Ugly Religion

( [email protected] ) Nov 11, 2003 11:11 AM EST

It happens in business when you make products you don't market. It happens in government when you keep departments you don't need.

It happens in medicine when your research never leaves the lab.

It happens in education when your goal is grades, not learning.

And it happened on the road to Jerusalem when Jesus' disciples wouldn't let the blind men come to Christ.

"When Jesus and his followers were leaving Jericho, a great many people followed him. Two blind men sitting by the road heard that Jesus was going by, so they shouted, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!'"(Matthew 20:29-30)

The people warned the blind men to be quiet, but they called out even louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"(Matthew 20:34)

Jesus stopped and said to the blind men, "What do you want me to do for you?"

They answered, "Lord, we want to see."

Jesus "touched their eyes, and at once they could see. Then they followed Jesus."

Matthew doesn't tell us why the people refused to let the blind men get close to Jesus-but it's easy to figure it out. They want to protect him. He's on a mission, a critical mission. The future of Israel is at stake. He is an important man with a crucial task. He hasn't time for indigents on the side of the road.

Besides, look at them. Dirty. Loud. Obnoxious. Embarrassing. Don't they have any sense of propriety? Don't they have any dignity? These things must be handled in the proper procedure. First talk to Nathanael who talks to John who talks to Peter who then decides if the matter is worth troubling the Master or not.

But despite their sincerity, the disciples were wrong.

And so, by the way, are we when we think God is too busy for little people or too formal for poor protocol. When people are refused access to Christ by those closest to him, the result is empty, hollow religion. Ugly religion.