The Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10.19-21)
We don't seem to read of an indifferent response to encountering Jesus, at least not in this chapter of John. Instead, He provoked division: a self-righteous some who attacked and accused, calling Him a demon or a tool of Satan... then others, seekers, who were listening with open hearts and teachable spirits, amazed by the miraculous He was doing. The self-righteous group attempts to shame the seeking group, totally dismissing and discounting what should have been clear evidence (particularly to them - with all of their study of the Law and prophetical writings) with condescension.
"Why listen to the crazy ravings of a lunatic? No one in their right might could possibly, seriously, consider those claims! No one thinks like that!"
Some things never change. The world, the critics of Christianity and of those who seek to follow Jesus, use similar tactics today. They dismiss, discount, discredit, disesteem, dishonor, degrade and deride anything that hints of faith while insinuating they are simply acting in the only reasonable, responsible and wise manner, given the circumstances.
Honorable men, seekers, do not allow these sorts of shaming techniques to discourage them. Instead they use their wills, they address facts, applying logic and reason to understand what they've seen.
Thus, those with teachable spirits weighed the Lord's message and miracles. They countered the accusations of the accusers. They stated the obvious: Jesus' actions were not that of a man possessed by a demon. A devil could not open blinded eyes. Rather, a devil only has the power to blind man. As Luke wrote, Jesus revealed this truth, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." (Luke 12:51).
Jesus is the great separator of men.
On which side do you find yourself... today?
Do you stand today? With the revilers or with the vindicators?
Is it possible to stand on one side one day... and flip to the other side on another day?
this week's gratitude list