Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” John 9:39
Some years ago I was on my way to the City of New York to attend a funeral. As I approached an intersection where I needed to make a right turn, I came to a complete stop. After looking for opposing and cross traffic I preceded to make a right turn. Before I got 50 feet a policeman was behind me flashing his lights. A right turn on a red light in New York was illegal. Ignorance of the law was no defense and I accepted the consequence. Jesus uses blindness as a metaphor for ignorance of the Law. The Pharisees didn’t understand that the law to which Jesus refers is the one in which we are called to love God and love neighbor as self. Instead they chose to use the physical Law of Moses to separate themselves among God’s chosen when in reality they separated themselves from God’s love given through Christ. Every day we may be different things to different people. As we get closer to understanding who we are in Christ, we become blind to others who want to keep seeing us as we used to be and we become who God always intended us to be, beloved children of God.
The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. This statement in John’ Gospel is crucial to those of us who strive to live into the baptism of Jesus Christ. We need the laws because they help us to understand what in community is acceptable and unacceptable. Being part of many communities we have many laws. I think it is safe to say that we don’t follow them all, including the Law of Moses as well as the Law of Grace and Truth. As new creations we have to consider them both. Laws are simply rules that regulate actions while grace is unmerited favor. We all know that laws are broken. We know that when laws are broken, consequences (although not consistent or equal by any stretch of the imagination) will follow. We’ve also heard it said that ignorance of the law is no defense against breaking the law. The good news is that whether we know the law or whether we are ignorant of the law, if we know Christ as a new creation we have God’s grace (should we choose to accept it), to redeem us from the law. Does this mean we will not suffer the consequences of wrongful acts? No. Rather, those who continue to believe and strive to live into the baptism of Christ are counted as heirs to salvation, and through God’s unmerited favor, there is nothing that can’t be overcome.
Law vs. Grace; God’s Unmerited Favor; Heirs to Salvation