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Psalm 106:9-15 - Deliverance and Doubt

Posted on November 1, 2016 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Psalm 106:9-15 (KJV) - Deliverance and Doubt

 

The psalmist expounds upon God’s mighty miracle at the Red Sea but confesses that almost immediately, His people gave in to doubt once more.

 

Psalm 106:9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.

 

Every time God speaks, whether in the affirmative or the negative, what He declares is going to happen. God spoke instructions to Moses to lift up his staff, and the Red Sea parted leaving a path of dry land. Where the water had been deep, there was now not a drop.

 

 

Psalm 106:10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. 11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.

 

Pharaoh’s army of men with horses and chariots had chased them to the water’s edge. Just as quickly as the sea had parted, the waves now came back together. Cue the ominous music…The chariots, horses, and soldiers were swallowed up and drowned. All the soldiers that pursued them were annihilated.

 

Psalm 106:12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.

 

Miriam composed a praise song on the spot.

 

Exodus 15:21 (KJV) And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

 

But the time of praise and rejoicing was short-lived as the Israelites were fickle (as we are today.)

 

Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: 14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

 

Here is where the murmuring and complaining began. How could they do that after such miraculous happenings that could hardly be put into words? I don’t get it. Although God had provided perfectly for them thus far, as soon as their water and food provisions began to run out, they doubted His ability or willingness to meet their needs. Instead of praying and seeking His answer, they grumbled.

 

Exodus 15:24 (KJV) And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

 

Exodus 16:2-3 (KJV) And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

 

They lusted after the comparative plenty they had in Egypt. Instead of seeking instruction, they resorted to accusations against Moses and Aaron and voiced their complaints.

 

Psalm 106:15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

 

Psalm 106:15 (VOICE) Although He granted their request, He also sent a disease that caused them to waste away.

 

Numbers 11:33-34 (AMP) While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague. 34 So that place was named Kibroth-hattaavah (the graves of greediness), because there they buried the people who had been greedy [for more than the manna that God provided them].

 

The people were not satisfied with manna and water. They were spoiled and ungrateful and demanded meat. This was the height of arrogance to make demands of Almighty God! God gave them what they wanted but also punished their insolence.

 

Chew on this: God provides for us in so many ways, but often we forget and covet more. Take time to remember what God has done for you. Do not forget! Praise Him, thank Him, and trust Him for the future.

 

Psalm 106:1-8 - God Never Gives Up on His Own

Posted on November 1, 2016 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Psalm 106:1- 8 (KJV) – God Never Gives Up on His Own

 

This Psalm was probably written after the Israelites returned to Jerusalem from captivity. This would have been the time of rebuilding the city and its wall under Ezra and Nehemiah. It was also a time of rededication to the Lord.

 

106:1 Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

 

Even though Israel had sinned to the point of God having them taken captive, His mercy continued to abide, to remain with His people. In spite of their inconsistency in following the laws and precepts of the Lord, He continued extending forgiveness and mercy they did not deserve. He does the same for us today.

1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

God’s continued goodness and mercy is enough to warrant our praise and thanksgiving even if He were never to bless us in any other way. But He does bless us immensely in innumerable ways.

 

Psalm 106:2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise? 3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

 

It is our privilege and purpose as believers to praise God and to tell others of all He has done throughout HIStory and for us personally.

 

We needed a little assistance to understand verse 3, so we looked at in other translations. The Amplified version makes it a bit clearer.

 

Psalm 106:3 (AMP) Blessed are those who observe justice [by honoring God’s precepts], Who practice righteousness at all times.

 

When we are observing what the Bible teaches and living in right relationship with God and people, we will show forth His praise with our lives as well as our lips.

 

Psalm 106:4 Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation; 5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.

 

The psalmist is praying for his own salvation and that of his nation as well. He asks the Lord to allow him to experience the blessing of the Lord’s chosen people. After the time of captivity, he prays that the Lord will rekindle rejoicing and glory in Israel.

 

Psalm 106:6 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.

 

He identifies with the nation by confessing the sin not only of past generations but that of his own as well. A major portion of this psalm will be recounting and confessing specific sins throughout Israel’s history. I wonder if we need to do that on behalf of our own nation? Perhaps if we spent some time remembering how we got where we are, we might avoid making the same gross errors. Certainly, I believe that we need to do this personally and as a nation if we are to have any hope of remaining and finishing well until Jesus returns in vitality and glory.

 

Psalm 106:7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. 8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

 

God had miraculously brought Israel out of Egypt using ten plagues, had fortified them with the Egyptians’ silver and gold, and had made sure all of them were able to walk out in health without stumbling. However, at the first major obstacle, the Red Sea, they lost faith in His ability to care for them. God had spent all that time showing up and showing out on behalf of His people Israel whether they realized it or not. God delivered them mightily in spite of their lack of faith and confidence in His ability to lead them back to the land promised to Abraham. God would have looked powerless to the Egyptians if He had brought them this far just to let them be re-captured or slaughtered. So, for HIS name’s sake, He parted the Red Sea so they could cross it on dry land. If God had allowed His people to drown at this point, He would have appeared unfaithful and powerless. By rescuing them despite their unbelief, He showed not only the Egyptians but also the Israelites His mighty power.

 

Question? Do we need to confess specific sins or just ask the Lord to cleanse us of all our sin? What benefit is there to being specific about our sin to the Lord? Of course, He knows them; but perhaps we need to remind ourselves how much He has forgiven in order to cultivate thanksgiving and praise in our lives.

 

Gospel of John - chapter 10 - Lesson 4

Posted on May 8, 2016 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Jews Want Jesus Stoned

 

John 10:31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.

 

In the previous passage, Jesus had said that He and the Father (God) were One, so the Jews picked up stones to execute Him. The Jews believed Jesus to be committing blasphemy because He was declaring Himself to be God. The sin of blasphemy was punishable by death.

 

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language:

BLAS'PHEMY, noun An indignity offered to God by words or writing; reproachful, contemptuous or irreverent words uttered impiously against Jehovah.

 

Blasphemy is an injury offered to God, by denying that which is due and belonging to him, or attributing to him that which is not agreeable to his nature.

 

John 10:32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”

 

Jesus advocated for Himself by pointing out that the miracles He performed were proof that He was who He claimed to be. Also, every sign He had performed was for the benefit of people, never to harm them. He always worked for the good of the people, never to cause injury. Jesus’ claiming to be God would be blasphemy only if it were not true. Since He was and is truly One with God, He had committed no sin!


John 10:33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

 

The Jews were blinded by their own hardness of heart and haughtiness. They could not bring themselves to admit that Jesus was the Messiah, so they just stayed on their same track of denial. They were like a record (vinyl) with a scratch the keeps playing the same line over and over and over. The Jews had been trying to entrap Jesus so they would have valid reason to kill (murder) Him and be rid of His challenges to them forever. Every time Jesus spoke, His eloquence concerning the Father embarrassed the Jewish leaders because it exposed how little they really understood. The teachers of the Law needed a remedial course in Messianic prophesies.

 

John 10:34 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 Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

 

We cannot explain verses 34 and 35 any more clearly than the statement quoted below:

 

Reformation Study Bible:

10:34–38 In the Old Testament, human judges could be called “gods” because they were viewed as acting in God’s place in dispensing justice. The Hebrew word ’elohim is used not only to refer to the one true God but also to denote false gods, angels, and, very rarely, men exercising divine functions. Jesus’ argument may be understood as follows: “Rather than taking offense because this word is used of Me, you should examine My credentials that prove My Father has sent Me into this world.”

 

Following is the Old Testament verse Jesus was quoting:

 

Psalm 82:6 (ESV) I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you…

 

Jesus made the point that mortal men could be called sons of God, so why should the spiritual leadership get all up in arms with Jesus in particular. They certainly should not have had a problem since His wondrous works (the miracles) showed that He was THE Son of God.

 

John 10:37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

 

Jesus was saying, “If you can’t take my word for it, examine my deeds.” If His works were not of God, they would have a valid reason for their unbelief. The words of their arguments held nothing substantive. Everything Jesus was doing WAS from God. It was authentic. He IS the Truth. The accusations of the Pharisees were empty blustering, having no merit. Uneducated, common people were able to see that God was working through Jesus and recognized Him as the Messiah because of His miracles. It was obvious to them that God was in Him and He was in God. His intimate relationship with the Father was evident in both His words and deeds.

 

John 10:39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

 

His time had not yet come! Again! How did Jesus always manage to escape from mobs of people pursuing Him? Because God is sovereign and had not given Him into their hands…yet.

 

John 10:40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.

 

Jesus may have needed to clear His head after so many encounters with the nay-sayers. We forget that although Jesus was fully divine, He was also fully human. It was certainly safer across the Jordan and farther away from the Pharisees. John the Baptist had done the prep work on the other side of the Jordan, telling the people about the One who was to come after him. The people realized everything John the Baptist had said about Jesus was valid. It became clear to the people that this man, Jesus, that John pointed them to, was truly the Messiah. They noted that John himself performed no miracles, but Jesus did many signs. Many of the people who heard Jesus teach became believers.

 

Q – Do you believe Jesus was and is who He said He was? If you are already a believer, our hope is that your convictions are strengthened and that you are better able to present the good news to others. If our Bible study has touched you in any way, we would love to hear from you either in the comments, on Facebook, or by contacting us on the Contact Us/Prayer Request tab which is visible only to us and not the public.

 

Gospel - Chapter 9 - Lesson 3

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Man Healed of Blindness Brought Before Pharisees a Second Time

 

John 9:24 (ESV) So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”

 

Because the formerly blind man gave Jesus credit for his healing, the Pharisees brought him before them again. They told the man he should give glory to God by admitting that Jesus was a sinner. The only way to give God the glory, in the eyes of the Pharisees, was to discredit Jesus and disparage His character.

 

John 9:25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

 

The man said that he did not know if Jesus was guilty of sin or not. What he did know was that he was blind, Jesus touched him, and then he was completely well and could see. He no longer had to beg! He did not necessarily profess belief that Jesus was the Son of God, but he would not call Him a sinner either. I think his idea was to let the miracle speak for itself.

 

John 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

 

The man had already told them his account. Didn’t they listen the first time? How many times should he have to repeat himself? Perhaps they were using the interrogation technique of asking the same question multiple times to try to trip a person up and get them to give a different answer which would discredit their testimony. Just as lawyers do today when someone is deposed. But the man was consistent because he stuck to the simple truth. Just the facts, sir, just the facts.

 

John 9:27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”

 

The man pointed out that they had not listened to him before, so why would they want him to tell them again? He wanted to know what their intention was or what would make the difference to convince them it was a miracle from God. He may have even been sarcastic when he asked if they also wanted to follow Jesus. Since the authenticity of his testimony and that of his parents was called into question, I’m sure he was a bit irritated. The Pharisees enjoyed way too much drama for this blind man’s taste. He would have known they did not want to be Jesus’ disciples since they accused Him of being a sinner, blasphemer, and demon possessed which is why we think he was employing sarcasm.

 

John 9:28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”

 

They assumed the man had become one of Jesus’ followers which at this point, he had not. Formerly, they had clung to their being descendants of Abraham, and now they claim to be disciples of Moses. Both the written scriptures and oral tradition verified that God had spoken to Moses. They knew Jesus physically had come from Nazareth (even though He was born in Bethlehem), but they were saying they didn’t know whether He was sent from God or from Satan. They did not know whether He was on the side of good or evil.

 

John 9:30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

 

The man who was formerly a blind beggar then logically, eloquently explained the situation to the Pharisees. The ones who were supposed to be teaching others who God was were spiritually obtuse, not the sharpest crayons in the box. They could not follow the simple logic that God would not listen to a sinner but would listen and help a true worshipper. They could not see the simple – man was blind, Jesus touched man, man sees.

 

The MacArthur Bible Commentary

“…the Jews believed that God responds in proportion to the righteousness of the one praying. The greatness of the miracle could only indicate that Jesus was actually from God.”

 

The man pointed out the greatness of healing a person who had been born blind and that no one had ever heard of such a thing until then. Isaiah prophesied that the coming of the Messiah would bring such miracles:

 

Isaiah 29:18 (NKJV) In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

 

Isaiah 35:5 (NKJV) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

 

Isaiah 42:7 (NKJV) To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.

 

One would think that these prophesies would have been clear to the Pharisees. The Pharisees were sharing and discussing large amounts of scripture every day in the Temple. When Jesus’ miracles began to occur, it seems to me a cascading effect would happen; and they would say, “Oh, these are the prophecies of Isaiah coming true before our eyes, and this must be the Messiah.” They were blinder than the man born blind! The Pharisees, in their arrogant, stubborn, and egotistical manner did not run to the temple to repent and follow Jesus. They would not acknowledge that God would hold the spiritually astute teachers of the Law to a higher standard of obedience. They did not see themselves as the sinners they were.

 

The man concluded that if Jesus were not from God, sent by God, He could do nothing. The Pharisees refused to see his logic. If Jesus had been a fraud, the crowds following Him would have discovered it. If Jesus were from the devil as the Pharisees accused, why would He perform GOOD deeds?

 

John 9:34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

 

The Pharisees were holding on to the blame game, still believing the man’s blindness was caused by his parents’ sin, with no thought that it could have been the sovereignty of God, undetectable until Jesus came into his life at which time the Lord’s purposes became clear. Since they believed the man to be steeped in sin, and an uneducated beggar, they refused to give his words any thought. They were saying, “How dare you instruct the instructors?” The learned were too learned to learn. They thought they knew everything. They tossed him out and told him he was no longer welcome in the synagogue.


John 9:35 (ESV) Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

 

Jesus heard the man had been cast out, and went to look for him. When Jesus found him, He asked him whether or not He believed in the Son of Man which the man would have understood to mean the Messiah.

 

John: 9:36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”

 

Jesus as the Son of God was not clear to him yet. He may not have recognized Jesus or may have still not quite grasped that Jesus was not just from God but WAS God. He asked who it was because he wanted to believe.

 

John 9:37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

 

Jesus told him in no uncertain terms, that he was looking at the Messiah. Jesus pretty much declared the fact that He was the Son of God to the man. He made it clear. Immediately, the man affirmed his belief, said “yes” to Jesus, and worshiped Him.

 

John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”

 

Jesus came into the world to open the eyes of the spiritually blind that they could see His truth. Those in spiritual darkness but who identified their need would be enabled to receive Jesus. Those, like the Pharisees, who thought themselves near perfection, would continue being truly blind. One must recognize their sinful nature and need of repentance in order to understand their need of the Savior.

 

John 9:40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?”

 

The Pharisees were highly offended when they heard Jesus say this. Their big egos realized He was saying they were spiritually blind. Interesting that the Pharisees could not pick up on the fact that Jesus was the Son of God but could discern that He was calling them blind. And interesting that the man who had been born blind could now spot the blindness in others.

 

John 9:41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

 

The Pharisees were in darkness partly because they mixed the Law with their own traditions. As we have said earlier in the study, they didn’t even follow the most important precepts of the Law that they so guarded and espoused. They failed to love God and others. They majored on the minor such as tithing, but minored on the major of the two greatest commandments.

 

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

 

Leviticus 19:18 (NIV) Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

 

Since they thought their darkness was light, they were blinded to The Light. They could not see they were in the dark because they thought they were “good” through keeping nit-picky traditions as well as the Law. They did not understand that no one is capable of fully keeping the Law. We all walk in darkness apart from Christ.

 

Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV) The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.

 

Q – Do you know anyone who is blinded by the fact that most people think they are a “good person?” Perhaps you think you are good enough because you don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or engage in immoral behavior. But are you perfect? God’s standard is sinless perfection, holiness. No one can live up to that standard except, of course, God Himself in the person of the God-Man Jesus. That is why Jesus died for us, to pay the penalty for our sin. If you recognize that you can never be “good enough,” then you can see that you need Jesus! God has opened your eyes, and all you need to “do” is surrender to Him! He does all the work necessary to bring you into His family.

 

Gospel - Chapter 9 - Lesson 2

Posted on April 26, 2016 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Man Healed of Blindness Brought Before Pharisees

 

John 9:13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight.

 

The man who did nothing except obey the command to wash, was dragged before the Pharisees. Uh oh! Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath again which the Pharisees viewed as “work.” It seems ludicrous that it would be wrong to bring healing on the day set aside to honor and celebrate the Lord God. Could there be a better way to bring “rest” to the blind man than opening his eyes so he could enjoy God’s creation? When someone is blind any mere act of everyday living from dressing to preparing and eating food to bathing, even getting from point A to point B, takes so much more effort than for a sighted individual. Jesus definitely gave this man the ability to rest! The Pharisees had undoubtedly heard the gossip about the healing by now, but they demanded that the man himself share how he received his sight.

 

John 9:15b And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

 

Mud, wash, see. One, two, three. A healing waltz. The man explained it simply because it was a simple process.

 

John 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

 

Some of the Pharisees fixated on the fact that Jesus performed the work of healing on the Sabbath; and, therefore, must be a sinner. But others, who had some common sense, realized that a sinner could not perform such miracles. So they divided into two camps – the Sabbath Police and the Contemplative Reasoners.

 

John 9:17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

 

When in doubt ask the formerly blind beggar his opinion of Jesus. He did not want to alienate either side, so the middle ground would be to call him a prophet. This would not be claiming Jesus to be God for which he could be thrown out of the synagogue in the least and stoned in the worst case. The man had to straddle an uncomfortable fence. Also, he did not yet completely believe Jesus. We will see that later.

 

John 9:18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

 

The Jews thought maybe the man was an imposter. A doppelgänger or look-a-like. So they sent someone after the parents in order to question them as to whether or not the man was truly their son and had really been blind since birth. In their desperation, they had someone chase down the parents hoping they would say this was not their son, but someone posing as him for the notoriety.

 

John 9:20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

 

His parents verified that this was truly their son and that he had definitely been born blind. However, fear ruled their hearts, so they would not answer the question about how he had received his sight. They did not want to be tossed out of the synagogue, so they deferred to their son to answer for himself since he was a grown man. They would rather their son be in the hot seat rather than them!

 

Q – Rather than admit that Jesus had performed the miracle of healing the blind man, people looked for a logical explanation such as the imposter theory or that he had really not been blind since birth. When the Lord does something miraculous, do we praise Him for it or try to explain it away logically or scientifically? It is easier to explain things away than to believe that our sovereign, providential God could eradicate a tumor or cause other maladies to suddenly cease.

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 9 - Lesson 1

Posted on April 24, 2016 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

 

John 9:1 (ESV) As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

 

Jesus and His disciples saw a blind man begging, and the disciples asked Jesus who sinned. At least they asked the right person, their teacher and confidant. And who better to answer the question than the God who allowed the man to be born blind, the One who had created him? Although all illnesses and defects are ultimately due to original sin, they are not necessarily due a specific sin of that person or their parents, but that is what most of the Jews believed.

 

Reformation Study Bible:

…it is unwise and uncharitable to judge that the sufferings of others are specifically punitive.

 

John 9:3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

 

Jesus shut down their judgmental question. He made it clear that this man’s case was not the result of punishment for a specific sin. It was not the sickness, blindness, in and of itself that glorified God. It was that the man and his parents were not defined by it even though they were ostracized by society. He would have been seen as a lesser class person and many people would have nothing to do with him. Before this man’s birth, Jesus knew He would heal Him to the glory of God the Father. He also knew He would have that opportunity to change people’s opinion of those afflicted with birth defects by explaining that not all maladies are the result of a sinful life. In many countries, babies with birth defects are thought to be evil or cursed; and they are abandoned even now. Read the story of missionary Mary Slessor who rescued many twins while serving in Calabar (Nigeria). One twin was thought to be the child of an evil spirit, and since no one knew which one, both were brutally murdered. Her story can be found here: http://www.historymakers.info/inspirational-christians/mary-slessor.html

 

 

John 9:4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

 

Jesus then set the scene for the healing He intended to perform. Jesus was saying He was “fixin’ to” do what God the Father had sent Him to do. He was sent on three missions in one – to preach, to teach, and to heal. And His final act of healing would be dying to heal us from the sin that enslaved us. He foreshadowed His upcoming sacrifice by saying the “night was coming.” So He told His disciples they must do the works of God while the Light (Jesus) was in the World. Eventually, He would place the Light inside each believer with the giving of the Holy Spirit.

 

An interesting thing from The MacArthur Bible Commentary:

Not only was Jesus spiritually the light of the world, but He would also provide the means of physical light for this blind man.

 

John 9:6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

 

John MacArthur also pointed out that as the One who had created man from dust, Jesus could have made new eyes for the man out of the mud. I had never thought of that before! My question is, “How did he get to the pool while still blind?” Perhaps someone assisted him or he knew the area well enough to feel his way along. Not only was the man blind, but he obeyed Jesus in blind faith. He may have thought the command to wash in the specific pool a bit odd, but he did it anyway. At this point the man did not know enough about Jesus to believe He was the Son of God. He simply obeyed. He went there trusting that Jesus could heal him and trusting Jesus’ words. Suddenly, he could see for the first time in his life!

 

John 9:8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

 

The man’s healing stirred up quite a bit of gossip among his neighbors. Some recognized him as the formerly blind beggar. Others were saying, “He has a remarkable look-a-like!” Maybe he reminded them that he was the one who had asked them to walk him to the temple or to the market. He kept telling them that it really was him and that he could now see. Enquiring minds wanted to know exactly how his eyes had been corrected. Exactly how this miracle took place and who had done it.

 

John 9:11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.”

 

He explained that Jesus had made a mud plaster for his eyes, and when in obedience to Jesus, he washed it off, BINGO! He could see. I find it funny that he was sent to the pool called “Sent.”

 

John 9:12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

 

The people asked the man where Jesus had gotten off to, and he told them he had no idea.

 

Q – Have you ever seen someone with a birth defect or other disability and wondered why God would allow such suffering in their life? It is not for us to judge, but this passage helps us to realize that God is able to glorify Himself through all people when they surrender to Him. If you have not already done so, read Susan’s devotional post on this story at www.susiesmusings-ksh.blogspot.com

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 6 - Lesson 2

Posted on March 18, 2016 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Jesus Walks on Water

 

The fifth sign, Jesus walking on the water, is also found in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52. We will be looking at the three versions simultaneously to get the entire picture. We have purposely included each gospel account using different translations of the Bible to demonstrate how checking out different Bibles can assist in your studies and to make the lesson more clear.

 

John 6:16 (ESV) When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.

 

Matthew 14:22 (NASB) Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.

 

Mark 6:45 (VOICE) Not long after, He sent His disciples out onto their boat to sail to Bethsaida on the other shore, and He sent the crowd away. 46 After everyone had gone, He slipped away to pray on a mountain overlooking the sea.

 

After feeding the 5,000 plus, Jesus sent them away before they could crown Him king. Jesus needed to refuel Himself after ministering, so He sent the disciples by boat to another shore of the lake. Jesus went up on the mountain to pray and allow the Father to fill Him up so He could continue giving of Himself. Fellowship with and direction from the Father was a priority, even a necessity, for Jesus as the God-Man.

 

Q – If dedicated time alone with God in prayer was a necessity for the Son of God, how much more important should it be in our lives?

 

John 6:18 (ESV) The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.

 

Matthew 14: 24 (NASB) But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.

 

Mark 6: 47(VOICE) When evening came, the boat was out on the sea and He was alone on the land. 48 He saw that the disciples were making little progress because they were rowing against a stiff wind.

 

Winds were fierce, and waves were high; and the disciples were only about halfway across the lake. The disciples were confident fisherman and had probably weathered many storms, but this one had them rattled. Jesus was still on dry land, but He saw all that was transpiring in the middle of the lake. He saw the disciples rowing against a stiff wind. How did He see them if He was still on the shore? Jesus is the all-seeing God-Man. When Jesus was incarnated (born as a human), He did not check His abilities as God at the door of Mary’s womb. He was fully God and fully man, but limited Himself in some ways to enable Him to be the perfect Lamb of God.

 

John 6:19 (ESV) When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.

 

Matthew 14: 25 (NASB) And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.

 

Mark 6:48b (VOICE) Before daylight He came near them, walking on the water, and would have passed by them. 49 Some of them saw Him walking on the surface of the water, thought He was a ghost, and cried out. 50 When they all saw Him, they were terrified.

 

In the wee hours of the morning, Jesus joins the disciples by walking on top of the water in the midst of the storm. The disciples’ brains are saying, “It’s physically impossible for a human to do this! This must be a ghost!” The late hour, the darkness, and storm had them all affright already, and now SOMETHING is walking toward them on top of the water. How could this be? They were shaking in their sandals.

 

John 6:20 (ESV) But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

 

Matthew 14: (NASB) 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

 

Mark 6:50b (VOICE) Jesus (immediately calling out): Don’t be frightened. Do you see? It is I.

51 He walked across the water to the boat; and as soon as He stepped aboard, the contrary wind ceased its blowing. They were greatly astonished; 52 although they had just witnessed the miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 with bread and fish, and other signs besides, they didn’t understand what it all meant and their hearts remained hard.

 

Jesus said, “It is I,” or better, “I AM.” This is clearly using the name of God, identifying Himself as God. Matthew tells us Peter’s response. Peter says, “If it’s really you, Lord, let me walk on the water, too.” Not sure if this is out of belief or testing the Lord, but Jesus replies, “Come.” Peter steps out of the boat, but then the problem is he takes his eyes off of Jesus and onto the challenge of the choppy water. Then he begins to sink! He cries out to the Lord to save him. Jesus confronts Peter about his doubt and little faith, but lifts him to safety compassionately. When Jesus and Peter get back in the boat, the storm suddenly ceases to the amazement of the disciples and they find themselves safely at their destination, dumbfounded by His power to turn their simple boat into a divine “transporter” (Think Star Trek). They proclaim, “Certainly you are the Son of God!” After the feeding of nearly 20,000 people, they still had doubts about that?! How dense can they be? Are they afraid what He might require of them? Perhaps in showing the disciples His ability to satisfy physical hunger, He was opening their eyes to His ability to fill spiritual hunger; but they still did not understand. As we will see, they waver back and forth in their faith until after the resurrected Jesus appears to them. Human frailty continues to get in their way. However, Jesus is molding the disciples to explain the gospel to others when He is gone. They are slow learners, but they eventually get there. Getting ahead of ourselves a bit. Hard to hold in the best parts of HisStory!


John 6:22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

 

The crowd realizes both the disciples and Jesus are gone. They had seen the disciples row away toward the far shore and rightly assumed Jesus would somehow follow His loyal men. So they procured their own transportation and eagerly followed the disciples. They landed in Capernaum and looked for Jesus. Maybe they were getting hungry again and were pursuing the traveling “all you can eat buffet.” I hope a few of them actually wanted to hear more of what Jesus had to say to them.

 

Q – Are you facing storms in your life? Oswald Chambers describes it well when he says, “The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it.” (My Utmost for His Highest, March 7th) Jesus does not enable us to avoid all strife, but He does take us through the difficulties victoriously. Are you in the habit of crying out to Him as your first recourse? Do you go to the phone or do you go to the throne?

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 6 - Lesson 1

Posted on March 16, 2016 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

John 6:1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.


 

Jesus has moved from Judea in the south to the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. Many people followed Him there. The people were not following the Messenger for His message but to see what phenomenal sign He might do next. The crowd had particular interest in miraculous healing of the sick.


 

John 6:3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.


 

Jesus sat down with His disciples, perhaps to teach or perhaps to rest awhile. Remember, the microphone had not yet been invented, so a mountainside could provide a natural way of projecting His voice to the stadium worthy crowd. Several months had probably passed since Jesus healed the man by the pool because it is now time for anotherJewish feast.


 

John 6:5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.


 

Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd approaching Him and His disciples. Jesus was setting Philip up when He asked him where they could buy bread. Would Philip realize Jesus could solve the problem? Of course, Jesus, being omniscient (all-knowing), already knew that He was going to miraculously provide for supper.


 

John 6:7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”


 

Two hundred denarii would barely buy each of them a bite, not even a snack, let alone a meal. That amount of money would have been eight months’ wages for the common man! So basically Philip is telling Jesus, “No way!” Philip realizes the crowd is too large and their funds too small.


 

John 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”


 

Andrew points out what they do have and that it is far from enough. Maybe Andrew was suggesting a Galilean potluck stew. The church I grew up in called this a “hobo stew” when each church member brought whatever they had and tossed it in a giant pot. It also reminds us of the story of “Stone Soup.” If you do not know that children’s story, look it up. It’s a great lesson on sharing. Back to THIS story. A little boy shared his lunch, and must have been amazed at the outcome! Jesus was about to show them what a little can become in the Master’s hands.


 

This miracle is the only one recorded in all four gospels. See also, Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17.


 

John 6:10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.


 

John tells us how many men there were, but since these were probably families coming out to see and hear Jesus, but there could have been as many as 20,000 people when you counted women and children. Both Mark and Luke specify that they sat in small groups of 50 or 100. Jesus had them do this in an orderly manner to make sure everyone was fed and no one was forgotten.


 

John 6:11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.


 

Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks for them, and then instructed the disciples to distribute them. He did the same thing with the fish, as much as they wanted. Wow! This denotes that Jesus has an endless supply and wants to satisfy their hunger, physically in this example, but more importantly spiritually as well. He did not ration the food but gave liberally. Jesus gave them the all you can eat buffet or at least an all you can eat fish sandwich. Bottom line – the Lord is able to supply everything we need, physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Notice that even though the crowd’s motives in coming out were just to see signs and miracles, Jesus in His mercy feeds them anyway.


 

John 6:12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.


 

When everyone was loosening the sash on their robe, Jesus instructed the disciples to gather up the leftovers. He did not want any food wasted. They gathered twelve full baskets of bread fragments. One little boy had compassion on the crowd and gave up his small portion of food, and Jesus multiplied it. We do not know what they did with the baskets full of bread because scripture does not tell us, but Jesus did not want them wasted so we can be sure they were used by someone.


 

John 6:14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”


 

This was the miracle involving the largest number of people at one time. The Lord showed up and showed off. This was the fourth sign that John recorded to show that Jesus is God. The first was turning water into wine, and now this one is multiplying bread – the two elements of the Lord’s supper (communion). Hmmmm. (Selah – think about it). The people were probably thinking of the Prophet that Moses foretold but may or may not have understood that Prophet to be the Messiah. They were at least elevating Him to a higher status than that of a mere man.


 

John 6:15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


 

Jesus knew the inward thoughts of the people after He fed them. The people were thinking of Jesus as their version of Messiah – military leader and king who would lead them to conquer the Roman oppressors. Right Person, wrong book – we’re not in Revelation yet. Since this was not Jesus’ purpose at that time, He went up to a mountain to pray by himself.

Q – As we learned in John chapter 1, Jesus created everything that there is, so it should not surprise us that He could create a meal for thousands of people from a few loaves and fishes. Are you trusting Jesus to supply all your needs? When anxiety tries to overtake you, are you taking your concerns to Jesus? (Philippians 4:6-7) We are to supposed to do this. However, beware of seeking only what Jesus can supply instead of seeking to serve Him. (Matthew 6:33)

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 5 - Lesson 3

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Reformation Study Bible:

5:31–47 Jesus addresses four types of testimony that establish His claims: the testimony of John the Baptist; of Jesus’ own works; of God the Father; and of Scripture, especially Moses.

 

John 5:31 (ESV) If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.

 

Jesus is not implying that He would be untruthful, but is referencing the fact that testimony in the Jewish court system required two to three witnesses rather than just one man’s word. He is about to make the case that there are multiple witnesses to the fact that He is the Son of God. Jesus identifies His corroborating witnesses to His deity. 

 

Deuteronomy 19:15 (VOICE) The testimony of a single witness is not sufficient to convict a person of a crime or to find someone guilty of doing something wrong. Every charge must be confirmed by two or three witnesses.

 

John 5:32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.

 

John the Baptist had already authenticated Jesus as the Lamb of God, declaring Him to be the Messiah. In John chapter one, we read that the religious leaders sent a delegation to interrogate John as to who he was. John made clear that he was NOT the Messiah, but that Jesus was.

 

John 5:34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

 

Jesus does not need the testimony of man because He is THE TRUTH, but He gave them the example of John the Baptist as someone they were familiar with who backed up His claims. Jesus is the Light, and John the Baptist was the lamp that the Light shone through.

 

Matthew 5:14 (NIV) You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

 

Jesus is THE LIGHT, but we are lamps that shine His message within our world of influence.

 

 

John 5:36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.

 

Jesus’ miracles were evidence of His divinity. He had said earlier that He could nothing apart from the Father, and these signs John records reveal His divine nature and authority from the Father. So far John has reported changing water into wine, healing the official’s son, and healing the man by the pool of Bethesda. Every one of these signs demonstrate irrefutably that Jesus must be God’s son and equal to Him in every way. 

 

John 5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.

 

The skeptics did not recognize God’s voice or outright rejected it. They did not perceive Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy that they claimed to understand. They kept labeling Him a blasphemer because they did not and could not believe what they were seeing or connect it with the truths about Messiah in the Word. They were blinded by their unbelief.

John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

 

The Jewish religious leaders were correct in believing the scriptures led to eternal life but refused to see that they pointed to Jesus as the source of that life. The written word affirms the Word incarnate, Jesus Christ. But the Jewish leaders refused to trust in Him for salvation because they did not see their need for repentance. They were focused on their temporal desires rather than their need for spiritual healing. Jesus did not conform to their Messianic ideal.

 

John 5:41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.


Jesus was not a people pleaser. He sought to bring pleasure to the audience of One, His Father. Had he appeared on the scene as a military leader to conquer Rome, provide food and miracles on command (i.e. a floor show), they may have accepted Him. Jesus came to save them from their greater problem – their sin which separated them from the Source of all life. Jesus could see right through their religious exterior to the fact that they did not love God, nor did they have God’s love flowing through them. Jesus saw that all they had was rules and no relationship. He had come to offer relationship with the Holy God, and they rejected His offer.

 

John 5:43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

 

The MacArthur Bible Commentary

The Jewish historian, Josephus, records that a string of messianic pretenders arose in the years before A.D. 70. This verse contrasts the Jewish rejection of their true Messiah because they did not love or know God, with their willing acceptance of charlatans.

 

It was easier to accept the charlatans because they could conform them to what they wanted them to be, and these fakes promised immediate relief from the Roman rule. They may also have offered promises but not required accountability. Lest we be too critical of the scribes and Pharisees, let us look at Paul’s warning about future generations (i.e. our time):

 

2 Timothy 4:3 (NASB) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.

 

They will flock to those who preach what they want to hear instead of the need for self-examination and a life lived according to the word of God. They will have no interest in the pruning of the Vinedresser because pruning hurts (John 15). They do not want to be made uncomfortable by God, but instead desire a God who caters to their creature comforts, a cosmic bellhop. Rather than a Master who supplies all their needs, people want a Grandpa who indulges them in every selfish thing they want. God does not always give what we want or even what we think makes sense. But remember God knows the rest of the story, the end from the beginning. To me it is the height of arrogance to think we can write a better story for our lives than God!

 

John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

 

Reformation Study Bible

5:45 one who accuses you. Moses will accuse those who do not believe in Christ, because Moses wrote about Him. Jesus does not refer to any single text in Moses (such as Deut. 18:15), but to what “he wrote” (v. 46) in a general way. This is similar to what Jesus told His disciples after the resurrection on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27, 44–46), as well as to the preaching of the apostles (Acts 3:18; 17:2, 3; 18:28; 26:22, 23; 28:23).

 

Deuteronomy 18:18-19 (VOICE) I’ll send them another prophet like you from among their own people. I’ll put My words in the mouth of this prophet who will tell them everything I command him to say. 19 I, Myself, will punish whoever doesn’t listen to his words when the prophet speaks in My name.

 

There is a good article on Jesus as the Prophet Moses predicted on the Jews for Jesus website at http://https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/v11-n04/prophet

The article points out ways in which the Messiah would be like Moses such as:

1. Mediator

2. Sin Bearer

3. Shepherd

 

Jesus says Moses is a witness on His behalf and would hold the Jews accountable for their blatant unbelief and rejection of Him as Messiah. Jesus would not have to accuse them before the Father because Moses would. They not only had scales on their eyes, but curtains in front of them so the scales could not be removed in order to receive Messianic revelation. They remained willfully blind to the truth that Jesus was the Prophet Moses foretold. Therefore, they would incur punishment from God as Moses had written.

 

Q – Even today judges and jurors need more than one witness to corroborate a claim. Jesus provided ample witnesses. Today we have the opportunity to testify to the truth that He is Lord. We are to be living ambassadors to His faithfulness. Are we faithful to His command to go into the world and make disciples? Do we testify to the truth that Jesus is Lord, fully God?

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 5 - Lesson 1

Posted on March 9, 2016 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

John 5:1 (ESV) After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

 

John does not specify which feast was being celebrated, but the Jews traveled to Jerusalem for one of three feasts – booths, Passover, or Pentecost.

 

John 5:2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.

 

This pool was thought to have healing properties especially when “stirred.” Some manuscripts have a statement about it being “stirred by an angel” but the most reliable versions omit that verse. The pool was probably fed by a spring which would cause it to bubble up occasionally rather than being supernaturally moved. Some historians also believed the pool could have been red with minerals that would have an effect on some diseases. Therefore, people with various kinds of physical limitations would have their families bring them there for the opportunity to get into the pool.

 

John 5:5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

 

John shares the specific length of time the man had been an invalid to validate the reality of the need and the authenticity of the miracle. Many people knew the man and could testify to the fact that he was not “faking it.”

 

John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”

 

Jesus supernaturally knew the length of time the man had been waiting by the pool. He asked the man if he wanted to be healed. What a thing to ask. Why would Jesus ask the obvious? Of course, it is better to ask than to make assumptions. The person may have a greater need for something on the inside than the obvious outward problem. When you are healed on the inside, then healing can work its way to the outside. The outside, the body, is perishing anyway if you really think about it. Internal, spiritual needs are of the greater importance.

 

 

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

The Lord sees both the physical and the spiritual needs of a man just as He can see past the physical beauty to discern whether a person’s heart is right with Him.

 

 

John 5:7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

The belief was that the healing was on a first come, first served basis. The man explained that he had been trying to get into the pool for healing, but was beat out by others who were more able-bodied every time. This meant the man had to hurry up and wait again. The man thought healing would only come if he could perform the necessary action of getting into the pool while the waters were stirred.

 

John 5:8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

 

There are some questions here Why this man instead of the others? Why this day, why this man? As stated before, it would be a powerful miracle when the people knew the man was truly ill for such a long time. We know Jesus could see the man’s potential for faith. This confirms the sovereignty of our Lord. He heals whom He chooses. Also, no action was required of the man other than getting up healed. He did not have to “perform” in order to merit the healing.

What gave the man confidence to act on Jesus’ command? He did not know who Jesus was. Jesus was a perfect stranger. I suppose he had waited 38 years, so he had nothing to lose and thought he might as well give it a go. Perhaps he felt renewed strength surge through his body. The power of Jesus' words also imparted the faith needed to obey. For whatever reason, he stood, and finding he could stand, he obeyed by taking up his sleeping mat and walking. These straw mats could be easily rolled up to be carried.

 

John 5:9b Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”

 

It was the Sabbath, the day of rest, but what the Jewish officials are concerned about is the added conditions and traditions of men. Instead of being delighted that a man who had been ill for THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS had been healed, they are concerned about him breaking a Sabbath tradition by carrying a mat. They are nit-picking instead of seeing the big picture. They are majoring on the minor things and minoring on the major.

 

John 5:11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’”

 

He told them that the Healer had instructed him to carry his mat. I suppose he thought someone with the power to heal him probably had the authority to tell him to “Take up your bed, and walk.”

 

John 5:12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

 

The Jews demanded to know who dared to tell him to break their Sabbath traditions. The man was possibly in shock with overwhelming joy, and at that point Jesus’ name was the last thing on his mind. I was thinking, “Did this guy have no curiosity at all?” I believe my response to being healed would have been, “Who ARE you?” But as Susan said, he was probably in shock. Jesus had stepped away, so he couldn’t even point Him out to the Jews.

 

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

 

Finding the man in the temple would be like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, but because Jesus was no ordinary man but was also extraordinary God, He knew right where the man would be. Jesus was not necessarily saying that a specific sin had caused this man’s malady but addressing the fact that sin often has the naturally consequence of physical illness. He was asking the man to live to the glory of the God who had healed him.

 

John 5:15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

 

The man went back to the Jews to give a detailed account of exactly who it was that had healed him. Jesus would have known, of course, that the man would report back to the Jewish officials.

 

John 5:16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

 

The Jews would forbid even healing on the Sabbath as that involved “work.” But the Law in no way prohibited doing good on the Sabbath. Healing was definitely a good work.

 

Luke 13:15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?

 

Luke 14:5 And He said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”

 

Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders in the verses from Luke above. No Sabbath law is broken when caring for an animal, let alone a human.

 

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

 

Using the words “My Father” obviously referring to God was another stumbling block for the Jews. Jesus points out that just as God is continually working on behalf of mankind, He is taking care of His people as well. In other words, is saying that He is equal to the Father, and that made their skin crawl. Even the Jews acknowledged that God “worked” on the Sabbath since He is constantly sustaining the Universe.

 

Mark 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

 

Jesus claimed this same immunity to the Sabbath rules (especially those that were oral tradition rather than scripture) in the statement found in Mark 2:28 above.

 

John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

 

The Sonship that Jesus declared drove the religious leaders over the edge because they viewed it as blasphemy since they did not believe Him to be the Messiah. The healing of the man by the pool of Bethesda is now the third sign John has recorded that serves to confirm Jesus’ deity, that He is the Son of God.

 

Q – Jesus had healed a man who had been laid up for 38 years as attested by many witnesses. What more proof did the people need? But the religious leaders of the Jews still saw Him as a threat and a pretender. Their eyes were closed to the truth. Has the Holy Spirit opened your eyes to the truth that Jesus is equal with God the Father? Are you sharing that truth and the changes He has made in your own life with others? If you have trusted Jesus, you are qualified and even commanded to tell others.