Hello everyone. 🙂
Yesterday morning, I listened to John chapter 9 on an audio Bible. I appreciated reviewing this chapter, and today I will be sharing some takeaways that I got from it. I hope that what I share will be a blessing to you all.
If you don’t know the story found in John 9, I highly recommend that you either listen to or read it before reading my takeaways from it. Here is a link to where you can listen to John 9 from a free, online audio Bible. After clicking on this link, you will need to scroll down to “John 9” in the drop-down menu below the screen you will see. You can also read John 9 here if you prefer to do so.
Takeaways from this story
1. The fact that a person is experiencing misfortunes or hardships does not necessarily mean that the individual is the one responsible for these difficulties. (verses 1-3)
Jesus’ disciples held to a common belief among the Jews at this time; this belief was that bad things only happened to people who were earning the consequences of their sins. The disciples asked Jesus whose sin had caused the man to be born blind. Jesus told them that neither the man’s sin nor his parents’ sin had caused him to be born blind, but that he was born blind so that God’s power could be revealed.
I find this truth comforting. I do not strictly need to look at how well, or not well, my life is going to be able to tell whether or not I am truly following God. In order to tell whether or not I am a true Christian, I need to measure my life by God’s Word, and I need to prayerfully search my heart before God.
I believe that the strongest, most loving and most Christ-like Christians can be found in all walks of life: among the wealthy, among the middle class and among the poor. These Christians have found the best parts of a relationship with God. They have found a relationship with God that is so meaningful, and so wonderful that they love Him more than they love anything else. They are loyal to God.
They would rather stand for the right, even if they have to do so by themselves. They would rather suffer persecution (which includes being made fun of and/or being estranged from family members who don’t like their faith) than live a life apart from God. They would rather die than live a life apart from God. These people really understand Who God Is and they truly love Him. I am praying that God will help me to love Him this much too.
2. Jesus believes in ministering to people’s physical needs on the Sabbath. (verses 11-14)
The Pharisees (corrupt religious leaders in Jesus’ day) had made the Sabbath a miserable day. The Sabbath was and is supposed to be a happy, reverent, peaceful day when we worship God, fellowship with other believers, and meet the physical and emotional needs of those around us (not just those who are a part of our churches). This was not the way Sabbath was for the Pharisees and the people who were under their spiritual leadership.
In the New Testament, we see examples of the Pharisees’ wrong reactions to Jesus healing on the Sabbath. The example we see in John 9 is one of several. (Other examples: Mark 3:3-6; John 5:6-16; Mark 2:23-28 There may be more. I may not have cited every example here.)The Pharisees were extremely unkind to the man that Jesus gave sight to, since Jesus had performed this miracle on the Sabbath.
The fact that Jesus healed on the Sabbath shows us something very beautiful; It is a good thing for us to minister to people’s physical needs on the Sabbath. If people are sick, they should be cared for. If people are hungry, they should be fed. If people are thirsty, they should be given water.
3. Jesus will either soften or harden your heart. (verses 39-41)
When Jesus reveals Himself to us, we have two choices; We can choose to accept Him, or we can choose to reject Him. If we choose to accept Him, we will be blessed with a wonderful, changed life, and we will have a new spiritual eyesight. If we choose to reject Him, we will continue on in the lives that we have chosen for ourselves, and we will be guilty of willful sin. A person who is guilty of willful sin knows that he or she is doing wrong, but continues to do so anyways. This is a sad place to be.
I think that I have heard more than one person use the analogy of what heat does to wax vs. what heat does to clay to describe the effect that Jesus has on hearts (I may have tweaked this analogy somewhat). Heat melts wax, but it hardens clay. What is the disposition of our hearts toward God? When Jesus shines into our hearts, do our hearts melt or do they harden? Are we like wax or are we like clay? I pray that we will all choose to be like wax.
I hope that the thoughts I have shared have been a blessing. I welcome you to join me (or to continue with me) on this journey of getting to know Jesus better. Blessings. 🙂
Photo credit: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/jesus-reaching-out-gm182707450-12497376