Jesus Helps A Blind Man See

 

As Jesus was walking through Jerusalem on the Sabbath, he saw a man who had been born blind (134). His students asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this man to be born blind: his own sin or his parents’ sin?” Jesus answered, “His blindness wasn’t caused by anyone’s sins. He has been blind since birth so that God’s power can now be seen at work in him.

“As long as it is day, I must do the work of God in this world; but night is coming when no one will do God’s work in this world. As long as I’m in the world, I am light for the world.”

Then Jesus mixed his saliva with a little dirt to make mud.  He rubbed the mud on the man’s eyes and told him, “Go and wash your face in the Pool of Siloam.”

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So the man went, washed his face, and then he could see!

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People who had seen him before as a blind beggar asked, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “Yes, he’s the one.”  But others said, “No he’s not; he just looks like him.” Then the man himself insisted, “I am that man!”

“How have you become able to see?” they asked him. The man replied, “Jesus made some mud, rubbed it on my eyes, and told me to go to Siloam and wash my face. So I went, and as soon as I washed, I could see!”

“Where is Jesus?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he answered.

Jesus, please help us to love giving our spiritual blindness to You.

(134) John 9:1-12

Knowing Is Obeying

 

The Pharisees were increasingly desperate to discredit Jesus, because he kept questioning their relationship with God (133).

Still speaking with some Pharisees in the temple, Jesus encouraged them to be more open to the truth about God: “It’s actually because I tell you the truth about God that you have chosen not to believe me. Yet you cannot prove that I’m guilty of any sin.  So if I tell you the truth about God, then why not believe me?”

But knowing the stubborn hearts of the Pharisees, Jesus added: “Anyone who comes from God pays close attention to God’s words. But you won’t pay attention to God, because you are not from God.”

Angry Pharisees lashed back at Jesus, “We always knew that you have an evil spirit in you!”

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“I have no evil spirit,” Jesus insisted. “I simply honor God, but you dishonor me. I’m not seeking honor for myself. But God wants you to honor me and God is pleased when you honor me.”

Then Jesus added, “Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die.”

Again the Pharisees lashed back: “That proves you have an evil spirit! Abraham died, and the prophets died, yet you say that whoever obeys your teaching will never die. Our father Abraham died; do you claim to be greater than Abraham? And the prophets also died; do you claim to be greater than them?  Who do you think you are?”

Again Jesus answered, “If I honored myself, that honor would be worth nothing. The one who honors me is God — the very God you claim to honor. You do not really know God, but I do know God. If I said I didn’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I know God, and I obey God.

Jesus then declared, “Your father Abraham rejoiced when he saw me coming into the world.”

The Pharisees responded indignantly, “You are not even fifty years old — and you say you’ve seen Abraham?”

To which Jesus replied. “Before Abraham was born, ‘I Am’.”

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In mounting frustration & anger, some Pharisees picked up stones to throw at Jesus; they wanted him  dead!  But Jesus simply slipped away from the temple through the crowd that had gathered there.

LORD, please help us to love obeying You.

(133) John 8:45-59

Who’s Your Daddy?

 

Some of the Pharisees who heard Jesus teaching began to believe in him (132).  But then Jesus said to them, “You are really my friends, only if you obey my teaching.  The more you know the truth about God, the more you will be set free.”

Those who had been inclined to believe Jesus missed the point & were offended by this statement. “We’re descendants of Abraham,” they said indignantly. “We’ve never been anyone’s slaves. What do you mean when you tell us we’ll be set free?”

Jesus answered, “Good question.  I understand that you are Abraham’s descendants. But you must understand that Anyone-Who-Sins is a slave of sin.

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“A slave isn’t really part of a family, but a son belongs to a family forever. Since I am God’s son, if I set you free from your slavery to sin, then you will be truly free forever.”

Then Jesus turned the tables: “Because you do not accept my teaching, you have decided to kill me. I teach you what God has shown me, but you do what your father has shown you.”

“Our father is Abraham,” the Pharisees replied. “If you really were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “you would do the same things that he did. All I have ever done is to tell you the truth I received from God, yet you are trying to kill me. Abraham never did anything like this. You are doing what your father did.”

“God himself is the only father we have,” the Pharisees answered, “and we are his true sons.” Jesus said to them, “If God really was your father, you would love me, because I came from God to be here with you. I didn’t come just because I wanted to; God sent me.

“You don’t understand me because you don’t want to understand me. You are the children of your father, Satan, and you want to do whatever he commands. But Satan has always been a murderer and a liar; there is no truth in him.

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“When Satan tells a lie, he’s only doing what comes natural, because he is a liar by nature.  What’s more, Satan is the source of all lies.”

Heavenly Father, help us to love living as Your children.

(132) John 8:30-44

I Am Who I Am

 

Jesus continued trying to teach the Pharisees (131):  “I will go away.  You will look for me, but you will die in the sins that you won’t confess.  So you can’t go where I am going.”

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In hopeful hatred, some of the Jewish authorities said to one another, “He says that we can’t go where he is going. Does this mean that he intends kill himself?”

Jesus went right on, “You belong to this world, but I belong to heaven. You are from this world, but I am from heaven. That is why I said that you’ll die in your sins. And you will die in your sins, if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’!”

(‘I Am Who I Am’ is a name by which God referred to himself in the inspired Jewish scriptures — when speaking to Moses from a burning bush that was never consumed by the fire!)

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But the Pharisees would not believe that Jesus was God and they would not confess that they were sinners and they would not relinquish their positions of privilege in the world.  Seeking a more favorable reply, they asked him again, “Who are you really?”

Jesus answered, “It is just as I have told you from the very beginning. In fact, I can tell you many things about yourselves, including things which deserve condemnation. God is truthful, and I tell you only God’s truth.”  But the Pharisees would not receive this from Jesus, either.

So then Jesus said to them, “When you lift me up, you will know that ‘I Am Who I Am’.  Then you’ll understand that I’m not acting on my own authority; I say only what God has instructed me to say.

“God is with me!” Jesus insisted.  Then he added: “God never leaves me alone, because I do only what God wants.”

LORD, please help us to love doing always what You want.

(131) John 8:21-29

Light Shining In Darkness

 

Speaking later with the Pharisees in the temple treasury room (130), Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world.  Anyone who follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in the darkness of death.”

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Disdainfully, the Pharisees replied: “You’re testifying on your own behalf; that proves nothing.”

Jesus answered, “What I testify is true, because I came from heaven and will return to heaven. You’ve never been to heaven; you judge as humans.  I judge no one now; when it is time for me to judge, my judgment will be true because God is with me.

“It is written in your law that whenever two witnesses agree, their testimony is true.

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“So, I testify for myself, and God also testifies for me.

“You don’t really know me, and you don’t really know God.  If you really knew me, you would really know God also.”

Although Jesus said all this publicly in the temple, no one arrested him because his hour had not come.

LORD, please help us to love knowing You through Jesus.

(130) John 8:12-20

Living Water Flows

 

When everyone left the temple & went home, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray (129).

Early the next morning he went back to the area of the temple. People gathered around him, and he sat down and began to teach them.

Then, the teachers of the law & the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery, and they made her stand before them all. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In our law, Moses commanded that such a woman must be stoned to death. Now, what do you say?” (They said this to trap Jesus, so they could accuse him of something & get rid of him.)

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But Jesus bent down and began to write in the dirt with his finger. Then he stood up and said to them, “Any one of you who has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.” Then he bent down and continued writing in the dirt.

When they heard this, the older accusers began leaving, one by one, and then the rest followed.

Finally, Jesus was left alone with the woman.

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He stood up and said to her, “Where are they? Is there no one left to condemn you?” “No one, sir,” she answered. “Well then,” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Get up, go on your way, but do not sin again.”

Jesus, please help us to love being freed from sin.

(129) John 7:53-8:11

Living Water

 

On the last and most important day of the Festival of Booths, Jesus stood up in the temple (128).  He proclaimed boldly, “Whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink. The inspired scriptures say that if you believe in me, streams of life-giving water will pour out from your heart & into the lives of other people.”

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Jesus was speaking of God’s Spirit, which those who believed in Jesus would receive after he returned to heaven. But, at that specific time, the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet returned to heaven.

More people in the crowd began to say, “This man really is the promised prophet.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah won’t come from Galilee. The inspired scriptures say that the Messiah will be a descendant of King David & will be born in Bethlehem, the town where David lived.”  So the opinion of the crowd about Jesus was divided. Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

When the guards reported back, the Jewish religious leaders asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” The guards answered, “Nobody has ever talked the way this man does!”

“Did he fool you, too?” the Pharisees asked them. “Have you ever known one of the authorities or one Pharisee to believe in him? It makes no difference what that crowd thinks about him; those cursed people don’t know the law of Moses!”

But one of the Pharisees there was Nicodemus, the man who had previously met with Jesus under cover of night. He said to the others, “According to our law we can’t condemn a man before we have a hearing to find out what he has done.”

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“Well,” the others answered sarcastically, “are you also from Galilee? Study the inspired scriptures and you will learn that no prophet ever comes from Galilee!”

LORD, please help us to love Your Spirit flowing through us.

(128) John 7:37-52