Sunday, July 12, 2015

John 9:1-12 comments: night and day

1 ¶  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6  When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Having walked through His intended executioners Jesus eventually passed by a man who had been blind from his birth. His disciples asked Him a question that would come to mind to a person of faith and, for that matter, any person. Who is to blame for the blindness this person has suffered; himself or his parents? Jesus corrects them, much in the fashion of the Book of Job. When something bad happens it is not necessary that it be the cause of someone’s particular action. Your car accident, your child’s disease, or a loved one’s death may not have been the direct cause of something you or they did. But we search for causes. Jesus said that this man was born blind so that God’s work would be revealed in him.  He was prepared, like Jonah’s great fish, for just this occasion.

How many people have been prepared for someone to show God’s mercy and grace to? Our lives bring us to a point and Christians are all aware of what we call divine appointments, where someone was put in our path to receive news of Christ’s healing power by our mouth and our actions.

Jesus claims that the time He has on earth is a time of light and day, but night is coming. Modern versions say, “We,” to start verse 4, instead of, “I,” which takes the verse away from being a reference to Christ’s limited time on earth. It is Christ who is about to do something. The spiritual night we live in is coming.

John 13:26  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27  And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28  Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29  For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30  He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Paul wrote;

Romans 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

1Thessalonians 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Peter wrote;

2Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

As Christ’s resurrection was revealed in the morning, we are waiting for Christ’s return for us, for the morning light to peek over the horizon;

Genesis 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Psalm 30:4  Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalm 130:6  My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

2Peter 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Jesus was the particular and special light of the world of men while He was in the world. No one living then, other than Him, could have forseen the power over human civilization that His presence was to have. Without His existence in the form of a human we would be lost. It was that visitation that set the stage for our salvation.

John 1:4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

He then healed the man in a unique way that would get some attention from the authorities.

    8 ¶  The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9  Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10  Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11  He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.  12  Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

People who had known this man were astounded. Some agreed that it was the same guy they knew but others insisted that it couldn’t have been, that it must have been someone who looked like him. Still, he acknowledged that he was the one who had been born blind. They, astonished, asked how he could have received sight and he explained what happened. The man’s neighbors ask him where Jesus is but he doesn’t know.

Still, the man is willing to tell his neighbors who delivered him and how. We should not be close-mouthed about what God has done for us and should be willing to explain to people, especially those who ask, what happened. Notice, as an example, Paul’s statement;

1Timothy 1:12 ¶  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 34:4  I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

A Christian knows that if he or she has the fruit of the Spirit emanating from him or herself, proof that the Spirit of God resides in them, people they know in their family and at work will ask them how in the world this happened. Considering that, perhaps, before this they were addicted to immoral behavior or control freaks, paranoid, fearful, self-righteous nuisances the change will be astonishing to the people around them. Of course, if they are still control freaks, paranoid, fearful, and self-righteous nuisances probably no one will want to know what’s going on since they will have seen no change in them but just another thing they claim to be superior about. You quit drinking alcohol because God delivered you from it will hardly draw someone to the Lord if you are a jerk about it when a family member pops a top on a can of beer at a reunion.

Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Think about it. When did people stop asking you what happened to you? Is it because you’ve been a Christian for so long and a faithful steward of the mysteries of God that no one can remember when you were a depraved sinner or is it because they are afraid to ask anything because, “well, here they go again telling us how perfect and righteous they are.”

Do people you have just met on the job or in the neighborhood notice that you are different even than they are? Do you handle stress differently? Do you handle bad news or tribulation differently than the average non-Christian?  Is it such a difference that they want to know what you have that they don’t? Or does your demeanor drive people away?

Finally, when people want to know where the person responsible for your change is, I hope you know enough to be able to tell them. “I know not,” is a pretty pathetic answer when a Christian is asked where someone can find Christ.

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