Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Oct 23, Jn 9-10

Today's readings are Jn 9-10. Tomorrow's reading is Luke 10.

Jn 9 follows Jesus' statement that He is the Light of the world. The Pharisees reject His claim. To prove His point, Jesus heals a man who was blind from birth. While He is talking to the man, a startling revelation comes to the surface. The man was born blind in order to demonstrate the glory of God. He's not defective! The man is not handicapped because something is wrong. He, like all of creation, will in some manner, reveal the glory of God. 

The healing of the man of his blindness holds a number of metaphors. The primary one is this, the Light of the Earth causes a man who has lived all his life in darkness to see. Jesus has come to help those who are spiritually blind to see the truth just as He has helped this physically blind man to see. In the process the man is transformed. He has a new life, a new perspective and has been changed by his encounter with Christ. The same is true of those who are spiritually blind. Jesus can help them see. In the process, they too are transformed. They get new lives and new perspective from their encounter with Jesus.

The Pharisees try in vain to find something wrong about all this. The blind man says, "All I know is that I was blind and now I see." One great irony here is that the blind guy sees the simple truth and the Pharisees don't. 

Jesus links all the realities and metaphors that abound in this passage to judgment (Jn 9:35-41). Those who accept Him will see the truth. Those who reject Him will not only remain blind but will be judged based on their rejection of the Messiah. Jn 9 ends on a chilling note for the Pharisees -- now that they have seen the truth, they have no excuse. They are guilty for rejecting it. 

As witnesses for Christ, our primary responsibility is to present the truth (the gospel) to the lost. Jesus will judge them, not us or the church. The Pharisees had plenty of folks share the truth with them. Ultimately, they would have to face Jesus Himself. Ultimately, they would be accountable to Him. The pressure on you and me to convince anyone is off. We can share the truth without any burden of persuading people that it is right.

Jesus heals--and judges because He is the Good Shepherd (Jn 10). Those that are in His flock hear His voice and enter into His blessing. His blessing is that He is the only way into heaven. He is the only way to heaven becasue He and the Father are one, another startling revelation that lifts the lid and gives us a peek at the Trinity. That makes His flock one with God as well. The only way to be part of His flock is in and through Him. All others who claim to be shepherds are liars unless they are leading their sheep to the Good Shepherd.

The Pharisees continue to reject Him. They are blind to the stakes which are incredibly high. They are not only rejecting His blessing, but union with God as well. 

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