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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 7

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So the man “went and washed, and came home seeing.”  Simple obedience is so refreshing, isn’t it?

But then there is the question of IDENTITY.  He returns home and people don’t recognize him.  His neighbors and those who had seen him begging are divided.  Some thought it was the blind beggar; others that he just looked like him.

What’s sometimes interesting is that we can treat people with one disability as if they had two.  We speak louder around blind people.  Why?  As they debated this man’s identity, they forgot that he could talk.  He was not mute!

During my years at Northeastern Bible College in NJ, it became evident that the school was going under financially.  I had a friend take a picture of me in front of a blackboard to attach to my resume that I was sending to other Bible colleges for a teaching position. screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-6-05-08-am(That is NOT me to the right).  It was only after I had sent out my resume to several schools that I realized what was written behind on the blackboard in the picture.  It was a quote from our text, John 9:  ἐκεῖνος ἔλεγεν ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι.  Which being translated means, “I AM THE MAN!”

I don’t believe I got any offers of employment from those schools.  But let’s not miss the point.  This man knew who he was — and he admitted it!  (I would have been tempted to have turned my back on that past life and said something like, “Blind man?  I don’t know what you’re talking about!  I’ve never begged in my life!”).

This man could have said, “Once I was blind — but now I can TALK!  And I know who I am.”  Do you, my friend?  (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2017 in john 9

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 1

Psalm 119

א Aleph

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-6-15-54-am
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart
they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in God's Word

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (a Study of John 9) Part 6

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-5-21-21-amAfter giving His brief talk on working while it is day, the Lord Jesus did something that most of us find gross.  He spat on the ground.  My parents taught me not to spit in public.

When I taught in India a few years ago, I was a bit shocked to see women spitting in public!  But Jesus was intentional.  And the man born blind must have been a bit surprised to hear the sound of Jesus spitting on the ground.

The Lord then mixed His spittle with the dirt screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-5-38-28-amon the ground, making some mud.  He put it on the man’s eyes.  Why would He do such a thing?  Some commentators suggest that, in that day, such a mud compact was thought to be helpful.  I believe Jesus did this so that when the man “came home seeing” people would easily connect his healing with this action by Jesus.

Jesus tells the man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam.  Why does John tell the reader that this word means “Sent”?  Well, the man has been sent, hasn’t he?  “Sent” implies a mission — and this mission, as difficult as it must have been for the man born blind to complete it, would change his life!

Could not the Lord of Glory, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, simply have spoken the man’s vision into being?  Could He not have simply touched the man’s eyes and said something like “Be opened!”?  Of course, He could have.  But the man is given a simple command — and he obeys.  There is something quite attractive in such simple obedience.  “The man went and washed, and came home seeing.”

The Bible’s succinctness in telling this story cries out for elaboration.  And I have heard that cry!  I’ve written out a fictional account of this miracle, trying to fill in the details.  If you are interested in my re-telling of this story, please drop me an email (theoprof@bellsouth.net) or state your interest in the comment section below.

The question for us today is simple:  What command has Jesus given you that you simply need to OBEY? (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2017 in john 9

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 118)

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-06-48-am
    his love endures forever.

Let Israel say:
    “His love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say:
    “His love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say:
    “His love endures forever.”

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
    he brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
11 They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16     The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
    through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
    you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us!
    Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
    up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in repetition

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (a Study of John 9): Part 5

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-9-05-43-am We live in a 24/7 world where darkness has been turned into light by the invention of the light bulb!  In Jesus’ time when it got dark, people turned off the TV and went to bed.  Daylight was for working; nighttime was for sleeping.

This man born blind had only known NIGHT.  He had never seen a sun rise or a sun set or a flower or a pretty girl or an angry Pharisee.  It was always night for him.

The Lord Jesus was fond of using metaphors screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-5-57-08-am in the gospel of John.  He uses the metaphor of birth in chapter three, of water in chapter four, of bread in chapter six, of darkness (night) in chapter nine.

Jesus knows that He is on a mission to do “the works of God” and the time to do those works is the daytime.  As the light of the world He was personally obligated “to do the works of him who sent me.”

Actually, when you think about it, the expression “the light of the world” implies nighttime, doesn’t it?  We don’t need light during the day, but during the night.  Perhaps Jesus is saying that this world is very dark, even in the daytime.

Jesus’ followers, we are told in Matthew 5, are “the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”  In a real sense, we have taken the place of Jesus as the light of the world!  Earlier in John 8 Jesus had said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  Jesus says, “While I am in the world . . .”  The implication is that He was here only for a short time and soon would be returning to His Father.  And in this in-between-time, we are the light of the world.

Letting your light shine? (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in john 9

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 117)

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations;screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-7-26-45-am
    extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in busyness of life

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) (Part 4)

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-9-05-43-amscreen-shot-2017-02-14-at-6-19-21-amYes, sometimes we can serve God better with our wounds than with our wellness.

Jesus makes it quite clear here that He KNEW why this man was born blind!  No one but GOD can declare “This happened so that . . .”  This man born blind was part of God’s plan to reveal His Son as Savior to the world — one needy person at a time!

I never played on high school sports teams, but instead had a paper route to make money.  But if I had, I would probably have a few trophies.  At least some participation ones!  Wait a minute, I have several table tennis and tennis trophies that I’ve won as an adult, an old adult.  Now.  If I were really serious about my trophies, I would not lose them in the garage or put them in a box in the attic.  I would screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-6-06-39-amdisplay them in a prominent place at home — on the kitchen table, by the front door under a spotlight — you get the picture.

Jesus says, “this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”  Here’s a display case.  What is its use?  Yes!  To show off stuff!  We are DISPLAY CASES of God’s work in our lives.

That seems to be a pretty passive place for us to be, doesn’t it?  We are just display cases to show off the works of God.  People are not supposed to look through us to God but at us and at what God has been and is doing in our lives!  Now, we can mess up being DISPLAY CASES, can’t we?   We can be so dirty (with sin) that no one can see what’s displayed inside.  We can refuse to turn the light on in the case and just sit there in the dark.  We can distract people’s attention and highlight other things that we’re proud of that aren’t the works of God.

What a marvelous statement.  This man, born blind, had never seen anything in his entire life, but would soon not only himself see, but he would be seen by others as a display case for the works of ALMIGHTY GOD!  From blindness to display.  Not a bad transition! (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in john 9

 

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