John 9. Forum Discussion

Obedience

Have you ever known somebody that really likes to complain? Somebody with a glass that always seems to be half-empty? A person that looks for negatives in every situation, instead of positives.

The Pharisees were very much like this when it came to Jesus. Their selfish motives made them always try to find the negatives, even in a positive situation. Here in chapter 9, we have the beautiful story of how Jesus heals a man that had been blind since birth. His disciples ask Jesus why the man was blind, was it because of his sins, or maybe the sins of his parents?

Jesus answers them beginning in verse 3:

It was neither  that  this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was  so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

This scripture provides great insight into the workings of the Lord. There are struggles that we go through that God fully intends for us to experience. It may be to teach us, to strengthen us, or to discipline us. We are wise if we accept God’s plan, and foolish if we think we can alter it.

The prophet, Isaiah, spoke about the superior ways of the Lord, and how we will not understand everything that He does, and that is ok.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9.

Jeremiah spoke about how God has a plan for each of us.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” – Jeremiah 29:11.

The bottom line is this:

  • When we follow God’s plan, and obey His commandmentrs, we will be blessed.
  • When we follow the world, or our own fleshly desires, we will have a hard time.

Later in chapter 9, Jesus spat on the ground and made clay out of the spittle. He applied the clay to the blind man’s eyes and instructed him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. The blind man did exactly as Jesus said, and his sight was restored.

Let us emphasize that point one more time:

“The blind man did exactly as Jesus said, and his sight was restored.” 

Sometimes we want to do things our way and not God’s way. Then we complain that we are still “Blind.” We would be much better off to follow the example of the blind man and simply obey God. When we do exactly as God commands, His power works in us and is on display for all to see.

So regarding the blind man who had his sight returned, everyone should be happy, right? Jesus had restored sight to a man that had never seen. Who could possibly find fault in that? . . . The Pharisees.

The Pharisees were power hungry and jealous of the attention that Jesus was getting. They were aggressively seeking to find a way to arrest Him and have Him put to death. Instead of being happy that this man had his vision restored, the Pharisees complained that this miracle of healing was performed on the Sabbath. What a distorted perception they had! This type of negative thinking is not healthy for us, and more importantly it is not Godly behavior.

John writes beginning in verse 13:

“They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind.Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.” 

The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.”His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 

So a 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.” He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again?” - John 9:13-27.

So they not only interrogate the once blind man, they also interrogate his parents to try to find anything they could use against Jesus.

This is a sad example of how some will take the beautiful works of Jesus and try to twist them around for personal gain. Jesus wants us to look for the beauty in life and to appreciate what God is doing for us.  He wants us to obey His commandments, and to trust God's plan.

We will conclude today's lesson with a look at two scriptures.  Both scriptures are taken from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  These scriptures remind us of the positive attitudes that God wants us to have.  As Christians, we have a lot to be positive about!  When we obey God and follow His plan for our lives, we will be blessed and all will fall into place.  

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” – Philippians 2:14.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.

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Virtual Bible Study

Does anybody have a testimony they would be willing to share about a time when they obeyed God's commandments and were blessed?

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Virtual Bible Study

Does anybody have a testimony they would be willing to share about a time when they obeyed God's commandments and were blessed?

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John

I think it takes work to try and stay positive. Almost like a muscle. If we haven't "worked" on being positive much, it is harder for us to do it. But if we get in the habit of looking for the positives in life, we will do it more and more.

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