96. Healing of the man blind since birth- John 9:1-41
-Jesus heals a man blind since birth on the Sabbath for the purpose of giving the works of God glory in this one (John 9:3). Jesus is the Light of the world and He and His disciples must work the works of God who sends out as long as it is day because the night comes when no one can work (John 9:4-5). This healing is a process as Jesus anoints the blind man with clay and has him go wash in the pool of Siloam (Sent). When he is healed and completely well, people don’t know what to think of him in his neighborhood because of the change. He is eventually brought before the Pharisees and a division is created over the matter because the healing was performed on the Sabbath. While some accepted this as a miracle from God and were calling Jesus a prophet, others were saying Jesus was a sinner for doing His miracle on a Sabbath declaring His work unlawful. They question the former blind man and his family and eventually put the man out of the synagogue for not denouncing the work of Jesus in his life. His parents were afraid of man and would not take responsibility for their son’s healing because he was of age. When Jesus heard of this, He found the former blind man and asked him if he believed in Him after telling the man who He was. The man believed and worshiped the Savior (John 9:38). Jesus then comments on the situation by saying, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind (John 9:39).” Jesus then rebuked the Jews for their arrogance and blindness to the truth of why He came into the world. Their sin remained on them (John 9:41). *Application* Physicals impediments from birth are no sign that a person or his parents have sinned as we see here in this passage. In fact God ordains these trials in order that His works might be made manifest and test us in our faith. I admire and respect those who have had to endure difficult situations with children born with an abnormality or sickness. They have a special gift to endure and faith to go on with confidence. Some, like this situation in Scripture, experience healing and see the hand of God in every event that changes and transforms. Realize the works of God yourself and see the Light!
Verse to Memorize- John 9:39
97. The good shepherd- John 10:1-21
-Jesus further explains who He is to the Pharisees and Jews after the incident of the Sabbath healing of the blind man. He is the good Shepherd who enters by the door and lays down his life at it for the good of His sheep. The sheep follow Him because they hear His voice and follow Him. In fact, Jesus says He is the door, all who come before Him are thieves and robbers and the sheep did not hear them (John 10:8). If anyone enters through the door of Jesus they will be saved He maintained. They will go in and out and find pasture (i.e. sustenance, food, well-being). “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).” Jesus says that there will be hired hands that are not owners or shepherds of the sheep. When they see the wolf (the same as the thief) coming they run and flee because of their unconcern and the sheep scatter and are snatched in the chaos. In contrast, the good Shepherd knows His flock and His flock knows Him. He is self-sacrificing and giving of Himself for their good even to the point of death. He will retrieve other sheep not even of the fold, which are His. *Application* This last statement concerns us as Gentiles who have been grafted in by the grace of God into His loving fold of eternal life (Romans 11:17).
-Jesus then takes the opportunity to explain His authority to lay down His life or take it up again as a command from His Father. These words cause further division over His status. Some thought Him to be insane and others conceded that a demon-possessed man could not open the eyes of the blind (John 10:20-21). *Application* We must understand this important passage of Scripture and how it applies to our lives as citizens of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is opened up to everyone upon acceptance of the Good Shepherd. There is a struggle though for our souls that we see here delineated in the Word of God. The enemy (Satan, the devil, the thief, the wolf, the adversary) comes to steal, kill, and destroy us in every way. He is cunning and crafty with many tantalizing lures and deceptions designed for our ultimate downfall. He will snatch and scatter whomever he can and make us miserable in the end. On the other hand, God sent us His Son to combat and overtake the enemy, almost by stealth, in the fact that He laid down His life, emptying Himself (Philippians 2:5-11), on our behalf so that we can enter His grace and find shelter and comfort in His sheepfold. He gives us life eternally and abundantly as we live in His strength and majesty. We can know Him and He can know us as we trust in His salvation (John 10:9). Praise the LORD!
Verse to Memorize- John 10:10