Kids Talk About God
Chapter 45 cover art: Breaking Religious Rules

Breaking Religious Rules

John 9:13-23

Some Pharisees Have Questions

13 Then the people brought the man to the Pharisees. 14 The day Jesus had made mud and healed the man’s eyes was a Sabbath day. 15 So the Pharisees asked the man, “How did you get your sight?”
He answered, “He put mud on my eyes. I washed, and now I can see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “That man does not obey the law about the Sabbath day. So he is not from God.”
Others said, “But someone who is a sinner cannot do these miraculous signs.” So they could not agree with each other.
17 They asked the man again, “Since it was your eyes he healed, what do you say about him?”
He answered, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jewish leaders still did not believe that this really happened to the man—that he was blind and was now healed. But later they sent for his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? You say he was born blind. So how can he see?”
20 His parents answered, “We know that this man is our son. And we know that he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know why he can see now. We don’t know who healed his eyes. Ask him. He is old enough to answer for himself.” 22 They said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The leaders had already decided that they would punish anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah. They would stop them from coming to the synagogue. 23 That is why his parents said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”

Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 45 – Breaking Religious Rules
How can religious rules keep us from knowing God?
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 45 – Breaking Religious Rules

“In the Bible, the Pharisees said that anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah would be thrown out of the synagogue.” Aryanna, 9

“Everybody tries to make their own rules, and sometimes they don’t survive.” Diego, 10

“There are some religions whose many rituals keep them from having time to read the Bible in our free time. They are always doing deeds to try to get to heaven. That is why all Christians should keep our focus on our one true God.” Thomas, 11

“Because of these rules, some people wander off the path. But if you know Jesus’ death on the cross is enough, you will still be on the path.” Galilee, 11

“When we are too busy doing religious work, it sometimes molds us to be prideful because we think we are good. We can be doing all these “good” works without truly having a relationship with God. People who do things just for their own glory are not having a real relationship with God. We need to always be focused on God, not ourselves.” Justin, 12

Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 45 – Breaking Religious Rules
Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John – Chapter 45 – Breaking Religious Rules
Carey Kinsolving Comments

13 Then the people brought the man to the Pharisees. 14 The day Jesus had made mud and healed the man’s eyes was a Sabbath day. 15 So the Pharisees asked the man, “How did you get your sight?”
He answered, “He put mud on my eyes. I washed, and now I can see.”

Again, the Pharisees focus their attention on “how” Jesus did the miracle instead of “who” did the miracle. They rejected the idea of Jesus being the Messiah or the Christ. Remember that “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Jesus didn’t meet their expectations for Messiah.

Jerusalem was the center of Jewish religious activity, but Jesus was from Galilee. Jesus didn’t study with Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem. Jesus’ disciples were fisherman, not trained rabbis or teachers from Jerusalem. Jesus was from the “wrong” place, and he and his disciples didn’t have the “right” religious training.

The Pharisees kept focusing on the “how” of the miracle because they wanted to disprove the miracle. The healed blind man kept telling his story of how Jesus placed clay on his eyes and told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam.

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “That man does not obey the law about the Sabbath day. So he is not from God.”
Others said, “But someone who is a sinner cannot do these miraculous signs.” So they could not agree with each other.

No one can bring people together like Jesus, and no one can divide people like Jesus. When you believe in Jesus as your savior, you are born again into God’s worldwide family. The family is called the “body of Christ.” Jesus is head of this body, and all believers are the body members. Jesus can overcome cultural, racial and national differences.

Here we see an argument. Some thought Jesus broke the Sabbath and others understood the greatness of Jesus’ miracle. Remember that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week (Saturday). God told the Jewish people to rest on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11). Like a lot of things in the Old Testament, the Sabbath is a picture of something greater than resting on Saturday. Jesus is called “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8).

God completed the work of creation in six days. Jesus hung on a cross and bore the weight of our sins for six hours from 9 a.m to 3 p.m (Mark 15:24-25 & Matt. 27:45). At the end of six hours, Jesus said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

Because God created the world and universe in six days, the Jewish people were to rest on the seventh day just as God rested on the seventh day. In Jesus, the reality has replaced the shadow or symbol. Because Jesus finished the work of our salvation when he hung on the cross for six hours, we are to rest in him. When you place your trust in Jesus for your forever life in his kingdom, you stop trying to work for your salvation. Only a fool would try to work for something that is already paid for.

It’s a big deal to heal a blind person who once could see, but it’s a greater miracle to heal a man born blind. This poor, blind beggar had been born blind.

We were all born spiritually blind. We enter into this world separated from God. Accepting the gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus is more of a miracle than healing a blind man. If God did not reveal himself to us through the Bible, the witness of faithful Christians and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, no one would believe in Jesus. Remember, God sought us long before we believed in Jesus (John 12:32).

17 They asked the man again, “Since it was your eyes he healed, what do you say about him?”
He answered, “He is a prophet.”

The fact that the healed man says Jesus is a prophet is better than calling him “the man they call Jesus” (John 9:11). Although the man does not fully understand that Jesus is God’s promised Messiah, the Son of God, his understanding is growing. He knew that his healing was from God. He assumed that Jesus had to be at least a prophet of God.

In the Old Testament, God often performed miracles through prophets. However, just because someone performs a miracle does not mean they are from God. When Moses stood before Pharaoh, God performed a miracle by turning his staff into a snake (Exodus 7:10). Pharaoh’s evil magicians matched this miracle by turning their staffs into snakes. However, the snake that God made from Moses’ staff ate the snakes created by the evil magicians through the devil’s power (Exodus 7:11-12).

18 The Jewish leaders still did not believe that this really happened to the man—that he was blind and was now healed. But later they sent for his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? You say he was born blind. So how can he see?”
20 His parents answered, “We know that this man is our son. And we know that he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know why he can see now. We don’t know who healed his eyes. Ask him. He is old enough to answer for himself.” 22 They said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The leaders had already decided that they would punish anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah. They would stop them from coming to the synagogue. 23 That is why his parents said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”

The calling of the parents of the healed man shows how far people will go when they reject Christ. Because the religious leaders didn’t believe the healed man himself, they called his parents. The Pharisees wanted to disprove Jesus’ miracle.

The healed man’s parents were fearful when they came before the Pharisees. They knew that the Pharisees would kick them out of the synagogue if they argued with them about Jesus. Being thrown out of the synagogue was a big deal. It meant that other Jewish people would not be your friends. You would be treated like strangers. Everyone would avoid you.

Now the Pharisees ask the parents how their son received his sight. Again, they are looking for a way to disprove the miracle healing. When the parents told them to ask their son because he is old enough, they probably referred to the Jewish custom of bar mitzvah. When a Jewish boy turns 13, he is considered a man. Usually a ceremony followed by a big party is given for a Jewish boy on his 13th birthday. This is called bar mitzvah. In other words, this healed man is past the age of 13. In the Jewish culture, the healed man was considered a responsible adult. He could answer for himself the questions about receiving his sight.

Even though Jesus did this amazing miracle of healing a man who had been born blind, the rules that the Pharisees created around the Sabbath blinded them from seeing the truth. Religious rules can make people blind. Some people would rather keep rules than have a real relationship with God. Keep rules makes them feel like they are in control. The man born blind gained his physical and spiritual sight, but the Pharisees became even more spiritually blind.

Jesus showed great courage when he purposely broke the Pharisee rules by spitting on the ground to make mud to put on the blind man’s eyes and healing him on the Sabbath. Never be afraid to break religious rules invented by people who are trying to earn favor with God. It might make them very mad. They might reject you and even harm you. However, you must live by the life of the Lord within you (Galatians 2:20).

Religious rules can change people’s behavior, but not their hearts. The Christian life is living from the inside out. When the love of God is flowing into your heart from heaven, it will flow out freely to needy people. When you’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit, you will live above laws and rules. You’re not living for yourself. God is living through you for his plan and purpose!

When you love someone, you don’t need a list of rules. You naturally want to please the one you love.

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Coloring Page: Breaking Religious Rules