Hi thank you for joining us on the Fall For Christ Series, if you would like to receive a FREE PDF copy of the entire series as well as other notes please email Starting With Jesus before the 20th February 2019 with the subject line #FFCF and you should hopefully receive the online #FFCF pack sometime in March.
One of the major topics I took from Thursday’s post was the distinction between those for Christ and those against. Those for Christ do all things to reveal the glory of God and that all Christ did was for God’s glory, not man. Today, we focus on one unconventional manifestation of God’s glory, I sincerely pray that in all we do may we reveal the Lord’s glory may we come to dwell in His glorious presence on Earth as it is Heaven. Amen
Jesus came to be the light in our world so that we would no longer walk in darkness, he said in John 8:12 ‘I am the light of the world, anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life’. The reason we walk in darkness is so that our sins do not become exposed, if we remain hidden few will know the wrongs that we think at night, we do this because the men around us will criticise and punish us greatly as was the case with the adulteress woman with whom the men wanted to stone. Imagine listening to Christ teach and somewhere in the corner of your eyes you see and hear a commotion, a woman is being dragged across the streets half-dressed and thrown in front of an audience to expose her wrongs and accuse her in order to severely punish her (John 8:3-12). Note how the woman was the one dragged in front of the Lord, not the man ( yet adultery is a two-person sin), the woman in many cases represents us standing before the glory of the Lord and being accused of sin by the accuser (satan) similar to Zechariah 3:1-4 or Job 1:6-12, but like Zechariah 3:1-4 God in His loving mercy is the one who changes and transforms us so that we sin no more. Unlike the devil, when the Lord exposes your sin to you he does this not to humiliate but so that he can begin to work in you (if you let Him) and cleanse your heart, ‘in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not done by hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of the Messiah’ (Colossians 2:11). Our wrongs were removed from ourselves like the foreskin being removed from the body, what was causing us to be distant from God unable to see His heart was the ‘foreskin’ that covered our hearts (Jeremiah 4:4, Deuteronomy 30:6). Jesus stood before the Jews and revealed Himself as the Messiah, yet many hearts were still covered with sin unable to or not wanting to see Christ as the Messiah. There were 4 witnesses before and during Christ’s ministry demonstrating that He was the Lord ( in Jewish custom you needed 2 witnesses to prove your claims), these four were: John the Baptist, Jesus’ miraculous performances including His resurrection that was yet to come, the Father and the Scriptures (John 5:31-40).
- John the Baptist: when he saw the Spirit of God descending on Christ, did he begin to testify that Christ was Lord. (John 1:6-8, 33)
- The miracles Jesus performed including His resurrection (John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; 5:1-14; 6:4-20; 9:1-7; 11:1-44; 20:118)
- The Father: revealed Christ (John 1:33; 12:28-30)
- The scriptures spoke greatly about the soon coming Messiah (Luke 4:7-21; John 1:23,2:17, 6:45, 12:12-15; 37-40, 13:18; 15:25; 19:24, 36-37)
Despite these witness’, the people were still ignorant of who he was or where he came from or who even sent Him (John 8:19, 9: 38). They claimed to be the children of Abraham therefore, to Christ who was not conceived by a man they asked him ‘Where is your father?’ perhaps out of sarcasm because of His uncertain origins, this is perhaps why they pointed out that they ‘weren’t born of sexual immorality'(John 8:19, 41),.but we know Christ was born of heavenly origins. Christ does not deny that they are Abrahams biological descendants but by their nature, they were not His spiritual descendants because they acted nothing like Abraham, he said to them ‘I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill me… if you were Abrahams children … you would do what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill Me’ (John 8:37-40). Instead, the people turned their argument to being children of God (John 8:41), but as said several times within previous passages they did not know the father, for if they knew the father they would have loved Christ. Christ then proceeds to ask two rhetorical questions:
Christ had done no wrong and had spoken the truth, so if having spoken the truth he could not have been convicted of sin since He had committed no sin by not lying. Christ’s argument was that since they can not convict Him because He has spoken no word of a lie, then He must be speaking words of truth, and if speaking words of truth then they should surely believe Him to be who He says He is, because no one could not deny that He spoke the truth. Knowing this, the people then turned to disgracing Him by calling Him names and labelling Him as a ‘Samaritan’ or being ‘demon possessed’ (John 8:48), because in the face of truth they could not convict Him with truth so instead they turned to the only language they understood –> Lies, for they were mimicking after their own Father the devil ‘because he is a liar and the father of liars’ (John 8:44).
As mentioned within the introduction of this series there are a lot of things John omits from His Gospel and one of them was Jesus’ parables, however, chapter 9 feels like a variation of these parables. In chapter 8, Christ speaks about how He is the light of the world and how he came to liberate us from darkness, but in chapter 9 His statement is made into a parable through the miraculous healing of a man born with blindness. This man’s sole purpose in life was to reveal the glory of God (John 9:3), the disciples when they had seen this man who was born blind( how they knew he was born blind is uncertain) presented a theological question to God, but Christ answered that not all people with sickness or infirmities have committed sin ( in the case of John 5:3-14, where the mans sickness had been a result of his sin), nor is it always to do with the sins committed by prior generations, the disciples were focusing on the mans past but Christ came to focus our attention on a liberated future in which this mans sight would be restored.
I love this blind man’s ( from here on our we shall to refer him to the ‘former blind man’) testimony and how he became a disciple of the Lord. When Christ performed His miracle, the man could have easily chosen not to wash at the ‘pool of Siloam’ and instead go elsewhere to clear the mud from His eyes, His healing came not just from belief but from obediance to Christs intructions.
This section is of my own opinion: I believe Christ must have used mud to cover the man’s eyes for two reasons:
1.As a physical representation. Mud is dirty a reflection of men’s sins and how all they see is dirt for their hearts are dishonest
2.As a reminder that we came from dirt, so God is re-making new eyes that can now see, in the same way, he is re-making a new man without sin or blemish
After being healed, the man did not know who Jesus was because he had never seen Him and I presume had not heard much about Him. However, you can start to see how this mans understanding of who Jesus was, was becoming more clear and what was unknown to Him was being revealed. When first asked who healed him His response was ‘A man they call Jesus’ (John 9:11), but after some time He came to believe Christ as someone sent from God when we read John 9:17 ‘I think he must be a prophet from God’, but the revelation of Jesus as Son of God was still not quite there. What is inspiring about this man was His audacity ( remember this word) to speak boldly in front of the Pharisees and state what the Pharisees were trying to deny, ‘Whether or not He’s a sinner, I don’t know. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!’ (John 9:25), whether this man/ prophet called Jesus is a sinner I don’t know, but I cannot ignore the obvious fact that I was blind, but now I see, therefore the works He performed on my eyes are not by human hands. On top of that, this man began to teach the Pharisees that God listens to those who ‘worship Him’ (verse 30), so surely this man has no sin if God could do works through Him, whilst you Pharisees, God does not operate through you so you must be the sinners. His audacity was incredible, he even made a sarcastic remark about how the Pharisees were trying to know more about God so that they too could become his disciples (verse 27). This former blind man was removed from the synagogue, but the Lord found Him and revealed Himself to Him as Lord (verse 37) and there the man worshipped Him, He didn’t just give thanks and praise he wanted to be heard by God , He wanted to commune with God as he had spoken in verse 30, in previous posts we came to understand that you can only worship when you have an understanding of who God is and this man now did. When God reveals His glory, we can not help but to worship Him.
I pray, God may reveal His glory in your life, and may you seek Him desperatly so that He reveals His nature to you.