Sunday, October 7, 2018

Daily Bread for Nov 8, Jhn 9-10

Today's readings are Jhn 9-10

Jhn 9:1-8 follows Jesus' statement that He is the Light of the world (Jhn 8:12-20) and other challenging claims. The Pharisees reject Him. But Jesus doesn’t leave His claims unsubstantiated. To prove His point, He 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 to demonstrate the glory of God. He's not defective! The man is not handicapped because something is wrong with him or his parents, as most Jews would believe. He, like all of creation, will in some manner, reveal the glory of God.

The healing of the man of his blindness holds several metaphors. The primary one is this, the Light of the Earth (Jesus) 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 a new perspective from their encounter with Jesus.

The Pharisees try in vain to find something wrong about all this (Jhn 9:13-34). 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 (Jhn 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. Jhn 9 ends on a chilling note for the Pharisees -- now that they have seen the truth, they have no excuse. They are guilty of 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 and 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 (Jhn 10:1-18). Those that are in His flock hear His voice and receive His blessing. The blessing Jesus promises is that He is the only way into heaven and will take them there. He is the only way to heaven because 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 (Jhn 10:19-38). 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 (Jhn 10:39). They are blind to the stakes which are incredibly high. They are not only rejecting Jesus but God as well. 

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