Looking unto Jesus and not unto our pretense of righteousness. Most ill of all who are ill is the person who believes himself to be healthy; blindest of all the blind is he who thinks that he sees (John 9:41). If it is dangerous to look long at our wretchedness, which is all too real, it is much more dangerous to rest complacently on imaginary merits.
John had experienced a number of devastating reversals. He had tried his best to be a good dad, employee and husband. His wife had secretly developed a drug habit. Starting with pain killers, she had advanced into an underworld of abuse. Ultimately she left John with the kids and stole his money. When he reacted, angrily confronting her outside the drug house she had moved into with a man she was abusing with, she had him arrested for assault and put in jail. John lost his job, almost lost his kids, lost his standing in the community, and lost his spirit all together. The only way John got through it was to keep telling himself that he was a good person in a bad dream. This was his mantra. He would positively affirm and keep account of his basic goodness when everything was going bad around him.
When I met John he had come to realize that in all his efforts to be a stand up guy he had asked God to stand down. God was not a part of his life. I shared the good news with John and encouraged him to restart His life with the Lord Jesus at the center. But ultimately John wasn’t ready to do it. The one barrier to the great salvation he needed was the little salvation he had relied upon to get him through the bad days. John could not bring himself to admit he was a bad person, a sinner, a man needing God’s forgiveness and unmerited Salvation. His self respecting way of salvation had become his condemnation. John’s way of dealing with difficulty is the way almost everyone takes. It works for the short term. But ultimately it divides our eyes so that we cannot look to Jesus as the one who took all our sins and iniquities upon himself to be our only source of righteousness.
Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. John 9:41
Can We Pray? Oh God lead me into your presence today. Let me be aware of your watch eye. Your vision penetrates to the core of our being. Before you let every self pretense fall away. Let me not find any sense of righteousness in any of my own acts, not even in confession. Let me mark all my righteousness in you and every act on my part stained. In the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.