The Prophecy and Plot: Jesus’ Sacrifice Foretold

Posted by admin on 22 July 2024 in John |

John 11:49–57 (NKJV)

49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.

55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

Message

We’re about to step into a powerful story from the Bible. It’s about a prophecy made by Caiaphas, the high priest, and a plot against Jesus. The scripture, taken straight from John 11:49-57, helps us understand why Jesus’ sacrifice was so important, not just for one nation, but for all of God’s children everywhere.

I. Caiaphas’ prophecy: Jesus’ Sacrifice for the nation and God’s children

See v49-52.

49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

The Jews have been seeking Jesus to seize or kill for breaking the Sabbath (John 7:1, 11, 25, 30, 32, 10:39). Also, they tried to stone Him for blasphemy (John 8:59, 10:31). But here, they got another reason for them to make Jesus die. God revealed through the high priest that Jesus would die not only for the nation but also for God’s children globally (51, 52). His sacrifice was perceived as a necessary measure to save the entire nation from destruction (50).

II. The Plot Against Jesus: His Withdrawal and the Approaching Passover

See v53-54.

53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.

Now ‘His hour’ of sacrifice has come closer.

See v55-57.

55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

That’s the end of the message for this part of the Bible. We’ve seen a prophecy, a plot, and the lead-up to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. The scripture from John 11:49-57 gives us a deeper understanding of why Jesus had to die and what his death meant for the world. It’s a reminder of the great love and sacrifice that Jesus showed us, a love that continues to touch lives today.

The Divinity of Jesus: Affirmation, Denial, and Belief

Posted by admin on 15 July 2024 in John, Luke, Psalms |

John 10:31–42 (NKJV)

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”

33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.

Message

In the previous message, we learned the following.

The Jews didn’t believe the Good Shepherd Jesus despite the Works of God He performed (John 10:22-26). But His sheep hear His voice, follow Him, have eternal life and shall never perish (John 10:27-28a). The Father is greater than all (John 10:29a), which supports the reason that no one can snatch His sheep out of the Father’s hand (John 10:28b, John 10:29b). The Son and the Father are one (John 10:30). So, the Son is greater than all and no one can snatch His sheep out of His hand.

What happened when Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.” in John 10:30?

I. The Jews' denial of Jesus’ Divinity (31-33)

See v31.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.

Previously, the Jews took up stones to throw at Him in John 8:59, too. See v32-33.

32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”

33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

They didn’t recognise Jesus as the Son of God or God. This contrasts that the criminal recognised Jesus as divine by calling Him ‘Lord’ (Luke 23:42 NKJV). They should have recognised His divinity when they saw many good works He had shown from His Father. But they didn’t believe Him being divine.

II. Jesus’ Divinity, affirmed by the Scripture and the Works of God (34-38)

See v34-36.

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

Jesus quoted Psalm 82:6a. See Psalm 82:6 NKJV.

6 I said, “You are gods,

And all of you are children of the Most High.

In this verse, ‘I’ is God. God called them ‘gods’. Jesus taught that the reason He called them so was that the word of God came to them (35). Then, Jesus has more reasons to be considered ‘divine’ and ‘not blaspheming’.

  • The Father sanctified Him (36a).
  • The Father sent Him into the world (36b).
  • Jesus said He was the Son of God (36c).
  • Jesus did the works of the Father (37, 38)

See v37-38.

37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

The works of God Jesus performed was one of the five witnesses of Jesus, which was greater than the human witness John (John 8:14, 5:31-40). The works show them the Father was in Jesus, and Jesus in the Father (38, Also see John 14:11).

III. The Jews’ Persistent Unbelief and Continued Rejection of Jesus’ Divinity (39)

See v39.

39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

Despite the many good works Jesus performed (32), they persisted in their unbelief. Jesus explained the reason for their unbelief in John 10:25-26 NKJV (“because you are not of My sheep”). Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Jesus (John 6:45 NKJV).  The Jews did not hear God because they did not belong to God (John 8:47). Their view is shown in v33. The Jews sought to take Him before (John 7:11, 30, 32, also see John 7:1, 25). But they didn’t actually take Him then and He didn’t have to escape. Again, they sought to seize Him in v39. This time, Jesus had to escape from them.

IV. The Power of John’s Testimony in Guiding Belief in Jesus (40-42)

See v40-42.

40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.

The works of God Jesus performed are greater witness than John’s (John 5:36) but v41 shows that it was John’s message that guided many to believe in Jesus. Also, we can learn that a human witness of Jesus doesn’t necessarily have to perform any sign.

The sheep of the Good Shepherd Jesus hear His Voice, follow Him and shall never perish

Posted by admin on 8 July 2024 in John, The Book of Romans, The Good Shepherd |

John 10:22–30 (NKJV)

The Opposition at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

Message

I. The Jews didn’t believe the Good Shepherd Jesus despite the Works of God He performed (22-26)

See v22-25.

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.

The works of God Jesus performed is one of the five witnesses (Jesus, John, the works, the Father, the Scriptures) (John 8:14, 5:31-40). The blind man knew ‘one thing’ so obvious that no one could deny, that is, the healing of his blindness (John 9:25). Jesus said, “…though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” (John 10:38, See also John 14:11)  But the Jews still didn’t believe. Jesus says the reason. See v26.

26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.

The sheep ‘hear’ (‘know’) the voice of the (good) shepherd (John 10:3, 4, 14, 16, 27). As a result, they understand his (or His) words (John 8:43) and believe (John 8:46). On the contrary, those who do not believe are not of His sheep (26).

II. His sheep hear His voice, follow Him, and shall never perish (27-30)

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

The good shepherd knows the sheep (John 10:14, 27) and they follow Him (John 10:4, 27).

28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

‘eternal life’ is defined in John 17:3. ‘never perish’ is also ‘never die’ (John 11:26). Jesus is the resurrection and life. The believer shall live even if he may die physically (John 11:25) and he shall never die spiritually (John 11:26). ‘neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand’ is expressed in Romans 8:38-39. See Romans 8:38–39 NKJV.

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

See v29-30.

29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

The Father is greater than all, which supports the reason that no one can snatch His sheep out of the Father’s hand. The Son and the Father are one. So, the Son is greater than all and no one can snatch His sheep out of His hand.

The Good Shepherd Jesus – the Father knows Him, He knows the Father, His will and His love for the sheep

Posted by admin on 1 July 2024 in John, Philippians, The Good Shepherd |

John 10:14–21 (NKJV)

14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”

21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Message

The good shepherd, Jesus, gives His life for the sheep because He owns and cares about the sheep (John 10:11-13).

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” again in v14a. Let us study other aspects of Jesus being the good shepherd.

I. The good shepherd, Jesus, know His sheep and is known by His own (14)

See v14.

14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

Jesus is the good shepherd (14a). First of all, the good shepherd knows His own sheep (14b). This fact is also shown in John 10:3c (“and he calls his own sheep by name”). And they know the good shepherd (14c). In John 10:3, we learn that the sheep hear the voice of the shepherd. They follow the shepherd because they know (recognise) his voice (John 10:4b).

II. As the Father knows Jesus, Jesus knows the Father, His will and His love for the sheep (15-16)

See v15.

15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

As the Father knows the Son Jesus, Jesus knows the Father (15a). So, Jesus knows very well what the Father’s will is. Jesus said, “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:39, 40). Jesus has come down from heaven, not to do His own will, but the will of God who sent Him (John 6:38). Jesus obeyed the will of the Father, obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8). The good shepherd understands His sheep who need Him and knows the Father’s love for them and His will to save them. And He lays down His life for the sheep. To forgive (save) them, He sacrificed His life on the cross and paid for their sins.

See v16.

16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

‘this fold’ is the Jewish sheepfold and other sheep not of this fold are the Gentiles. The Jews and the Gentiles will become one flock under one shepherd, the Lord Jesus.

III. The Father loves Jesus because He lays down His life that He may take it again (17-18)

See v17.

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

Jesus always did those things that pleased the Father (John 8:29b). So, the Father was with Him and had not left Him alone (John 8:29a). And Jesus lay down His life that He may take it again. So, the Father loves Him. ‘laying down His life’ is one of the things that pleased the Father.

See v18.

18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Jesus was crucified not because He didn’t have enough power to protect His own life but because He laid it down voluntarily. Jesus had the power to take His life down and the power to take it again. His sacrifice on the cross and the resurrection are commanded by His Father.

IV. A division among the Jews (19-21)

See v19-20

19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”

We see that the people in the world may mistakenly think that the heavenly (John 3:31) and spiritual (John 6:63) man Jesus has a demon and a mental disorder. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when we are misunderstood by them.

See v21.

21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Those who took the work(s) of God performed by Him into consideration maintained their belief (trust, faith).

Jesus, the Door of the Sheep and the Good Shepherd

Posted by admin on 24 June 2024 in John, The Good Shepherd |

John 10:1–13 (NKJV)

“I Am the Good Shepherd”

10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

Message

I. Jesus, the Door of the Sheep (1-10)

See v1-6.

10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

What v1-5 means is in the following verses. See v7-9.

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

Before Jesus came to the world, the sheepfold was without the door! So, anyone and everyone who approached the sheep was a thief and a robber. Jesus came to the world and now the sheepfold got the door (=Jesus) which a shepherd can enter through! The sheepfold could be the Jewish sheepfold or a Gentile sheepfold. For the Jewish sheepfold, the Pharisees were the religious leaders of the sheep (=the Jews). The Pharisees before Jesus came or without knowing Jesus were not shepherds but thieves and robbers! The disciples of Jesus are the shepherds! Jesus is the door of salvation for the sheep and the shepherds. ‘pasture’ is the word of eternal life (John 6:68).

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The thief may steal their blessings, (heavenly) gifts (or prizes), and possessions. He may kill their (spiritual) life and destroy their future (happiness). But Jesus came that they might have life in its fullness. See v11-13.

II. Jesus, the Good Shepherd (11-13)

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

In v1-10, Jesus is the door of the sheep. In v11-18, Jesus is the good shepherd. The shepherd is one who enters through the door of the sheep, Jesus (John 10:2). Now Jesus shows what is the ‘good’ shepherd. The ‘good’ shepherd gives His life for the sheep (11). Obviously, the ‘good’ shepherd is not a selfish person. He must be a merciful, considerate, sympathetic and sacrificial person. When one is busy satisfying one’s flesh (=sinful nature), one may not be selfless, but selfish, idiotic, rebellious, and deceptive. But, a godly person who puts the will of God first and follows the Spirit of God may not be selfish but do what is good, right and fair. Further, let us think about how much one should love someone so that one may sacrifice one’s life for the person. One must extremely value, care and love the person. The ‘good’ shepherd’s love touches my heart and my tear falls down. Jesus compares the ‘good’ shepherd with a hireling (12). A hireling is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep (12a). So, when he sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and flees (12b). And the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them (12c). In this illustration, ‘giving life for the sheep’ is not simply ‘dying’ but rather ‘providing appropriate protection against the predators’. It takes skills, bravery, commitment, tools, awareness, vigilance, wisdom, and everything it takes to protect the sheep. Jesus gave us the word of eternal life, the Holy Spirit, the Apostles, and His Churches and He is with us till the end of the age. To save us from sin and condemnation, Jesus has done the ultimate sacrifice required by the law. He did what it took to protect us from the wolf (the sin & death, the accuser, the tempter). The hireling flees because he is hired for money and does not really care about the sheep. The Pharisees might be hired by a Synagogue or the Temple for money but they didn’t really care about the sheep who needed protection from sin and death.

Jesus visits one who is persecuted and disadvantaged for one’s faith in Him

Posted by admin on 17 June 2024 in 1 John, 2 Timothy, John, Matthew |

John 9:26–41 (NKJV)

26 Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”

27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”

28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”

30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”

38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”

41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

Message

I. Unbelief of the spiritually blind (26-29)

See v26.

26 Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”

This shows they didn’t believe or wouldn’t listen. See v27-29.

27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”

28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”

II. Understanding, belief and bravity of the blind man (30-34)

See v30-33.

30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

The man who was blind sees that Jesus was from God because

  1. He opened the eyes of one who was born blind which no one has ever done since the world began.
  2. God does not hear sinners but hears a worshiper of God, who does His will.

The man was surprised at the Pharisees who couldn’t come to this natural conclusion. See v34.

34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.

We learnt his parents feared being put out of the synagogue (John 9:22).  This man who was blind from birth and was a beggar must have been more ready for any disadvantage because he had been suffering the worst situation of blindness and poverty. He stood for the truth bravely and was cast out. The whole world belongs to the evil one and those who stand on the side of truth are persecuted (1 John 5:19, 2 Timothy 3:12, John 15:18-25, John 16:1-4).

III. Jesus visits one who is persecuted and disadvantaged for one’s faith in Him (35-41)

See v35.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

When we are persecuted and disadvantaged because of our faith in Jesus, He comes to meet and bless us. See Matthew 5:11-12 NKJV.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

See v36.

36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

The man answered to Jesus and expressed he would believe in the Son of God. See v37.

37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”

Jesus revealed Himself to the man. It was a moment of amazing grace that the Son of God came and met him in person. See v38.

38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

The man encountered the Son of God. His heart might be filled with gratitude. He confessed His faith and worshiped Jesus. See v39.

39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

The blind man and beggar was in such humiliated conditions but able to recognise the Son of God. However, the Pharisees did not recognise Him even though He performed the miracle no one else did. They showed their spiritual blindness and stood condemned (See John 3:18). See v40-41.

40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”

41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

The Pharisees showed they were spiritually blind (See 29-33, 39). It is a sin that they pretend that they see spiritually. They should repent their sin so that God may heal their blind eyes. To see (the kingdom of God, the spiritual world), they need to be reborn (See John 3:5-8).

Holding onto One Thing I Know after Transformation

Posted by admin on 10 June 2024 in John, Psalms, The Book of Romans |
John 9:8–25 (NKJV)

Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”

He said, “I am he.”

10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”

11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?”

He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”

Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”

25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

Message

I. The transformation from misery to glory shocked the neighbors (8-11)

See v8-9.

Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”

He said, “I am he.”

They couldn’t believe their eyes. But he was that blind beggar according to what he claimed (9b). See v10.

10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”

If he is the same man who was blind from birth, the fact he can see now is truly incredible. So, they wondered how his blindness was healed. See v11.

11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

He explained how (11, See John 9:6-7).

II. One thing I know (12-25)

See v12-17.

12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?”

He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”

Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

The blind man thought Jesus might be a prophet before he met Him as the Son of God (John 9:35-38). The Samaritan woman also perceived Jesus as a prophet first (John 4:19) before she met Him as the Christ (John 4:25-26). See v18-23.

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

The Pharisees misused their position and authority to suppress the truth (See Romans 1:18). See v24-25.

24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”

25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

Even though Jesus opened the eyes of the man who was blind from birth, some still didn’t believe Jesus (16). The Pharisees even thought Jesus was a sinner (24). In response, the man who was blind from birth told them ‘one thing he knows’ that no one could deny. The ‘one thing’ is his blindness from birth was healed. Jesus said in John 14:11b (NLT), “At least believe because of the work you have seen me do.” Jesus said, “but if I do (the works of My Father), though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” (John 10:38 NKJV). It is important to hold onto ‘one thing I know’. But even though Jesus had done the works which no one else did, some wouldn’t believe. Then, they sinned and showed they hated Jesus without a cause (John 15:24, 25, Psalm 69:4). John 15:24-25 (NKJV)

24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

Psalm 69:4 (NKJV)

4 Those who hate me without a cause

Are more than the hairs of my head;

They are mighty who would destroy me,

Being my enemies wrongfully;

Though I have stolen nothing,

I still must restore it.

Transformation from Misery to Glory in the Light of the World, Jesus

Posted by admin on 3 June 2024 in John |

John 9:1–7 (NKJV)

Christ Heals the Blind Man

1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

Message

I. The Cause of Misery (1-3)

See v1.

1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.

This blind man couldn’t see anything since his birth. This means he didn’t see even his mother and father ever. To the worse, he was poor as he was a beggar (John 9:8).

See v2.

And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

The disciples of Jesus saw the misery of the blind man and thought that his misery might be caused by the sin of the man or his parents. So, His disciples asked Him what the cause of the misery of the blind man was. Jesus answers in v3. See v3.

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

Differently to the man healed in John 5:1-15, whose 38-year illness was due to his sin (John 5:14), the misery of the born-blind man in this chapter was not caused by the sin but for revealing the works of God in him. It is a common way of thinking to explain the misery that the cause is the sin and the effect is the misery. However, the cause of the misery is not always the sin. Regardless of the cause, misery is not a fate in Jesus who is the Healer (7), the Game Changer (John 5:8, 9), and the History Maker.

II. Misery to Glory: the Transforming Works of God in the Light of the World (4-7)

See v4-5.

4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus, the light of the world, makes the ‘night’ of the world in misery into ‘day’ when we can work the works of God who sent Jesus.

See v6.

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

Jesus didn’t immediately heal the blind man as He usually did. Instead, He made clay and pasted it over the eyes of the blind man.

See v7a.

7a And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent).

Then, Jesus asked him to go and wash in Siloam. Jesus involved him in the healing process. The clay could cause discomfort to him. Going to the pool might be hard as a blind man. Faith, obedience, and patience were required.

See v7b.

7b So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

The result of the obedience was the healing. Jesus transformed his misery into the glory of God. His misery was originally intended to glorify God by revealing the works of God who sent Jesus. The more miserable a person may be, the greater glory he can give to God in Jesus. There is no fate in Jesus. Trust and obey Jesus. Where Jesus sends you may be where your misery is transformed.

Know Jesus, keep His word, and live

Posted by admin on 27 May 2024 in 1 John, John, Proverbs, Revelation |

John 8:51–59 (NKJV)

51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Message

I. Keep My word and never die (never be judged) (51, 52, John 5:24)

See v51.

51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

When the Jews dishonored Jesus and therefore the Father in John 8:48, they became subject to God’s judgment (See John 8:50, Exodus 20:7). There are several types of ‘death’.

  1. Spiritual death: They are spiritually dead if their relationship with God is broken because of their sin.
  2. Physical death: There is physical death.
  3. The second death: On the Day of Judgment, anyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8, 20:14-15).

Judgment and death are related. See John 5:24 NKJV.

24 “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.

See v52.

52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’

They are not thinking of the spiritual death or the second death but only the physical death.

See v53-54.

53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.

God, the Father honors Jesus, but the Jews dishonored Jesus. Clearly, they showed that their God was not God, the Father who honors Jesus.

II. Know God and keep His word (55)

See v55.

 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.

Jesus didn’t argue about the meaning of ‘death’. His words always contain spiritual meaning (See John 6:63). Instead, Jesus pointed out that they had not ‘known’ Him. Their fundamental problem was not simply the ignorance about other definitions of ‘death’ but no experiential relationship with God who is spirit and invisible. In response to ‘Who do You make Yourself out to be?’ (53b), Jesus points out they are, in fact, liars (just as their father, the devil is a liar) because they claim that God the Father is their God (John 8:41) while they don’t know Him.

This verse makes us ask a good question: “God and the devil, which is my God?” If our answer is God, then we should ask, “Do I know God?” This verse teaches us how important to know God before simply assuming or claiming who my God is.

If we know God, we should keep His word as Jesus said in v55c, “but I know Him and keep His word.” See 1 John 1:3-4 NKJV.

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

III. Jesus is God (56-59)

See v56.

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

Jesus knew what Abraham did, which only God would know. Jesus demonstrated He knew all and He is God.

See v57-58.

57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Jesus is God and existed before the Creation (58, John 1:1, 3, 15, 30, Proverbs 8:23 NKJV).

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Know Jesus, keep His word, and live

The Children of God versus the children of the devil

Posted by admin on 20 May 2024 in 1 John, John |

John 8:42–50 (NKJV)

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.

Messages

I. The children of God love the Son of God Jesus and the children of the devil hate Him (42)

See v42.

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

Jesus said that ‘He came from God’ and ‘God sent Him’. We studied these two points when we learnt John 7:29.

‘nor have I come of Myself’ was also already mentioned in John 7:28b. The Jews wouldn’t love Jesus and this proves that God was not their father (42a, also see 1 John 4:7-8, 5:1). Instead of loving Him, they sought to kill Him (John 8:37, 40).

II. The children of God believe the truth and the children of the devil believe a lie (43-50)

See v43.

43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

They even didn’t like to listen and didn’t (couldn’t) hear His word.

See v44.

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

The devil

  • is a murderer from the beginning
  • does not stand in the truth (has always hated the truth (NLT))
  • has no truth in him
  • speaks from his own resources when he lies
  • is a liar
  • is the father of lies

See v45.

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

Even though Jesus said the truth that people could understand, the Jews did not understand (43a) because they were not able to hear His word (the truth) (43b) because they belonged to the devil who hates the truth because there is no truth in him (44).

As a result, the Jews did not believe Jesus when He told them the truth, which they did not hear (properly) and so they did not understand.

See v46.

46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

46b (And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?) can be answered by looking at v44 and v45.

They believed the lie of their father, the devil (44). The reason they didn’t believe Jesus was that Jesus said not a lie but the truth (45).

See v47.

47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Whether one belongs to God or not depends on whether one hears God’s words or not.

III. The children of the devil dishonored the Son of God Jesus (48-50)

See v48.

48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

This verse shows their response to what Jesus said in v42-47.

  • The Jews said, 'You are a Samaritan' (48)
    This may be the response to

    • Which of you convicts Me of sin? (46a)
    • The desire of your father you want to do (44b)
  • The Jews said, 'You have a demon' (48)
    This may be the response to

    • You are of your father the devil … (44)
    • You do not hear because you are not of God (47)

What is the answer of Jesus? See v49.

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.

What Jesus said (the truth) was what Jesus heard from the Father (John 8:40). But the Jews said v48, dishonoring Jesus (49). Dishonoring Jesus is dishonoring the Father (See Matthew 10:40).

See v50.

50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges.

God the Father seeks His own glory (50). He judges those dishonoring Him (See Exodus 20:7).

 

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