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Focus! Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus in a Near-Sighted, Distracted World! (The Blind Man in John 9 – Part 11)

The interrogation of the man born blind decidedly goes downhill from this point on. He has referred to Jesus as “a prophet” (i.e. a man of God) and has declined the expert opinion of Israel’s religious leaders that Jesus is “a sinner.” But the story continues.

In this series of blog posts on FOCUS I want to examine my own vision and ask if my spiritual eyesight is getting dim, distracted, or damaged by choices I make. We will be looking at a number of key biblical passages which emphasize this sense of sight. I am particularly looking forward to pondering the healing miracles which turned blind people into sighted people.

Hurling Insults: The Pharisees lose it when the man born blind says to them, “Surely you don’t want to become his disciples too, do you?” (v. 27). That was the last thing these Pharisees wanted! So they engage in hurling insults against the man. Verse 28 reads 28 ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπον· Σὺ μαθητὴς εἶ ἐκείνου, ἡμεῖς δὲ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ἐσμὲν μαθηταί. (Literally, “They insulted him and said, ‘You are a disciple of that one, but we are disciples of Moses.'”)

This verb loidorēō is used only four times in the New Testament. Here in John 9 it can be translated “scoffed.” In Acts 23:4 it is translated as “insult.” In I Corinthians 4:12 Paul is speaking of the Apostles’ response to persecution and says, “When reviled, we bless.” And in I Peter 2:23 we read of the Lord Jesus: “When he was insulted, he did not respond with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten . . .” People resort to insult when logic and reasoning fail them — and they feel threatened!

Knowledge and Ignorance:  The Pharisees protest that they are disciples of Moses. They declare, “we know that God spoke to Moses . . .” Their knowledge was certain and sure — and they were convinced that they were in the right.

It is interesting that Jesus says in John 5:46- “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. These Pharisees admit their ignorance about Jesus when they say, “but as for this fellow we don’t even know where he comes from.” (v. 29).

Here these religious leaders of Israel have the opportunity to learn about Jesus from someone who has been the recipient of one of His miracles. But they argue for their complete loyalty to Moses, failing to realize Jesus was, in a real sense, the new Moses.

Today’s Challenge: In a sense, everyone is a disciple, a follower, of someone, even if that someone is . . . themselves. As disciples of Jesus, we need to speak the truth about Who He is and why He should be followed. And we do that with our words and our behavior.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2021 in focus

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 17

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-5-25-29-am“Do you want to become His disciples too?”  Never were more volatile words spoken.  That question got at the heart of the matter:  If Jesus was who He claimed to be, the Pharisees were wrong and should repent and follow Jesus with all their hearts.

Sometimes three of the hardest words to say are “I . . . was . . . wrong.”  And the Pharisees are in no mood for conversion.  They don’t repent or relent of their wrong view of Jesus.  Instead, they take out their anger on this man born blind and “hurl” insults at him.  The term for “hurl” is λοιδορεω (loidoreo) and means “to revile, rail at, abuse” and is used here in v. 28 and also in Acts 23:4; 1 Cor. 4:12 and 1 Pet. 2:23.

This verbal stoning signaled their utter frustration at explaining away this miracle and finding more ammunition against Jesus.  The man born blind had made this personal — “Do you want to become His disciples too?”  The way the question is framed in Greek implies that the man born blind expected a “NO!” answer: screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-5-59-33-am “Surely you don’t want to become His disciples too, do you?” (μη + an Indicative question, a common feature in John’s gospel).

These “leaders” had no desire to follow — anyone!  And they certainly did not want to do a 180 and begin to follow Jesus! (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in wrong

 

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