Re:Verse passage – John 12:20-37, 42-50 (day two) And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. vs. 32
What is our job in regards to evangelism? How are we to reveal the deep truths of the gospel to people who don’t know, have never heard, or who are hostile to the church.
Look up. The work has been done for us. Tell the story of Jesus and the cross. He will draw people to him. He has done all that is necessary. Aren’t you grateful for that? The image is so powerfully drawn. Jesus gives the parameters even before the event. He will be lifted up, and we must look to the cross. It is only through the cross. Jesus knew this, and he didn’t want them to miss it, and didn’t want us to miss it either.
Confused? Lift you heads, look to the cross. He will draw all to him.
Healing this blind man seems like an odd choice for Jesus. For one, there is no record of this man inquiring for healing (v.1, 6). Jesus just seems to heal him. Then, this blind man calls Jesus a prophet (v. 17), which is an honorific title, but falls short of Jesus’ true identity. Then, when questioned further on Jesus’s life, the blind man claims that he has no idea if Jesus is sinless (v.25), and even when Jesus asks him about believing in the Son of Man, the blind man questions Jesus (v.36).
This blind man seems to know nothing about Jesus Christ. Things we are taught in the earliest stages of Sunday School are lost on him, but he had an experience with our Lord and Savior.
He (the blind man) then answered, “Whether (Jesus) is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”(John 6:25)
In two interactions with Jesus Christ this man’s life was changed forever. He ignored all those outside, doubting voices. He ignored his own ignorance, and he obediently followed Jesus Christ.
And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. (John 6:38)
May we make such a statement of belief through all doubt and ignorance.
Re:Verse reading–John 9:1-7, 13-41 (day five) Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him… John 9:35
It may be the sweetest part of this interaction with Jesus, the second encounter between Jesus and the man who was formerly blind. The first interaction resulted in physical healing, courage, and boldness. That encounter also caused stress, trouble, and conflict. The scripture says “they put him out”. Do you sometimes feel it too? See John 15. “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”
So in the midst of the difficulty and isolation Jesus finds him (again).Sound familiar? “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”Psalm 46:1 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Maybe an encounter with the Living God (again) is just what we need today. Whatever the need or circumstance, ask Him to come near and find you to continue that work in your heart and mind!
This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. I love it when the former blind man reveals his spiritual insight to the Pharisees who were completely blind to the truth. Rather than listen to this second-class beggar in his newfound spiritual wisdom, they reviled him for trying to teach them…the spiritual giants of Israel.
Actually, this story is very sad. I love the irony of how God exalts the humble, but it is sad that the Pharisees just didn’t get it. They were so set in their self-exalted wisdom and their grasp of power and influence, they could not understand the God whom they proclaimed to serve.
We can celebrate the victory of the lowly beggar, but we don’t want to do so at the cost of celebrating the darkness of the Pharisees. May God give us His eyes to see the lost as He sees them. May we grieve over their lostness and ask God to use us to lead them to the light!
“This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
Yeah, it would be pretty great to witness a big blessing from God, wouldn’t it? And yet, have you really thought it through? What if the blessing came not to you, but to someone else? And what if that someone else was not a person you hold in high regard? And furthermore, what if that blessing didn’t square with your perspective of how God would act? One way to deal with all that is to find a different way to tell the story. That’s exactly what the Pharisees did. Maybe it would be a good idea to sift through the stories you tell yourself and others about God. Are you editing those stories in a way that molds God into a reflection of your own wishes?
Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. vs. 3
Let’s be clear. Sin has consequences. Sometimes those consequences manifest in physical form. This, however, is not what Jesus is addressing in this passage. Jesus is speaking about circumstance. Let’s face it some folks will always seem to have more, get more, be better than you, but you have an opportunity in whatever circumstance God puts you to give him glory. We may never know the “why” of things, but we can be sure that God is at work. How can we be a part of it? Even in our trials and sufferings, God is at work. Your journey can bring him glory. Through your prayers let me encourage you to ask for the wisdom to know how to use your particular circumstance for kingdom purpose.
“As He walked along, he SAW a man blind from birth.”- v 1.
There are two miracles in John 9. Two outcomes of God’s outpoured power.
The second is the one we usually notice. A man born blind receives physical sight. He SEES (for the first time).
The previous miracle is the source and start. Jesus SEES the man. SEES his suffering with clear eyes. UNDERSTANDS that pain is never the ultimate story, that all struggles are just opportunities for the unconquered (and unconquerable) glory of God to shine–v 3. Our Lord SAW the Father at work. Daily. Determined. Generous. UNDERSTOOD the grace that invites sinner like us to join Him–v 4.
This week, as you read, will you pray for a third miracle? That the Lord would open your eyes to see the world with his compassionate vision.
“What do you want Me to do for you?” said Jesus. “Lord, I want to SEE again”–Luke 18:41.
The closer Jesus gets to the cross the smaller the crowds get. At the point of crucifixion, even His closest disciples deny Jesus. Judas, one of the twelve, betrays Jesus for silver, and Peter, one of the inner circle, betrays Jesus three times in one night. It is disheartening to see someone drift away from the Christ, but those days come for many.
In our text this week we see crowds not willing to follow Christ into the depth of His teaching: As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” John 6:66-67
May we never drift away from the Christ when life becomes difficult or when His teachings interfere with our creature comforts, instead, let us draw in closer to God seeking Him completely even in spite of ourselves.
You must be born again…a spring of water welling up to eternal life…If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Jesus had a way with words. So far, Jesus has used the tangible (new birth, water, bread) to make sense of spiritual realities, although no one fully understood him at the time. Even though Jesus rarely went out of his way to explain his metaphors (he did with his disciples), his methods say a lot about his character. Jesus chose words that were relevant, relatable, and meaningful. Yes, these truths were still challenging, but Jesus did not got out of his way to make them so; they are so, by their very nature juxtaposed to a broken world. His words are the kind of words that required presence; being with people in the moment.