Wednesday, December 9, 2009

JOHN 9:1-12 The Bind Man

By Hayley Boud

(v1) Jesus saw the blind man.

Today Jesus sees us and sees the problem we are facing. Jesus knows us very well and He cares.

(v2) Did the blind man sin? Did his parents sin?

(v3) No, was sick because God wanted to display His work in the blind man.

When I think of the word display, I think about fireworks displays. If you have been to one, you will know how amazing they are. Everybody is astounded with their mouths open and they can’t stop looking and they make noises like, “wow!” and everybody is happy and excited. This is why some are sick among us, because God is going to do a miracle for them and everybody will be astounded and will glorify God.

(v4) The blind man is physically sick but God is now talking about spiritual matters because for God, spiritual things are more important. We have to remember that! Whenever we think about physical things we should remind ourselves that spiritual things are just as important.

For example, if I am hungry physically – it’s a good opportunity to think about my spiritual hunger – did I read my Bible today? Did I feed my soul? If not, that is a good time to pick it up and read it.

Another example, if I am thinking about physical work that has to be done like the housework or my job, I can also think about the spiritual work that God has planned for me. How much time do I spend working for God’s kingdom?

Another example, if I’m at the movies or if I’m watching a dvd or TV, I can think about how much time I use my eyes for looking on God’s things. Or if I spend an hour getting dressed, doing my hair and make-up, how much time to I spend making myself spiritually beautiful?

Because Jesus said (v4) we have to work while there is still day because a time is coming when we won’t be able to work anymore. Jesus Christ is coming back soon so we have to make the most of all the opportunities we have. We have to think carefully about how we spend our time. It’s not bad to relax and watch TV but we need to make sure to give God His time too. When we told God we belong to Him, it meant we have to work.

(v5) We are the light of this world and people will see God’s work in us, they will be amazed (like the fireworks display).

I believe this is only possible through our prayers and through hard work. We need to work hard reading the Bible and praying and with hard work will be a reward. It’s time now for us to work!

We must accept and believe we have everything in us to overcome all temptations, all difficulties, all problems. God has given us the Holy Spirit who is our helper and has given us all that we require to make it in this world. When you are tempted or when you face difficulties just remember you are able to bear it because God has already promised He won’t let you go through anything you can’t bear (I Cor 10:13).

What you need to do now is to make yourself work hard as a servant/slave of Jesus Christ. You need to push yourself even more than what you are already doing to meditate on the Word of God. Push yourself to read the Bible and work to understand it for yourself. Push yourself read and meditate and pray every day. Push yourself to find a message within the verse you read every day so that you will ready in season and out of season to preach the word (II Tim 4:2). Be like Jacob and wrestle with the Lord and don’t let go until you find the answer. Fight with the Lord to understand the Word of God for yourself. Don’t give up. Push God to explain it to you.

Find time to pray. Make a decision to pray every day.

Gal 5:2, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

Because you have the Holy Spirit and He is the “Spirit” MUST have the fruit of the spirit. You have all the fruits already. God has given you everything you need to serve Him, to overcome temptations and problems.

You already have love. All you have to do is act on that. We have learnt a lot about love over the years according to 1 Cor 13 and as we know it is all summed up in Gal 5:14, “love your neighbour as yourself”. I’ve heard people say if you don’t love yourself then you can’t love your neighbour. I disagree. If you hate yourself, you can’t say, “because I hate myself, I can’t love others.” That’s not true. By loving others you will grow to love yourself more. One very good way to love others is to pray for them. When we pray for others it helps us to put aside our own problems and temptations ‘cos we are focusing on other’s needs and not ourselves. We should try to make time to pray for everyone, not just our close friends or family but for people we might even dislike (pray for your enemies, Mat 5:44).

You already have the spirit of joy, now you just have to do your work and produce the fruit of joy. When we feel depressed, we have to make a decision not to stay there. We have to push ourselves to get up, have a shower, eat healthy, exercise, read the Word of God, meet with others. We have to push ourselves to get joy when it is not there. We can ask God for more joy but we can’t ask and just expect Him to do all the work. We have to make an effort too.

Joy according to the Greek dictionary means to rejoice and be glad. We can do this even when we don’t feel like it. Put on a worship CD and praise God and after an hour you will be truly filled with joy.

God has already given you the spirit of peace and it is up to you to ensure you keep it. We can lose our peace when we have problems with others and therefore we must find a way to be reconciled to bring that peace back. We can lose our peace when we are worried, or angry or unhappy or frustrated but we must find a way to get our peace back again.

For me, the Bible always brings peace back. If I have anything that troubles me or any problem, I know I can find the solution in the Bible and use that verse or story or example to pray with and I know God will answer and this brings back peace.

We have to do this for ourselves. We can’t expect God to do all the work. He’s already given us the Spirit of Peace and now we have to make peace to grow in us and if I lose peace, it’s up to me to find it again.

Remember we have peace spiritually because Jesus Christ paid the price for our sin and brought peace between us and the Father. This is the gospel of peace; no problems between us and God and we don’t have to fear death anymore. This is peace. We need to remember what God has done for us and not focus on satan. It’s true that we are at war with satan but we are not at war with God and He is on our side so we should focus on God. We might have troubles on this earth but not with God, so focus on God and not the problems. As it is written, look first for the Kingdom of God and everything else will be added to you. Look to Christ and not to the problem or to satan.

We can go through each of the fruit of the Spirit and say the same thing...

Patience – you already have the Spirit of Patience, now make it work. If you are impatient, then tell yourself to be patient and don’t accept impatience in your life.

Kindness and Goodness and Gentleness – the same as patience, make them work in your life. Be good, be kind, be gentle and don’t accept to be anything else.

Self-control – the don’t lack self-control because the Holy Spirit is in you and He is the Spirit of Self-Control. You have self-control; you just have to make it work. Decide today, I will no longer sin in this area, and then don’t sin. Make a decision today, I will no longer think about this and then don’t think about it. You have the power of the Holy Spirit living in you, now act accordingly.

All of this work is so you will be the light of the world. All of us want to be the light for Jesus Christ. All of us want people to see God and glorify God. How much is God glorified when people change or are transformed? This is a real miracle when people become new creations. We want our family and friends and work mates to see a change in us both physically and spiritually. We will be their light when they say, “remember Hayley used to be like this...but now she’s like this...”

Through work and our prayer, we will be the light in this world. As we speak words of wisdom, as we bring the gospel, as we shows love, compassion, peace, joy, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, as we prays for others, as we serves others, these will bring the light into the world.

As we know, light draws people, shows people the way, reveals what is hidden.

(v6 & 7) Jesus spat on the ground and then made mud and put it on the blind man’s eyes. Today, you must understand the mud is on your eyes and now you have to make a step to reach Siloam.

What if the blind man had said, “no, Jesus is enough to heal me, I don’t need to go anywhere”? Would he have been healed? No, he would never have found healing.

And this is the way God works. He blesses you and He asks you to make one step. He gives you everything but He waits for you to make the first step. And if you don’t make that step, you will never receive from God. He gives you, he promises and He is waiting for you now. What effort are you making now to reach the pool? Don’t you think the blind couldn’t have asked for 1 litre of water from the neighbours to wash his face? He could have done it. But he wanted to respect what Jesus had told him to go to the pool of Siloam.

So you must understand that when we praying for healing (or anything else) we may not be healed instantly or receive what we prayed for immediately. It might take days, weeks, months before you receive the answer. But don’t be discouraged. God has put the mud on your eyes and now it’s your turn to go to the water (Word of God) and wash yourself. You need to read the Word of God, respect it and live according to it and according to the Spirit that God has given you.

(v 8-12) After seeing the blind man healed, those around were not sure it was the same person. This is what life will be like for us when we are transformed through our prayers and through hard work; people will not know if it is the same person. They will say, “it looks like Hayley, but she is so different”.

Then people will ask, “how did this happen?” and you will point them to Jesus Christ!

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