The Problem of Dogmatism

Jesus’ conversation with the religious leaders in John 8 gives insight into the power of our beliefs. The Jews affirmed that their father was Abraham. However, Jesus pointed out a contradiction. While they claimed to be Abraham’s children, they also plotted to kill Jesus. Jesus explained to them that if they were truly Abraham’s children they would behave as he did and not plot against someone who had come from God. Their cold-hearted behavior leads us to consider why they plotted to kill Jesus in the first place. Previously John had revealed that they plotted to kill Jesus because they believed he violated the Sabbath by healing a man on the Sabbath. Additionally when Jesus referred to God as his father, they condemned him of blasphemy. Jesus spoke truth to the Jews, but they couldn’t accept it, because their interpretation of truth was different from what Jesus said. Ironically, their commitment to their interpretation actually blinded them from truth. At first they criticized Jesus, then they began to hate him and eventually plotted to kill him. The religious leaders decision to kill Jesus reveals the danger we may run when we allow our interpretation of truth to take such control of our lives that we fail to see how we might be wrong and miss an opportunity for growth. Such dogmatism can then slip into hatred of those with whom we disagree and then desire or seek their downfall.

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