Spiritual liberation can be adopted when aware of the differences between cultural traditions and Christianity. When opting to become a Christian, it is advisable to avoid entertaining traditions that one would have become accustomed to. While customs and traditions appear as granting comfort, enabling one to identify with a particular section of humanity, trappings exist.
“For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)—then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that” (Mark 7:10-13 NIV).
Jesus was showing an example of how tradition can cause a person to be unreasonable. Logic is only applicable to freedom and not under bondage. Tradition does not always agree with Biblical teachings, yet purports to be Biblical. Some people even suggest that God’s teachings are strange, and impossible to practice, traditionally. Logic is opposed to irrationality.
Cowardice causes people to stick to traditions, rather than venture into new and workable ideas. Traditional authoritarians question logic, rather than question irrationality. Jesus’ healing of a man born blind caused an unnecessary debate. Even after clear evidence, the Teachers of the Law continued to disbelieve, until the healed man was thrown out.
They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
“We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from” (John 9:18-29 NIV).
This was a standoff between logic and cultural tradition. Of essence is that tradition carries authority, as demonstrated: “We are disciples of Moses!” The Jews were committed to one authority, Moses. In other words, their traditional commitment to Moses took away their intellectual and reasoning capacity.
Their rant had been factored on Sabbath-keeping. Any person who did not keep the Sabbath could not be a prophet from God. Their reasoning capacity was below the Sabbath-keeping principle. They were committed to Sabbath-keeping, but without appreciating the significance of Sabbath-keeping.
This brings us to the vital aspect of faith; defined as: “the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). One cannot have faith in something, without confidence and assurance of its existence. The Jews could not have had faith in Sabbath-keeping. They did not have confidence and assurance in Sabbath-keeping, hence they quoted Moses.
This, basically, describes our educational system. One may be conferred with a professorial degree, when able to quote other renowned Scholars. There has to be an “authority” for any information to be regarded as authentic, according to authoritarians. By whose authority had Jesus performed the miracle? This is the question that lingered in Jewish minds.
Their faith had been based on Moses. But they did not have confidence and assurance in Moses’ teachings. Without Moses, everything they assumed to believe in, crumbled. This is the only reason that caused them to be angry at the man healed of blindness, rather than celebrate God’s miracle.