On the last post we considered the blind man who was healed by Jesus and who was thrown out by the Pharisees. The same story goes on in chapter 10 as Jesus continues his response to the Pharisees who were with Him.
And I don’t think that before now I had ever considered the fact that chapter 10 was doing just that, continuing Jesus’ response to the Pharisees. So a new thought came to mind as I read today, specifically I thought about who Jesus was talking to (and why He was talking to them) when He said in verse 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”
(An interesting note here, the word kill in verse 10 is specifically used of sacrifice. It is not the common word for killing)
The Pharisees were angry with Jesus because He healed this blind man on the Sabbath. The great keepers of the Law, as John pointed out earlier in this book, thought that by Scripture they possessed eternal life. They built their empire of the Law and Jesus was a threat. Not because He transgressed the Law, but because He transgressed their “law”.
Jesus wasn’t concerned with serving their misconceptions and lies. He was concerned with saving people, and He knew that the Law kills. It’s a righteous law, and that is exactly why it kills. It kills rightfully. People deserve eternal condemnation for sin… every one of us, who have turned away from God. And there’s nothing we can do about it.
These Pharisees though, they thought they found life in the Law, and they were going to do whatever it took to slay their own people with this “life”. And with that misuse of the Law, which claims to impart life to the sinner instead of death, they were able to do only three things… steal men’s hearts from God, sacrifice the people, and destroy them.
Lately brother Hugh Barton has been doing studies on Wednesdays that contrast the Law of the Letter with the Law of Grace. He’s been pointing out the biblical truth that there is indeed life, but it is not found in the Law.
We, every person, need to remember that the Law holds no promise for us as sinners. It is good, and serves as a tutor to show us our need for forgiveness and our need for righteousness. But it cannot impart those things upon the transgressor, nor does it ever claim to. We can never be good enough.
Do not believe the lie. A man cannot work his way to heaven. Salvation by works was the lie that the Pharisees pushed, but God called them thieves for it. “Salvation by works” is a lie that ONLY steals, sacrifices and destroys…
Don’t believe the lie…
But know that there is hope…
There is a Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for His sheep…
There is Christ!
Thanks for the reminder and devotion today. I appreciate the post! : )
It is interesting how that line becomes blurred. For a while there was an over-reaction to the “letter of the Law” crowd where people, to demonstrate their salvation came not by works, acted in ways more evil than the very people they condemned, forgetting that Jesus several times said, “If you love me, you will keep My commandments” (also reiterated in the books of John later in the New Testament).
It certainly is impossible to be saved by works but also impossible to be saved without doing works in keeping with repentance. Much of the religious world mocks us for discerning and acting on that difference, but God appreciates it and looks for more of it.
Really appreciate your work on these, keep it rolling.
we have a hope!!! I love it! Thank you! Also, I think you made up a word here.