Thursday, December 15, 2016

John 9

Why do people suffer?  Is it because of the sin in their lives?  Do children suffer because of some sin their parents did? 

Jesus went along and saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples wanted to know if he was blind because of something he or his parents did.  Perhaps they were thinking of the Old Testament where it says God does not leave the guilty unpunished, but punishes their children and their children’s children to the 3rd and 4th generations. (Ex. 34:5-7)

Jesus answered that no one sinned.  This happened so God’s work might be displayed.  Jesus tells them that we must continue to do the work of God for the time will come He will not be here on earth.  While He is here, He is the light of the world.  Jesus is referring to His crucifixion.  He won’t stop until His work is done.  He always brings glory to God by completing the work God gave Him to do.  He is still at work today.   The believer’s work is only to believe in Jesus. (John 6:29)

Really all suffering is punishment of sin because of the sinful world we live in.  The disciples were talking about personal sin.  The punishment for sin is death not suffering.  God made a way to take that punishment.  He sent Jesus.  He took on our punishment so we wouldn’t have to.  Some suffering is natural and comes from the choices we make.  Sometimes we think people are responsible for their own suffering, which is sometime true.  The choices we make can cause us or those we love to suffer.  Is a child’s suffering because of a parent’s sin?  Sometimes, because of the choices the parents make.  If parents are doing drugs, their children suffer.

Jesus’ healing of the blind man was an astounding miracle.  He was blind from birth.  He didn’t ask Jesus to heal him, but Jesus had compassion and was always focused on doing God’s work.  He was always teaching and showing His power.

How are you focused on God’s Work?
What has He called you to do?

There is nothing impossible with God.  There is always hope.  We just need to keep trusting and praying even when it seems hopeless.

The man’s neighbors questioned him.  They didn’t think he was the one who was blind since birth.  The man insisted he was that man.  The Pharisees question the man and asked who healed him.  He said, "One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!" - John 9:25  His parents were even questioned, but were afraid of being put out of the synagogue.  They told the Pharisees to go and ask him themselves.  The Pharisees then threw the man out of the temple because he defended Jesus.

How have you stood up for Jesus?
Jesus heard what they had done and went to find the man.  We see the progression of the man’s faith.  First he said it was a man, then a prophet and finally that it was Jesus and that if He wasn’t from God He could do nothing.  Jesus asked him if he believed in the Son of Man and told the man who He was.  The man believed and worshiped Him.

Jesus first gave him physical sight and now spiritual sight.  Jesus said “For judgment I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”John 9:39  The Pharisees were blind.  They knew better.  They knew the Scriptures and the prophecies, but refused to believe.  We are blind to sin before we were believers, but once we believe our sins are revealed.  We recognize our sin.

Do you refuse to believe who Jesus is?
How were your eyes opened to sin in your life?

Believers were persecuted then and are persecuted now.  Christians are being killed and persecuted all over the world.  We don’t see that in American, but we see rejection from family and friends because of our faith.  It hurts our hearts, but we can lean on God’s strength.  Then our faith will grow.  Do not give up, but cling to Him.

God uses suffering to demonstrate His power and grace.
Faith grows through challenges and by knowing the Word.
Our faith in Jesus is strengthened as we stand with Him in persecution.
Jesus can heal physically and spiritually.

What do you need Jesus to heal you from?
How has Jesus healed your spiritual blindness?

Next week we will study the rest of John 10.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

John 8

Last time we saw that God’s people can trust in God’s perfect will and perfect timing.  We saw that believers in God’s Son receive God’s Spirit and renewing power when they first believe.

John 8:1-11 – The Adulterous Woman

Jesus was teaching in the temple and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Him.  They told Jesus that the law commanded such women were to be stoned. They were using this to trap Jesus.  Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with His finger.  He said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7.  Then he continued writing on the ground.  When they heard this, they began to walk away one by one.  There was no one left but the woman and Jesus.  Jesus then told the woman to go and leave her sinful life behind. (John 8:1-11)

These leaders weren’t really concerned for the woman, but in trapping Jesus.  Jesus didn’t rush to speak, but took His time by writing on the ground.  He was loving, patient, kind, fair, all knowing and forgiving.  We learn instead of throwing rocks at sinners, He loves and restores them.  He shows us we need to be forgiving.  We are to be gentle and humble when confronting someone of their sin.  We should not think ourselves better than someone else.  We should look at our own sin and not judge others.  When we gossip, that is like throwing stones at someone.

Jesus was concerned about her sin as He is with our sin.  Sin always matters, because God hates sin.  God will always forgive our sin if we are sincerely sorry, but we must not continue in that sin.  We can ask Him to help us with the sin in our life and He will help us defeat it.
What sin do you need God’s help to defeat?

What was Jesus writing on the ground?  We really don’t know.  Maybe He was writing some of the sins of those who were condemning her.  Or maybe He was just giving them time to think about what they were doing using this time to convict their hearts.

We all sin.  None of us is perfect.  Only Jesus is perfect.  James 2:10 tells us whoever keeps the whole law, which is all 10 commandments, but stumbles at just one is guilty of breaking all of the laws.  We tend to rationalize our own sin.  Of course we shouldn’t tolerate others sin, but we also should not condemn them either.  We should restore them being gentle and humble.

Are you more concerned about someone else’s sin than your own?
Do you throw stones of gossip?

John 8:12-30 – Jesus is The Light of the World

Jesus spoke again to the people and told them, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12.
Jesus gives valid testimony of Himself.  He said He passes judgment on no one.  If He does, then His decisions are right because the Father stands with Him.  In their own law if 2 men testify then the testimony is valid.  Jesus testifies for Himself and the Father is the other who testifies. (John 8:12-18)

Jesus will not make mistakes as people do.  His judgment is always fair.  He thinks just like His Father and God is never wrong, but perfect in every way.

Jesus told them that don’t know Him or His Father.  He said He is going away, where they cannot come.  He is speaking to those who do not believe.  He is going to heaven and unless they believe in Him they cannot join Him in heaven.  He said they are from below and He is from above.  They are from this world and He is from heaven.  They will die in their sins if they didn’t believe He is who He claimed to be. (John 8:19-26)

Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be, and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.  The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me along…” John 8:28-29.  He is talking about when they put Him on the cross they will realize who He really is.  He says God will never leave Him alone.  This is His purpose and God’s plan.  God will be with Him just as He is with us in all circumstances.

Is Jesus your light and your life?

John 8:31-47 – The Truth Will Set You Free

To the Jews who believed He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”John 8:31-32.  They answered Jesus by saying their father descendants and were never slaves.  Jesus told them that everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Yes, they were Abraham’s descendants, but they were ready to kill Jesus.  They said Abraham was their father.  Jesus then told them if Abraham was their father, they would do as he did.  Even Abraham knew the Messiah was coming and looked forward to it.

Never slaves?  The Bible tells us they were enslaved by the Egyptians, by Babylonians, by the Assyrians and even now under the Romans.  Jesus said if you commit sin, you are a slave to sin.  Of course they were talking about physical slaves, but Jesus was talking about spiritual slaves.

They didn’t understand what Jesus meant.  They were under the Roman rule, but were not slaves.  Jesus pointed out that they were really slaves because of sin.  Sin controls people and guides how they act.  It affects how they behave.  Jesus is God’s Son and can stop sins power over a person.  He alone has the authority to let people join God’s family.

Have you chosen to be a slave or a child of God?

All mankind is either a child of God or of the devil.  If you have not received Jesus by faith then you are a child of the devil.  God has offered you a way to be in His family – believe in Jesus as you Lord and Savior.

Jesus offers us freedom.  Freedom to know that when we sin (and we know we all do since we are not perfect) we are forgiven.  We don’t have to worry about it, because we will mess up from time to time.  If we are followers of Jesus we are set free from sin’s penalty.  “For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 8:1

What sin are you trying to hide from God?
Do you want to experience this freedom Jesus offers?

If you don’t have this freedom, ask God to give it to you.  Pray specifically about the sin that is keeping you in bondage.  It may be lust, gambling, alcohol, food, etc.  Whatever it is, Jesus can break this bondage of sin.

John 8:48-59 – Jesus is I Am

They became more and more angry with Jesus.  They tried to insult Him by calling Him a Samaritan and demon-possessed.  Jesus told them He was not demon-possessed, but honors His Father and does not seek glory for Himself.  He told them even Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing His coming one day.  The Jews said you aren’t yet 50 years old and you have seen Abraham?  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!”John 8:58.  This made them very angry and they picked up stones to kill, but Jesus slipped away. (John 8:48-59)

How do you start being a follower of Jesus?  First confess and repent of your sins.  Accept Him as your Savior.  Then start by abiding in the Word of God – read it, study it, and pray it.  If you are faithful to this, you will know the truth.  God will help you understand it and you will believe in Jesus and have eternal life in heaven with Him.

Jesus calls Himself, “I Am”.  This is the name God revealed for Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14.  It means He is eternal and has always existed and will exist forever.  He is “the one who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev. 4:8).  He is the beginning and the ending, the Alpha and the Omega.  He is everything and everywhere.  Jesus is God.  He is the Great I AM.

Jesus used this declaration about Himself 7 times in the book of John.
I AM the Bread of Life – John 6:35, 41, 48, 51
I AM the Light of the World– John 8:12
I AM the Door of the Sheep – John 10:7, 9
I AM the Good Shepherd – John 10:11, 14
I AM the Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25
I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life – John 14:6
I AM the True Vine – John 15:1, 5

Next week we will study the rest of John 9.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.

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