Exposition of John 9 – ‘Jesus Heals the Blind Man’

In the 9th chapter of the book of John, Jesus heals the blind man on the Sabbath. This is a perfect example of Organized Religion, both then and today.

Key Scripture: ‘They [Pharisees] answered and said to him [blind man], “you were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.’ John 9:34

Points:

  1. The man was blind from birth (sin) 9:1
  2. Jesus opened his eyes (point of contact with the Holy Spirit, Restoration) 9:6
  3. The man witnesses to the Pharisees (organized religion) 9:13-14

A Type of Salvation:

  1. We are all blind from birth before we ask Christ into our lives
  2. Our eyes are opened when we accept Christ
  3. We become a witness of Christ

Opposition – Pharisees (Organized Religion & most Mega Churches):

  1. Redefine the Finished Work of Christ (Cross)
  2. Puts all of or part of their faith in appointed men (false doctrine)
  3. Replaces the Bible

Summary: Basis of Christianity on the Word of God alone nullifies most organized religions and sects.

The story of the Blind Man is a type of Salvation, one that illustrates how one must be born again. It is also a story of how organized religion tries to redefine God, Jesus Christ, Salvation and Sanctification.

While reading John chapter 9, I was particularly struck by the 34th verse, or I should say that God pointed it out. Organized religion has been the dirge of what Christ did at the Cross. In fact, if you take the time to read an organization’s position papers or ‘what we believe’ or ‘purpose and vision’ you will see what they SAY they believe; read between the lines. More often than not, you will see a fog of nicely written somewhat biblical looking stuff that has nothing to do with what they actually do.

We are in a fog…a fog of self-righteous appointed men that try to take Christ and the Cross out of the Salvation equation. You can’t get any closer to apostasy than that, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

The Blind Man was used to show the Glory of God through Christ; he was meant to show the organized religion of the day (Pharisees) that the Son of God was in fact within them, the Messiah. The Pharisees should have known he was the Christ because Old Testament Scripture had prophetically pointed to Christ’s arrival (such as Isaiah 53:1-12). The Pharisees chose not to believe Christ and called Him a sinner. It took quite a bit of time ‘between the testaments’ for man to build its self-imposed religion; little by little the need for the Messiah was replaced with the Law much like what organized religion is doing today. Man takes away, God shows off, man says NO.

In John 9:18-23, the Blind Man’s parents was questioned by the Pharisees about their son’s recent miracle. They acknowledge he is their son and that he was born blind but won’t give Glory to Christ for it, in fact the parents passed the buck back to their son because of their fear of being ‘put out of the synagogue’. Incredibly, the parents chose their ‘church’ (religion) and not their own son and his miracle. The Pharisees called Christ a sinner! And the Blind Man’s perfect response is one that every truly saved Child of God knows: “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

What did the Blind Man see? He saw that the Pharisees (organized religion) were wrong. He saw Who opened his eyes and then saw division immediately after his salvation, even with his own parents and church. This is so paramount to today: We will gain what we lose if we just believe.

The Blind Man was so happy and thankful for his miracle and salvation that he tried in vain to make the Pharisees understand what happened: “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!” (v.30) The Blind Man questioned the Pharisees’ capability and hierarchy which caused immediate revile; the Pharisees let him know he was a sinner and could not be heard, but the Blind Man reminded them that ‘if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.’ (v.31) The Blind Man had the Truth; the Pharisees had and kept the Law.

After the Blind Man was cast out (excommunicated), Jesus went to him. Jesus provided His strength and love even when the no one else would:

“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)

The JUST shall live by FAITH, or Happy Reformation Day!

What the heck does that title mean, you say…let me explain. I have never said I was not an Evangelical Born-Again Spirit-Filled Bible-believing Christian even though I share the prolife circle with Catholics and Protestants. But there is one thing I cannot let go or deviate from: The Word of God.

Yesterday was ‘Reformation Day’, the day when Martin Luther saw that the ‘just shall live by Faith’. And while that may not mean much to most, it is the basis for Evangelical Christianity [the Doctrine of the Bible] because it points to what Christ did at the Cross instead of trusting in organized religion and its man-appointed leaders. I know this does not bode well with my Catholic, Protestant or even some wayward Evangelical friends and family, but the Word of God supersedes anything that man says or does.

This is why there is such a thing as ‘Nondenominational Christian’. While organized religion thinks we run with scissors, I assure you that if one reads and understands the Canon of Scripture in the intent it was written [from the original texts of Hebrew & Greek] and understands that it is THE inspired Word of God without the opinion of man, you would see that Nondenoms are actually ON the Roman Road by way of His leading.

Let me get back to why I write this. In my prolife ministry circle, I hold my doctrinal truths to be Holy Spirit inspired and keep to my Nondenominationalism, regardless of anything. However, there are times when in the course of prolife meetings and rallies, my patience is stretched with organized religion’s (which is dominate in the prolife circle) doctrinal differences from the Cross of Christ. Yesterday was such a day. Yes, someone poked the bear and I’d bet the farm it was on purpose. Actually, I should take that as a compliment. Besides stretching my patience, it also stretches my ability to understand and appreciate God’s Word.

While Martin Luther was not a perfect man nor lived a perfect life, he did do this one thing: caused division from the Catholic Church of the day and showed that Christians needed to put their Faith in Jesus Christ alone and not organized religion or man. We needed a Saviour, not a figurehead, general superintendent, presiding bishop, general overseer, general conference, self-appointed prophet & apostles or even the Pope: ‘The just shall live by Faith’. [Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:7, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38]

JESUS SAID: ‘Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division’ [Luke 12:51] AND ‘Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword’ [Matthew 10:34].

We forget that organized religion killed Jesus on that day, and most certainly do not read the entire Bible to see what Christ himself said and did. If organized religion says they will decipher scripture for you, run FAST. Asking an opinion is one thing, but someone dictating from opinion of an organization is frightening. However, I do like sharing ideas about Scripture; it makes for great conversation BUT getting away from the Finished Work of Christ can change your Eternal destination. Always back up what you say with Scripture because if you don’t, then the point is moot.

‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.’ [John 5:24]

Grace under Fire

Being a born-again Christian is a life I recommend, a life I love. Knowing where my eternal home is gives me joy and security. As a Christian, I want to do better in all things; prayer, study, being a good example, setting the bar higher and higher to exalt my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

Understanding Grace through Faith, I know that NOT ONE WORK will keep me saved or make me saved. I know there is no such thing as a moral evolution of salvation, like most unsaved people do….I used to think that way when I was Catholic. Anyway, some Christians think that we are now exempt from doing a work or works either because now the ‘pressure’ is off to do anything (laziness) OR works is considered to be legalism, or law (pharisaical) OR live like the world because you’re under Grace. So, now no one is doing anything for the Kingdom and it’s an ‘anything goes’ kind of attitude.

What happened?

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

I see all too often people shouting the victory on Sunday morning but goes back home to a live a life of fornication, adultery, alcohol, gambling, homosexuality, or pornography….the list is endless.

Sometimes it is the Church’s fault for not teaching about sin and its consequences, but not always. I believe that the responsibility falls on the believer to do the right thing every day; God sees us no matter where we go.

What Bible are they reading?

That’s exactly it…they are not reading the Bible. The Bible does not mince words about what is acceptable and what is not. Holiness is paramount to living for God, there is no other way. But somehow living in Grace has believers confused or maybe bemused. I have to wonder if these errant Christians are actually backslidden not just lazy:

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”

The Everyday Christian

Can we be so unaware of what life is doing to others every day around us? Jesus said the poor (of spirit and of circumstance) will be with us always, until the end. Christians aren’t supposed to step over them to get to church. But life is happening every minute of every day and nothing is getting done by the Church to put a dent into issues like abortion, homelessness and hunger – and that’s the short list.

I believe in correct doctrine 1000%, absolutely. Christians should have proper teaching from the pulpit regarding the Word of God that we can go out into all the world, as the Bible says, and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature. It is our commandment from Christ to be aware of correct doctrine that we would evangelize the lost. Nevertheless, His other commandment is this: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Should a church have walls? The answer is yes and no.

The Bible says, ‘And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.’ We are commanded to strengthen each other so that we can endure until the end, whether that is our natural death or the Rapture. We need to worship together and fortify our love for the brethren. But is going to church more important than extending a helping hand to those that need it? Some say yes.

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me…. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”

While re-re-re-re-re-re-rereading the Gospels, I am impressed by the Holy Spirit to take notice of the many good works that Jesus did and gave us power to do. He didn’t sit on His doctrine. I was also impressed with the way Jesus and the Apostles evangelized and taught; they went to the people. What Jesus taught and what Paul continued to teach is this: a Christian’s pulpit is in ‘all the world’ every day. Our works are set before us and was known even before we were born. We are intended to be an Everyday Christian, every day.

 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

The Bible is like….a car.

No, really.

Besides being ministers, my husband and I are car salespeople. We have sold many different makes and models over the years and every one of them have tons of features. You know this if you’ve ever bought a new car; the salesperson shows you the manual and takes you through a final ‘walk around’ so that you can hopefully operate it at its optimum. Have you ever actually read the manual that the manufacturer took the time to print so that you can enjoy your new car? No, instead you’ll call your salesperson and ask questions instead.

Much is like what Christians do instead of what they should.

The Bible was inspired and thoughtfully prepared by God for us to read completely, understand completely, and live our lives as Christians completely. But precious few will pick up their Bible to read and study, instead they desire to be entertained either by their church or by church media. The preacher will do his brief ‘walk around’ in his teachings but it is up to the person sitting in the pew to open their Bible to continue what the preacher taught so that a relationship can build with God.

The Bible is a complete work. In other words, picking and choosing bits and pieces is not pleasing to God nor does it teach you His complete message; it will leave a Christian with some of the story instead of all of the facts to live a victorious life.

There is no way you can get the victory in just one or two books of the Bible. Again, it’s much like a car; you cannot operate a new car properly if you don’t know everything about it. Assumption is the shortest way to failure; believe-ism is the fastest way to defeat.

Being just short of God.

It is a fact: self-righteousness cannot cohabitate with righteousness. How is it that the self-righteous are so deceived? Easy answer: Preachers aren’t preaching the Word of God. Thus, we have droves of part-time Christians running around making those of us living a Crucified Life look bad.

How have we fallen so short of what is so simple?

Current events reflect how warped this concept is…it’s okay to abort a child if it falls into a category of harming someone else. Hmmm. That’s a tad broad, don’t you think? Besides, I’m pretty sure the abortion is going to harm the baby. Can’t any half-witted politician keep up with the basics of Life?

And then the hoopla with same-sex everything. The President is quietly signing away our rights to be heterosexual with just his signature. How does the Gay Agenda have anything to do with government? I like silver cars, but does that mean I should force everyone to drive one?

Lifestyle is a CHOICE. ‘Lifestyle’ dictates the self-righteous of the world by purposely choosing things not of God. Now the responsibility of an immoral society shifts to Christians that purport the Bible. How did the fall of humanity get to be our fault? And how did we drop the ball? By not professing the Lord Jesus Christ OUTLOUD. We are so content with this new-found modern Christianity that lauds secular music, movies, television and events that Jesus Christ is pounding on our doors to let Him in! How else could we expect non-believers to get it when we won’t?

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24, NKJV

Responsibilities & Disciplines; legalism or life guidelines?

Are Christians so narcissistic to believe there is no condemnation for bad behaviour – ever?

Law – responsibilities to follow through fear of God

Sin – an act intentionally against God and His Law

Grace – being pardoned though guilty

Mercy – divine favor without merit

Legalism – your Christian life dictated by someone or something else other than Christ

The Holy Spirit through the Prophet Jeremiah said:

31:31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

31:32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

31:33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Because of the Cross of Christ, we are not UNDER the Law anymore but we are to be smart enough to know right from wrong through Faith. Before Christ, God gave Moses the Law of the Covenant – was that to keep us in subjection to Him or was it to let us know that we are imperfect and needed a Saviour?

Further, Romans 3:31 says, ‘Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.’

The differences between the Law and the New Covenant is that the Law was written on cold tablets of stone; after the Cross it is written on our hearts. He is the God that changes not – why would He change His mind on His requirements of us? However, the Law cannot guarantee Salvation or Sanctification. Only faith in the Cross can. BUT the Cross cannot guarantee results because you have to be WILLING to pick it up every day – all day – to reap its benefits.

Life Guidelines: the smarts to know better regarding repetitive sin and accepting worldly favor through sin.

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul says in the Book of Romans:

8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

8:2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

The Law is to be in us instead of over us. It means the Law is taught in us by the Spirit instead of at us.

Who do you think you are?

Psalms 51:13 says, ‘Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’

A man so broken for breaking God’s heart wrote that bit of scripture during the worst time of his life. But even in his darkest moment, David knew what he is supposed to do for the Lord. Regardless of his horrific sin, he is to teach the transgressor the way of God because he transgressed. David believed God, not the sin he committed. It was David’s service to the Lord that made him a man after God’s own heart.

I see way too often how badly Christians treat each other. You have to wonder what the non-believer thinks when they witness a Christian acting badly. You may be the only Jesus that person will ever see and might have just blown it for that person to ever trust a Christian that they may know the Lord.

What happened to your responsibility to the Lord? This hyper-grace attitude of doing NOTHING or it looks like WORKS is getting real old. As a blood bought child of God you have a responsibility to pray. You have a responsibility to read the Bible. You have a responsibility to witness to others. And that’s just the beginning. There is nothing wrong with holding out your hand to another in the name of Jesus whether it’s dishing out food at the mission or helping the homeless.

These new responsibilities are not bondage because it is not law-keeping; this is being a Christian that matures instead of acting like spoiled child. If someone is hungry, feed them. Is someone is thirsty, give them something to drink even if it’s a bottle of water. If they need to get to the store or doctor, give them a ride. Further:

1Corinthians 3:1-3 states, ‘(v1)And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. (v2)I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (v3)For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?’

Some Christians may have a lot doctrinal knowledge, and still be beginners in the life of faith and experience – service; arguments about doctrine is a miserable fact of carnality.

Faithful service to the Lord involves commitment, not an excuse. Extend a hand. Be the Christian that the Lord wants you to be and wants the world to see.