Who among us hasn’t seen the pain we can bring to ourselves and others by thoughtlessly saying the truth without humility, love, or wisdom.
Those who accused Jesus of being a sinner, or worse (demon possessed) weren’t all wrong.
They were followers of Moses.
They had heard the rumors about Jesus’ birth, and were not about to follow an uncredentialed teacher from Nazareth who, in their eyes, seemed to disrespect not only their Law and their Leader, but the moral and spiritual leadership entrusted to them.
As they saw it, Jesus had broken their laws by working a miracle in a way that violated their no-work policy of the Sabbath.
Even worse, Jesus said to those who refused to believe in him just because he had healed a man who had been blind from birth, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 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 9:39-41).
How could religious leaders who had spent their lives studying the law of Moses accept such words from someone who seemed to engage them in double-talk? Not long before, he claimed to judge no one (John 8:15).
My reason for trying to look at this through the eyes of those who rejected Jesus is that if we try to put ourselves in their place, we might see how hard it is to believe in someone who seems to be claiming not to judge– while saying he came for judgment…and who appears to us to have a different approach to justice, morality, law, and order than we do…