From Pastor Perry

John 9:18–23 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind (Part 3)
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

Have you ever been angry with someone, yet everyone you talk to paints a different picture of that person.  They tell you how honest he/she is and that this person is a person of integrity.  After you hear this from enough people, you should start rethinking your own position to make certain you are not the person with the problem.  Too often we are blinded by what we think instead of what is right.  I know in the ministry, I have some friends that are pastors, and when I need a reality check, I go to them to see if I’m wrong or if I’m in the right.  The only person who was right all the time is the one who is being persecuted in our story.  Everyone else makes errors in judgement.  It is great when we can take a step back and look at someone from a different perspective.  As a Christian, we need to be doing this all the time... because we are to be forgiving.  We are to love one another... our brothers in Christ as well as our enemies.  When someone goes and starts talking to others about what they did, it becomes gossip and is also a violation of God’s Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not bear false testimony against thy neighbor.”  This same thing is going on with the Jews... they don’t believe Jesus and have become blind to his miracles.  When he performs miracles that truly are miraculous, they quickly discount it and try to find others that will support them.  The miracles speak for themselves.  If they would, or could, step back and take a reality check... they would see that Jesus really is the Son of God.  The miracles attest to his authority.  

In the book of Acts, we see a rabbi stepping back and taking a reality check.  It is found below.
Acts 5:33–39 (ESV)
33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”  

I pray: O Lord, too often we need to take a reality check instead of digging ourselves deeper into quicksand.  Give me wisdom and discernment to determine right from wrong.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me and the Church through this fallen world.  Forgive me when I sin and turn me to your guiding light.  Amen.

John 9:15–17 (ESV)
Jesus heals a Man born Blind (Part 3)
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.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

It is interesting that the Pharisees who are after Jesus are becoming divided over this healing.  There is no denying that the blind man has been healed.  This is a miracle, there is no way around it.  Some are questioning by what authority is he healing... it must be from God.  Others are saying that he is not of God because he healed on the Sabbath.  To gain further insight, they ask the blind man what he thinks.   The blind man (who can now see), responds that “He is a prophet.”  The blind man’s faith in knowing who healed him has part of the story right when he says he is a prophet, which is a messenger sent by God.  The world will come to know that he is more than a prophet, He is a Prophet, Priest, and King.  He is God.

I pray: O Lord, I know you are the Son of God without being healed... I know it through your teaching, miracles alone.  As we move toward Easter in Holy Week, I know that the proof came in your resurrection.  You are my Prophet, Priest, and King.  You are my Savior and you have saved me from this dark world.  I thank you for your forgiveness and work on the cross.  Amen.

John 9:8–14 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind (Part 2)
8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
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.

I have a friend who was born blind.  You could wave your hand in front of his face and he would not see it.  Any doubts about him being blind would be quickly removed as you got to know him.  I know that many people are legally blind, but can still see.  I have another friend who is legally blind and he has a driver’s license and drives.  I only rode with him once and that was due to an emergency.  How does he have a driver’s license?  It’s a long story, but he has some high tech glasses that allow him to see.  Blindness is not something to joke about.  In fact it literally scares me to think I could become blind.  Take my hands, or my feet... or all, just let me keep my eye sight.  Think about it... never seeing the one you love again.  Leaving a building and going out the wrong doors and you are not aware of it.  Walking through your house and someone moved a foot stool.  Being in a room and getting robbed and you can see to protect yourself or to mount any kind of defense.  Or in this blind man’s case in the story... just getting to the pool of Siloam to wash your eyes.  Hearing the voice of Jesus and not being able to see him.

I know my friend was blind.  The neighbors in today’s story knew that he was blind.  They grew up around him.  Seeing him beg was an everyday occurrence.  Many knew that this man who had been healed was in fact the blind man.  Others said, “No, but he is like him.”  I bet doubt in miracles had something to do with their doubt.  Let’s face it, blindness couldn’t be restored back then.  Some cases can today, but for the most part, if your blind... your blind.  Maybe the fact that it is impossible to make a blind man see in Jesus’ day.  But then again, Jesus IS God, and all things are possible if they are in accordance to God’s will.  With all their doubt... the man who can now see kept saying, “I am the man!”  To believe this man, is to believe in miracles.  Jesus is the miracle maker.  He is God.

I pray: O Lord, I know that it is difficult for many people to believe that you are the Son of God.  I pray to help them with their doubts.  You can make blind eyes see, I pray to make seeing eyes see that you are the Messiah.  We live in a world where many who have seeing eyes are blind to you.  Help me to share the Gospel with them in an effective way.  Let the Holy Spirit stir, convict, and convert their hearts.  Amen.

John 9:1–7 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind  (Part 1)
9 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 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. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit 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.

People often blame problems that occur on sin, as if God is punishing you, you must have done some really bad sin.  This was in fact what Job’s friends were accusing Job, saying he must have sinned greatly for everything to happen to Job.  This is found in today’s reading where the disciples are asking about a man who had been blind since birth.  “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus basically says neither... he was born blind so that I may display the works of God.  We will hear how Jesus really said it: “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”  This man not only received his physical sight, but was delivered from spiritual darkness.  The latter is even more important.  As for his faith, he now is a believer which leads to eternal life.   This is a miracle on a man who everybody in the city would know.  They will not be able to deny this miracle.  They may deny Jesus... but they can’t deny away this miracle.  This must leave many scratching their heads wondering how could Jesus do this... if he is not from God???

I pray: O Lord, you have given me a greater miracle than the blind man, in that you have washed away my sins through baptism and restored me into your kingdom.  Lord, I believe, and you forgave me of my sins.  Your miracle makes me a child of God and I will see you face to face.  Amen.

John 8:48–59 (ESV)
Before Abraham Was, I Am
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

The saying “I am who I am” did not come from Popeye, but God himself.   I want to focus on verse 58.  Jesus said “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  This is a HUGE statement!  When Jesus says this, he is in effect saying “I’m God”.  This is why in verse 59, they picked up stones to throw at him, because they wanted to kill him.  There is no doubt that the Jews knew what Jesus was saying.  If Jesus were trying to say that he lived before Abraham, he would have said “before Abraham, I was.” Jesus IS saying that he was before Abraham, in fact Jesus was active in the 6-days of creation.  He worded it so that when he said “I am who I am,” he was using the God’s name, Yahweh.  It is the covenant name of the God of Israel, given to Moses when he encountered the burning bush (Exod. 3:14; Heb. ʾehyeh ʾăšer ʾehyeh) which means “I Am who I Am”. It can also be rendered as “I will be what I will be” or “I create what (ever) I create.”  Jesus is speaking the Jew’s code language when he says “I Am who I Am.”  They saw this as blasphemous and wanted to kill him on the spot.  As a Christian, we know that Jesus is saying “I Am God”.   I never really thought about it until know, but I guess the Jehovah Witness probably have a problem with this, since they don’t recognize Jesus as God.  They do not believe in the Trinity.  I’m not picking a fight with them, however, Jesus keeps making these “I AM” statements that they have to explain away these statements.

I pray: O Lord, I know and confess that you are God.  You had a plan to bring forgiveness and Salvation to your people.  Your plan took you to the cross to die for the forgiveness of sins.  God raised you up as an acceptable sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  You are my Lord and my God.  Amen.

Latest comments

05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

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25.12 | 07:53

Amen+

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28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

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03.11 | 01:46

A-Men!!!

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