Tag Archives: knowledge
Focus! Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus in a Near-Sighted, Distracted World! (The Blind Man in John 9 – Part 9)
There are, of course, two kinds of blindness — physical and spiritual. In this extensive telling of the man born blind’s story, Jesus heals the first kind. The second kind is becoming more and more evident as we move through the details.
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.
“You’re Now Under Oath!” The efforts of the Pharisees to get at the “truth” they wanted have failed. The parents of the man born blind were of no help at all. They now summon this unnamed now sighted person and grill him a second time. But this time they put him under oath. When they say “Give glory to God” they are referring back to the story of Achan in Joshua 7 who stole some of the “devoted things” and Joshua says to him, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” (v. 19). What the Pharisees were really saying to the man born blind was, “You’ve been lying to us up to this point. Now tell the truth!”
The Issue of Knowledge: The Pharisees declare, as they put the man under oath, that they know Jesus is a sinner (v. 24). But their certainty is under attack and the man born blind simply responds, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know.” (v. 25). It’s important to state what one doesn’t know. But he goes on to say, “One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see!”
Today’s Challenge: They are many things that you and I don’t know. What do you know for certain? We have the sure and certain Word of God which declares to us our rescue by Jesus. Let’s speak clearly of what we do know so others will see their need to be rescued!
We sometimes greet one another with the words, “Whadda know?” Well, what do you know? What do I know? Here in I John 5 John concludes his first epistle by reminding us of seven truths that we can count on, that we can know. Let’s look at the text:
1. We know we belong to God — We are the children of God (v. 19).
2. We know that the whole world is under control of the evil one (v. 19).
3. We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding (v. 20).
4. We know that that understanding was given that we might know the One who is true (v. 20).
5. We know that we are in the One who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ (v. 20).
6. We know that He is the true God and eternal life (v. 20).
7. We know that idolatry is real and we are to keep ourselves from idols (v. 21).
That’s a great list of truths that we KNOW! By having a relationship with the Son of God, we become His children, are made aware that this world is controlled by the evil one, and can be confident that we have understanding. The One whom we know is true and is God’s Son. And we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He, Jesus Christ, is the true God and eternal life. And we know that idolatry will take us away from Him.
Thank God for the knowledge He has given you today!
In his twisted way, Calvin defends being anti-knowledge! Fascinating that the Bible never condemns knowledge, although it does warn that “knowledge puffs up” (I Cor. 13). Many issues in life ARE clear and simple. And the knowledge that we are given in knowing the Lord ought to lead us to godly decisions and (sometimes) risky actions!
God never needs to be brought up to date. He never needs to be informed of something He otherwise would not know. All things knowable, He knows! He never learns; He never increases in knowledge. This is what we mean by God’s omniscience.
From our fallen human perspective, this might sound a bit boring. Part of the joy of life is learning things, growing in knowledge, discovering new truths. But God’s all-knowingness is not a vice, but a virtue. What Scriptures indicate that God is omniscient?
Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.
1 John 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
Matthew 10:30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Psalm 147:4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.
Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
Psalm 44:21 Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired His understanding is inscrutable.
Isaiah 46:9-10 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,
1 Kings 8:39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men,
Acts 1:24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen
Here are a few practical applications of God’s omniscience:
1. Our hearts can deceive us, but God knows all things and is greater than our hearts.
2. He knows what we are going to say before we say it.
3. His knowledge includes even the very minor things like the hairs on our heads and the major things like the stars in the sky.
4. There are no secrets before God; all things are open and visible to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
5. Even in our prayer lives He knows what we need before we formulate our prayers — but we are still to pray!
6. He searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts.
7. His understanding is inscrutable (that word is worth looking up!). God never has to say, “I misunderstood.”
8. He alone knows the hearts of all the sons of men.
What is one practical application of God’s omniscience for you today?
Seventeen times Jesus uses the word WORLD (cosmos) in His high priestly prayer here in John 17. What is the Christian’s place in the WORLD? What does that term mean? We’ve seen that it can refer to the physical PLANET; it can refer to the PEOPLE of the planet. Or it can refer to the PAGAN SYSTEM opposing God and the things of God.
This morning let’s look at the seventeenth use of that term by the Lord Jesus. Tomorrow we will try to summarize our study of this important word in this very important prayer of the Lord Jesus.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before 1the world began.
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of 2the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for 3the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in 4the world no longer, but they are still in 5the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in 6the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and 7the world has hated them, for they are not of 8the world any more than I am of 9the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of 10the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of 11the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into 12the world, I have sent them into 13the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that 14the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then 15the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of 16the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though 17the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
They then claim to have certain knowledge about God speaking to Moses. This they knew. What they didn’t know was where “this fellow” came from! And these were the leaders responsible for the spiritual safety of the people of Israel!
The ignorance of the man born blind (how he was healed) is matched by the ignorance of the religious leaders (regarding the identity of Jesus). That kind of stalemate gave the man born blind an opportunity to perhaps exit the conversation. But “in for a dime, in for a shekel,” as they say. So he attacks!
“Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.” Isn’t the man born blind really saying, “You’ve failed the geography test — which was a small matter — how in the world can you pass the miraculous one?” And I think he used his brand new eyes to stare them down one by one.
What do you and I KNOW? I mean, really? We know that God loves us. We know that He’s done something about our sin. And we know that He is in the sight-giving business. But only to those who recognize their own blindness and want it taken away. (to be continued)
What do you KNOW? I mean, for sure? Our culture seems to tolerate just about anything, except the certainty that truth can be known. Our man born blind has just been put under oath (like sinful Achan in Joshua 7) and the Pharisees demand his opinion about Jesus.
In fact, they announce their view and expect him to agree with them. “We know this man is a sinner,” they say. Did they really expect him to reply, “Of course, you are right. I can see that now!”
What do you know? Say it! Say it clearly. Say it with all your conviction. But say it!
And don’t let the religious turkeys get you down!
G. K. Chesterton declared the following: “But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.” (G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pp. 31-32). (to be continued)