“On Your Mark”
Trust and Obey That’s the Way (Chapter 1 Verses 40-45)
This rabbinical order would not be persuaded at any price. They were filled with diabolical hatred and murder, so Jesus sends them this man, and for eight days as he goes through the legal process of being declared clean by them. A silent, but living witness. At the end of the prescribed eight days they announce him clean, scratching their heads wondering how it could have happened. Then he tells them, why, it was the lawful Jesus Christ, who in his grace and power did it! And they are left again speechless. All their excuses are taken away (John 15.22-24), they have no hiding place left. We must always remember in our daily witness that we testify not only to salvation but also to the judgment of God (2Corinthians 2.15-16). Yes, to all those whom Christ has come to in the preaching of his word, plus the witness of individual Christians, the Church in general having displayed the word of God in so many ways, leaves those who have neglected and turned away from this testimony, without excuse. They have turned away from Jesus, they have despised and rejected him and are left without excuse. They will, like these priests, never plead ignorance, they have seen the mighty works of Christ, and yet have not believed (John 3.36).
The man of course despite what he was told did not obey (v45). What a start to his new life! Spiritually it is unacceptable, yet psychologically it is understandable. You would want to tell the world would you not? He thinks he is best serving Jesus by telling everyone about the great miracle that has taken place, but that is not the priority here. He must first learn to obey. It is, after all, to a life of obedience that we as Christians have been called to. All the time people are wanting to be doing things in the Church, as though that was obeying, but it is not. It is real spirituality Jesus is looking for, what about attendance (Hebrews 10.25), what about the prayer meeting (Acts 2.42), what about your personal prayer life (Luke 11.1), what about obedience to those who have the rule over you (Hebrews 13.17), what about doing what Jesus says in his word (John 2.5)? All the doing in the Church and witnessing in the world will never substitute for these things. It is a bit like childhood, if we don’t learn to obey while we are young Christians, we will never learn later on. The result of his disobedience is that Jesus cannot move for people, the vital work is hindered. It always is when we disobey our Master.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)