May 24

John 9:1-23

Jesus heals a man who was born blind. Let’s look at a few points:
Jesus saw the man as He was leaving the temple, escaping death by stoning. Love will notice others even when we are dealing with our own concerns.
Jesus notices us.
The disciples called Jesus, “Rabbi,” meaning Teacher.
The disciples noticed the blind man, too. They were curious and wanted to learn, so they asked a question. Jesus answered the question. We can do the same, and Jesus will answer us as well.
The question reflects the perspective of people living under the Mosaic Law. Sickness and deformities were always a direct result of sin (Deuteronomy 28). However, this man was born blind, so was the deformity caused by his parents’ sin or his, being born into sin? Good question.
Sin does give an open door for sickness and other troubles (1 Corinthians 11:30-31). Well, no one is perfect. We’ve all sinned. How can any of us expect to escape sickness? The answer is humble surrender, not self-sufficient performance. A surrendered position is yielded to the hand of God, and in the hand of God, we are protected, restored, strengthened, and healed. So first, yield to God, but second, live in that presence of God.
The deformity was cause to give God glory. Now this does NOT say that God made the man blind. God doesn’t have sickness to give. However, healing the deformity did glorify God. So if the deformity did not come as a result of individual sin, where did it come from? We are born into a sinful world and into a sin nature.
If we have a need, we are in a good place for a miracle.
Jesus worked the works of God. Jesus was on a mission. His assignment was to heal the sick. We are His delegates; we have the same assignment.
Jesus says He is the light of the world. This was said during the Feast of Tabernacles or shortly after. Light was one of the celebrations of this feast. Jesus is revealing Himself through the feast.
As the light of the world, Jesus performs a miracle, but not just any miracle – He heals blindness. He is the light to our darkness. He makes the way to open our eyes to help us see.
Blind and lame people were not allowed in the temple. They were considered impure.
Jesus told the man to go wash His eyes in the pool of Siloam, a mikvah, a place of cleansing outside of the temple. This is important – why did Jesus make clay and cake it on the man’s eyes? So he could wash. This is significant of the cleansing of sickness and disease that comes from sin.
The man had to do something. He had to walk down steep steps to get to the pool of Siloam. He was blind, so this was not a simple request.
He washes in the mikvah, and he climbs back up the hill – but this time, seeing where he is going!
There were witnesses who knew him in his state of blindness, who then saw him healed.
Some asked how the miracle happened, asking where Jesus was, then brining the man before the Pharisees, the religious leaders.
The miracle happened on the Sabbath, which broke Mosaic Law. The Sabbath represents grace and rest from performance – what better day to heal? However, the Pharisees judged that Jesus was a sinner for breaking the Sabbath. That raised the question how a sinner would be able to heal. Jesus caused religious people to get stirred up – don’t be surprised if you do, too.
The Jews that did not witness the miracle did not believe the man, thinking he was lying. They called his parents. They confirmed he was born blind, but they directed the accusers to their son for how the miracle was performed. They didn’t want to be involved in the questioning, fearing the Jewish leaders.
The Jewish leaders were already upset because of Jesus, saying that if anyone confessed Him to be the Messiah, the Christ, they would be excommunicated from the synagogue.
Praise God for miracles!

1 Chronicles 11-13

The remaining content of the book of 1 Chronicles, chapters 11 – 28, is written on the reign of King David.

In 1 Chronicles 11:2, the Lord tells David, “You shall shepherd My people Israel.” When David was a young teen, he was watching over his family’s sheep in the fields. As a young teen, he killed a lion and a bear with God’s help, protecting the animals.

David wrote Psalm 23 about the Lord being our shepherd, saying that we would not lack, we would be at rest and be well fed, our thirst would be satisfied, we would be restored and receive care, we would be led, we would be protected, and we would be comforted. David understood about being a shepherd over a group of people. A shepherd cares about the sheep, and a shepherd cares for the sheep. He was said to “be a man after God’s heart.”

God wanted a representative that would have a heart for His people, someone who would genuinely care for them. David loved God and he loved people. Love isn’t just a gushy, sweet feeling. Love isn’t always bubbly and lighthearted. Love doesn’t always say, “yes.” Love will teach truth with mercy. Love will correct error with hope. Love will say sometimes say, “no” or “not yet.” Love will lead with the expectation of participation. Love from authority will require submission in humility from subordinates. Love will keep us on track, exposing error and false doctrine. Some will catch the vision and run with it. Some will hear the vision, but resist it, neglect it, or reject it. Some will go along without pulling their own weight. Some will go along until they see or hear something they don’t like. Some will run along until they don’t get promoted or be able to get their way.

If your pastor is a true shepherd, he/she won’t be perfect, but they will lead from their hearts. You will be led with vision. You will be loved and cared for. You will be taught the Bible. You will be equipped to do the ministry. You will be protected from error. You will experience the touch of God. And from time to time, some may need to be corrected in love.

David wasn’t perfect, but he went after the Father’s heart in worship, in faith, in obedience, and repentance. He stepped out in full confidence in God, God would supernaturally work, and David would give God all the glory.

In chapter 13, we read about the ark of the covenant being returned. The ark was special because it was where God’s presence would come. Today that Presence is in our hearts, our spirits. Our bodies are the temples, or the dwelling places of God.

In chapter 13, the ark had temporarily been stored at Obed-Edom’s house. In verse 14, the Bible makes it clear that Obed-Edom was financially blessed because the ark was with him. Do we get that? Because God dwells on the inside of us, as we spend time with Him in His presence, we will receive the blessings that go along with being with Him. Everything that we need is found in Him, so let’s spend time with Him!

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