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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 25

Jesus goes directly to the most vital question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  Before he can believe, he needs to be informed.  “Who is he, sir?  Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

For reasons I don’t quite understand, Jesus responds to his question in the 3rd person (“he”):  “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

I think there was the hint of a smile, a twinkle in His eye, when He said “you have now seen him.”  How in the world liberal “scholars” can say that Jesus never claimed to be the promised Messiah is beyond me!

The man’s response?  “Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him.”  BELIEF followed by WORSHIP.  This man’s thinking about Jesus has progressed from —

THE MAN THEY CALL JESUS >>>> HE IS A PROPHET >>> I DON’T KNOW IF HE IS A SINNER >>> I WANT TO BECOME HIS DISCIPLE >>>>  A GODLY PERSON FROM GOD >>>> THE SON OF MAN WORTHY OF MY FAITH AND WORSHIP!

To recap:  Jesus performs an incredible miracle for someone who knew next to nothing about Him.  Jesus seeks the man out after he has been excommunicated by the religious leaders and questions him about BELIEF.  Specifically, belief in the “Son of Man.”  The man born blind believes and worships.  An obvious example to all who read this story.  Do we allow for process when we are sharing “the Son of Man” with others? (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in conversion

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 19

ק Qoph

145 I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord,screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-7-34-09-am
    and I will obey your decrees.
146 I call out to you; save me
    and I will keep your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
    I have put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
    that I may meditate on your promises.
149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
    preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws.
150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
    but they are far from your law.
151 Yet you are near, Lord,
    and all your commands are true.
152 Long ago I learned from your statutes
    that you established them to last forever.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in prayer

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 24

He’s being shunned, put under God’s judgment, discarded by the highest religious authorities on earth.  In a real sense, the story could end there — with the man born blind’s excommunication from the synagogue.

The Pharisees had made their ruling — he was steeped in sin at birth, was unapologetically lecturing these men of God, and deserved the harshest punishment short of stoning!  But at least he had his sight!

I wonder what was going through his mind as he is alone, kicked out of the synagogue, thrown out with words of judgment and rejection.  I wonder if his new eyes could only look in one direction — down.

And then Jesus came.  I wonder who told Jesus about the man’s excommunication.  And I wonder if they also might have become a follower of Jesus after the event.

At any rate, we read those precious words, “and when he found him.”  Jesus is looking for people.  He is seeking the least, the last, and the lost.  Here He looks for and finds the outcast, the heretic who called Jesus a prophet and the One whose prayer God heard.  He finds him.  Jesus took the time to seek this man out and to engage him in an eternity-changing conversation.

If I had been Jesus, I might have said things like, “I’m really sorry for all the trouble my healing you has caused.  I should have known that doing that on the Sabbath would have gotten you — and me — in trouble!  How’s the vision, by the way?”

That’s not what Jesus says.  In fact, He simply asks the man a question:  “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  John’s gospel, the “gospel of belief” as one commentator labels it, emphasizes the more important issue.  What others deem critical and vital Jesus ignores.  He goes directly to the most vital question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2017 in belief

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 18

צ Tsadhe

137 You are righteous, Lord,screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-5-22-29-am
    and your laws are right.
138 The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
    they are fully trustworthy.
139 My zeal wears me out,
    for my enemies ignore your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
    and your servant loves them.
141 Though I am lowly and despised,
    I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is everlasting
    and your law is true.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
    but your commands give me delight.
144 Your statutes are always righteous;
    give me understanding that I may live.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in promises of God

 

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Insight from a Blind Man ( A Study of John 9) Part 23

“Steeped in sin at birth” — That’s the insult these men of God “hurl” at this man who sees far more than they do about Jesus.  He is then tossed out of the synagogue.

I grew up in the Brethren assemblies which leads me to the following joke:  “If you’re Catholic and you do something bad, you get excommunicated.  If you’re Baptist and you do something bad, you get disfellowshipped.  But if you’re Brethren and you do something bad, you get DISASSEMBLED!”

Being asked or told to leave a local body of believers ought to be one of the greatest fears of our lives.  The church ought to be that important to us!  But, alas, some would simply say, “I never liked the color of the new carpet anyway.  I’ll just go to the church down the street.”  And, sadly, the church down the street probably won’t bother to ask the first church why he was asked to leave.

I wonder what the parents thought right about now?  The thing they feared the most has happened to their son.  True, he’s got his sight, but he won’t be looking at the inside of God’s house any time soon.  He’s being shunned, put under God’s judgment, discarded by the highest religious authorities on earth. (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in excommunication

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 17

פ Pe

129 Your statutes are wonderful;screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-7-03-57-am
    therefore I obey them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
    it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
    longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,
    as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
    let no sin rule over me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression,
    that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant
    and teach me your decrees.
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
    for your law is not obeyed.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in pastoring

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 22

Aren’t you glad God listens to “sinners”?  The Pharisees were caught on the horns of their own dilemma.  They were convinced that Jesus was a “sinner” in the sense that He could not be the Promised Messiah of God.  He had violated the Sabbath as well as stood up to God’s religious authorities, the Pharisees.

But they had, standing before them, an honest-to-goodness miracle.  A man who had been born blind looking at them.  (I wonder what kind of look he was giving them?).  They could not explain this miracle away.  They couldn’t get the parents to give information that would help them explain this away.  And they were growing more and more frustrated by the second.

Then they get a lecture!  From the second half of their dilemma.  And he is not reluctant to dogmatize!  “We know God doesn’t listen to sinners!”  “We know He listens to the godly person who does His will!”  Lumping himself together with the Pharisees appears to have been the ultimate insult.

And then he dogmatizes further: “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  Those were the last words he spoke to these Pharisees.

Dogmatism has a way of either convincing the opposing party or inciting them.

“You were steeped in sin at birth!”

And these opponents (who already had smoke coming out of their ears and flames coming out of their eyes from the man born blind’s question “Do you want to become His disciples too?”) had reached the end.

“You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!”  And then they threw him out of the synagogue.  Out of the center of Jewish social and religious life.  Out into the world.  Out into the judgment of God. (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in dogmatism

 

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