is like by assuming that if someone has an affliction then surely it’s because God is punishing them. In this way, God is seen a little like karma; “Do something bad, something bad happens to you.” Let’s be clear about something, there are plenty of places in scripture where God controls nature and plenty of places that God does judge sin; those points are not an issue here.
The problem is when we read about what God does in the Bible in one situation and assume that’s what God must always do, all the time. “God sent a scorching wind in the book of Jonah, therefore every tornado must be God’s judgment on sin.” This is a leap in logic; the Bible doesn’t require us to make, yet this is what religious blindness does! It tries to force God into a system that makes sense.
Religious blindness thinks it has mastered God. Religious blindness means that sometimes it’s the ones who think they know the most who actually know the least. We all have preconceived notions about God and in a way, we all have religious blindness. The Disciples ask Jesus, “who sinned?” Clearly if he’s blind it must be God’s judgment on him They worked God into a system. That Jesus was just about to dismantle Jesus says to the disciples, “no.” You’ve got this all wrong. Neither this man nor his parents sinned, this happened so God’s works might be displayed! You think God is about punishing, but He’s really about healing! 6 As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
God likes to use the least likely of people for the most holy purposes. That’s just what God is like. He’s fun that way. This story shows us the moment we pronounce judgment on someone, may be the same moment God is calling that very same person. You simply cannot put this God in a box!
So this week let’s allow Jesus to open our eyes spiritually and get our buts out of the way and allow Him to do His work in and through us! It doesn’t matter where you are or where you have been, Jesus uses the most unqualified people to reach even more unqualified people! I know, I’m one of them.