Read John 9:1-34
“…this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” John 9:3
Jesus was escaping from the people that wanted to destroy Him (John 8:58) but He still had the time and compassion to see to the needs of a blind beggar. The man had been blind from birth, could not work for his living and was a burden to the neighbourhood. Jesus noticed this man, even though he had done nothing to attract His attention and he had no knowledge of Jesus’ ability to heal the sick. A common belief in Jewish culture was that calamity or suffering was the result of some great sin. But Jesus encouraged this man to believe that his blindness was not caused by his sin or his parent’s sin. Christ used his suffering to teach about faith and that miracles can be used to glorify God. Jesus then made a mud pie and put some on each of the man’s eyes before asking him to go to the pool at Siloam and wash his eyes. Having obeyed Jesus’ command, this man came back seeing.
Yet again, Jesus attracted more attention because He did this on the Sabbath. The Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) was the weekly, holy day of rest! The Pharisees had made a long list of specific rules regarding the Sabbath. Kneading the clay and healing the man were considered to be “work” and were, therefore, forbidden. By making the clay, Jesus may have wanted to make His point about the Sabbath: that it is right to care for others’ needs, even on a day of rest. I am sure the neither the blind man, nor God the Father, cared on which day this man was enabled to see! They only cared that he could see!
By sending him to the pool to wash the mud from his eyes, Jesus was testing his obedience to someone he did not know. Jesus offered him hope in the face of the tradition of the synagogue elders, who clearly taught that it was wrong to wash your eyes on the Sabbath, but had never offered any help. When the man came back seeing, how glad he was that he had obeyed Jesus! The man then went through a heavy grilling from the neighbours who were sceptical (John 9:8); from the Pharisees, who didn’t want to face the truth themselves and chose to be spiritually blind (John 9:13-34); and from his parents who wanted to be left out of this because they didn’t want to be ex-communicated from the synagogue (John 9:20-21). But all this only showed that the man who was born blind was growing in his faith at this early stage of his new life.
He heard the same questions over and over. He did not know how he was healed, but he knew that his life had been miraculously changed and he was not afraid to tell the truth: “Whether He is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see!” John 9:25.
He was amazed that the people he had looked up to, as having knowledge of all things, when he was a beggar, could not see what he now could! Finally, his bold, truthful answers had him evicted from the synagogue. That is the difference today between someone with a personal experience of Jesus and someone with only head knowledge. When faced with the reality of Jesus, they try to reason His miracles away. You don’t need to know all the answers in order to share Christ with others. It is important to tell people what Christ has done for you and how He has changed your life from your own personal experience. Then trust that God will use your words to help others believe in Him too. “I came to you in weakness… and my preaching was very plain… but the Holy Spirit’s power was in my words, proving to those who heard them that the message was from God.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-5.
Read John 9:35-41
Jesus showed amazing love for this man. He returned to find him when He heard that he had been thrown out of the synagogue. The trial of eviction brought this man the greater blessing of meeting Jesus again. Jesus gave him a deeper revelation of His love and character and, by worshipping at the feet of Jesus, the spiritual vision of the man was opened and he recognised and worshipped the Son of God as his own Saviour and Lord. This man was persecuted – thrown out of church, because of his encounter with Jesus! This is an example of suffering for the sake of the word, as mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:12.
Suffering is not sickness or poverty. The afflictions mentioned by Paul in Hebrews 11:25 are the confusions and disorders of our minds. (Strong’s 4797) Sickness and poverty have been dealt with – paid for – by the stripes (physical suffering) of Jesus, Isaiah 53:3-6.
However, we are most definitely in a battle. We have an enemy who wants to harm us at any opportunity. But Jesus has already bought our victory for us. He has provided everything we will ever need to overcome ALL the attacks from the enemy. God has said that in every temptation, He has provided a way out. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13). The temptations that face us occur in our flesh, mind, will and emotions. We have the ability to act towards the devil as Jesus did, refusing to bow down to his schemes and, instead, believing what had been written, and above all, acting as if we believed it! Luke 4:1-14.
As we understand what Jesus did at Calvary (where He died on the cross), we walk in an increasing revelation of our freedom. But God also says: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”(Hosea 4:6). So, we need to know the Scriptures – God’s Word – for ourselves. Only this brings absolute freedom.
Some reasons for suffering
- The Devil’s wiles and strategies – John 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8; Ephesians 6:10-18.
- Taking the glory of God for ourselves – Acts 12:21-23.
- Taking communion unworthily – 1 Corinthians 11:30-32.
- Speaking wrongly to ourselves – Proverbs 13:3; 18:21.
- Impure living – Proverbs 7:21-23.
- Feeling sorry for ourselves – Galatians 3:13-17.
- Persecution – Hebrews 5:1-10.
- Learning patience – James 1:2-8.
- Disobedience against God’s Word – 2 Peter 2:4-11.
- Praising God during the suffering silences the enemy – Psalm 8:2; James 1:3.
- Jesus paid the price on the Cross for us to have a full life – John 10:10.
- God’s plan for our redemption included Jesus’ suffering – Matthew 16:21-28; Isaiah 53:10-12.
- Jesus understands our suffering – Mark 9:12-13; Hebrews 4:14-16.
- Jesus carried emotional, physical and spiritual troubles so that we do not have to – Isaiah 53:3-6.
- We will never lose our eternal life – Revelation 21:1-4.
- We have the promise of God’s presence – Matthew 28:20.
- The victory from our overcoming will glorify God – John 9:3; James 1:2-8.
- The joy of the Lord is our strength, so rejoice always – Nehemiah 8:10.
If you suffer from a disease, tragedy, or handicap, don’t ask yourself, “Why did this happen to me?” or “What did I do wrong?” Instead, ask God to give you revelation about His power and authority to change any situation according to His Word. “For I always pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation (of insight into mysteries and secrets) in the (deep and intimate) knowledge of Him.” Ephesians 1:17 Amp.
Home challenges for Power Up! – No. 16: Where is the Power and the Glory?
1. Read the first page of the notes, “Where is the Power and the Glory?”
a) What do you find most exciting about this wonderful miracle?
b) What do you find most challenging?
2. Read the second page of your notes.
a) What do you think of Jesus returning to show this man who He really is?
b) Are there times when the going has got tough and Jesus has turned up for you, or spoken to you in a special way?
3. Consider the reasons for suffering and the points to always remember. Look up the references. Which do you find most challenging? Add any other reasons to the list that you feel are relevant, together with the reference from the Bible.
Read John 10:1-21
4. Who is Jesus meaning when He talks about the sheep?
5. What is the best way into the sheep pen?
6. Give four points about sheep that Jesus talks about.
7. What impression does “sheep” bring to your mind?
8. Give three points comparing a good shepherd and a hired shepherd.
9. Rewrite John 10:14-15 in your own words and meditate on it.
10. What command did Jesus receive from His Father and how did He obey it? (John 10:17-18)
Read John 10:22-42
11. What points does Jesus make in this passage to show the Jews proof that He is the Son of God?
12. How do you respond to the assurance and promises that Jesus gives to His followers in John 10:28-29?
13. What does Jesus suggest that the people should believe if they have a problem believing that He is the Son of God? John 10:38
14. At the end of John, chapter ten, there is an example of the fruit of a man’s life some time after he has died. Who was that man?
15. Which promise from Jesus, in this chapter, is most encouraging to you and why?
16. Does this promise help you in any times of doubt, unworthiness, personal failure and unbelief? Write it up very large in the front of your Bible. Learn it by heart.