Lesson 13 Lecture – John 9:1-41
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.
Just because the man was blind didn’t mean his parents were sinners. However, while our sin can affect our children, so can our repentance. We can suffer to grow in Grace. It is in our suffering that we can bare witness to Christ, to bring God Glory! There is no truer statement than that. I finally figured that out several years ago when I was reading a book a friend had told me about. I kept asking, “Why??” The blinders suddenly came off! Once again Jesus is filled with compassion and Grace for the blind man.
John 9:6 Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
1 Jesus transforms people through His power and compassion.
Jesus can bring physical and spiritual transformation. He displays his power in this man’s weakness. Question: Is Jesus displaying His power in my life?
People didn’t believe the man now walking around saying he could see, was the blind man they knew. Had they really looked at the man? Do we truly look at those in need? (Makes one stand up and think; knowing I am guilty.) Was this man so full of joy, he looked so different he was unrecognizable?
John 9:13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
To the Pharisees: Jesus did not live up to their Sabbath rules. How could he do these things on the Sabbath? The more questions the man was asked, the more the blind man knew Jesus had to have been sent from God.
Then the Pharisees called the parents to verify whether he was previously blind. They told them it was their son, but they didn’t know how he could possibly see. They could not admit Jesus had performed a miracle, because they would have been thrown out of the synagogue.
Here the Pharisees were rejecting the truth of God, and because of this the man was thrown out of the synagogue. All they could see was they needed to do everything by the book. The Pharisees only desire was to follow the rules of the law. The blind man had told them over and over again that Jesus had performed the miracle and made him see. Can you imagine how this man would have been analyzing everything Jesus had done to him. Only through Jesus could this miracle have been accomplished. There was no doubt that Jesus was sent from God.
Why couldn’t they see this? Or, once again, had God hardened their hearts so much that they only knew their law; they knew nothing about God? Is there something in me now, that lets doubt come into my heart at times? There should never be doubt! It has been proven over and over that Jesus is Sovereign!
2 What Jesus does shows who Jesus is.
This man would live an everlasting life because he was focusing on faith in Jesus. How would you respond if you are encountered with questions of Jesus? All you need to know, and say to others, is what your experience is with Jesus. (What a difference it has made in my life!) Don’t waste the trouble by not learning anything. Use the insight to encourage someone else.
John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Just think: Giving the blind man sight was not a healing, but a creating new eyes with the very earth (mud) God created. (I had never thought of it in that sense, but how awesome is that!)
This man’s heart opened, and after all the thought processing he had done about Jesus performing this miracle, he worshiped Jesus then and there. It is impossible to be neutral when it comes to Jesus.
3 Encountering Jesus results in a stronger faith or a harder heart.
It is by His Grace that we are given strength in our suffering. Hearts are open to see the truth of Jesus.
Lesson 14 Lecture – John 10:1-42
“Who are you?” is the question that keeps being asked of Jesus. He had come to make the blind see, but those who claim they could see, were blind.
The Pharisees claimed to know God, but they refused to acknowledge The Son. John 7:28-29 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” Unfortunately, the Pharisees were blind, and had the power to lead others astray.
I do not think much has changed since that time; it is too easy to be led by the trap of earthly goods and gain. Everything is never enough. It is the evil of earthly things of life, the wanting, gossiping, never satisfied that leads one away from everlasting life. It is when you pray and get into The Word that Jesus releases you from all of this! Then you realize that everything is God-Given, and all He gives is enough because it is forever! Be your own person and follow the True Leader of All!
In Psalm 23 & Isaiah 40 Everyone knows Psalm 23 which mentions ‘The Shepherd’. Jewish people would immediately think of God when they heard Shepherd. But…. close behind that, they would have thought of David, the shepherd who saved his flock from lions and bears. They would be thinking of a “Leader” as David had been. This is probably what they wanted from Jesus.
Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees in Shepherd language.
John 10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
For background purposes, there were communal sheep pens where they would check their sheep in for the night. There were two pens. The City Pen and The Country Pen. In the city pen, the shepherd would let the sheep go into the pen and leave. They were the only ones who could pick up their sheep. They had a gatekeeper to keep thieves and robbers away. When the shepherd comes to gather his sheep, they recognize his voice and come running. All the rest of the sheep do nothing because it was not their master calling.
Take that scenario and think about this: Jesus comes to the gate, not to take, but to give. The sheep know the voice of their Shepherd. They follow their Shepherd out, the others do not pay attention. John 10:4 suggests that shepherds in Israel walk ahead of their flock. The sheep know their shepherd intimately.
It is the same for me: When I am spending my time with Jesus, I will know Him intimately. The more time I spend in His Word, the more I will know Him, and know myself. He knows EVERYTHING about me! Despite my sins, He loves me. I am His lamb. We are all a lamb of God! It is Jesus who gives me life to the full.
John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
Now let’s look at the country pen. Jesus says, I am the gate. In the country pen, shepherds let the sheep wander until darkness. Then there might be some kind of cave or very small sheep pen they are led to for the evening. There is no gatekeeper. The shepherd would be the gate and the gatekeeper. Once the sheep were in, he would lie across the entrance to keep them in and protect them from predators.
On a side note, these are the Bedouin people in Israel. They are people who live just as they did in Jesus’ time. They did not like to live the city life, so found a place to stay in the country and made their own little community.
Jesus is telling the Pharisees that “I am The Way.” By entering the gate they believe He is the Messiah. We can go in and out to find pasture, once we are in. Food for thought: Eternal life starts now, once we know Jesus. Experience true FREEDOM. Jesus is my answer to Freedom!
Live, love, and serve without the fear of being rejected. Do I do this? If I am aware of my actions and how I live, then I should be doing as Jesus did. I will never feel rejected by talking about Jesus and His Way.
Thieves and robbers lead you down a path of destruction. Jesus brings life to the full. Stand up and tell the thieves and robbers that your path is one of building love and preserving Jesus’ flock.
1 Jesus knows his sheep fully, loves them unconditionally, and gives them full life.
Do I closely follow the shepherd and know Jesus’ voice? How does my life reflect that I am listening to the good shepherd?
Jesus is telling the Pharisees that the hired hand runs away at the first sign of trouble, he is more worried about himself rather than the sheep. He is speaking directly to them as the “false” shepherds. Here was a blind man who could actually see for the first time and they threw him out of the synagogue instead of shouting for joy that he could now see. Do I run away from trouble, or do I stand up for my beliefs?
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.
Jesus tells us He is the Good Shepherd and he won’t run away. Just think: This kind of relationship with Christ is always available to you! God’s will is to bring the sheep back into the pen, through Jesus.
Jesus’ death is the basis for my salvation. Food for Thought: This is the only case where the death of the shepherd means that the flock will have a secure, eternal life so that we can live. Jesus united Gentiles and Jews, unifying as a good shepherd does. We are the “other” sheep that Jesus brings into the flock.
2 Because Jesus voluntarily died for you, He is worthy of your trust. The wolves in this passage crucified Jesus; he didn’t run from that.
Questions to ask myself: What place am I at today? Am I trusting the Good and Perfect Shepherd? Is there a waywardness in me? Is it my pay check and giving? Is it uncertainty of all things going on in my life? Trust Him in all of these places! It is not always an easy path to follow, but I can do it by not taking the side road.
John 10:20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” No truer words can be said.
Two months have passed. They have the Festival of Dedication – Hannakka.
For background purposes: In 168 BC they were under an evil Syrian ruler, Antiochus. He desecrated the Temple. He sacrificed pigs at the Temple. There were 3 years of this type of behavior. Then the Maccabean’s came in 165 BC. Maccabean means the hammer. They took over and rebuilt the Temple and had a celebration of dedications, which they called Festival of Dedication.
As Jesus was there in the Temple, the Jews come and ask him again, “Who are you?” They don’t believe him when he tells them who he is, again.
John 10:25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”
The fact is: Jesus’ sheep listen, and trust. It is not about our work or failings, it is about Jesus dying on the cross for us. Sharing the Gospel to all, even if they don’t want to hear about it, is the best thing you can do. Yet, the Pharisees do not get it!
They pick up stones to throw at him. Jesus’ answer was to give them scripture:
Psalm 82:1-8 1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!
If judges can be called gods, how much more can Jesus be called God; sent by the Father and revealed to the world.
Those in office may be rulers of the people, during their time of leadership, but their duty is to be one with God, looking to Him for answers, helping those who do not understand, and judge fairly. Unfortunately it is rarely like that. The darkness soon or later takes over. How often do these people think they have the power and think they are god (but with a capital G)? Speak first, think later?
I have to admit, I’ve done that, but now I consciously try to think before speaking. Old habits die hard, though. Just know this… there is One God and One Judge! I think one must keep it foremost in their mind, that God will judge all, including me! When I think about judging, most often when I give an opinion, I am judging. I must remember, I may not know all the facts. I need to be secure in Jesus because in the end, it is up to Him!
John 10:35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken– 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
3 Security in Jesus gives freedom.
Don’t be afraid to share The Gospel! Ask yourself: Am I fully known by The Good Shepherd?