Donna Gaines teaches Lesson Seven during the Bellevue Women study "Glory Revealed."
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Glory Revealed – Week 7
I. Jesus healed the man born blind – John 9:1-12 Sign Six
Who sinned? “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).
Jesus did the work of the Father – “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world”(John 9:4-5).
“What emblem could better set forth the condition of mankind than a born-blind beggar? That men are blind, that they are born so, and that they are destitute and bankrupt, needing gold and white linen, and eye-salve, needs no proving. But amid all, He comes who is the Light of the world, and is able to give sight to the blind, and to the poor a share in his measureless wealth” (F. B. Meyer, The Works of F. B. Meyer, Vol. 2, Loc. 19049).
Jesus is ever drawn to the one who is seeking. Could it be that the beggar, unnoticed by the religious people of the day, heard their prayers, the reciting of the Psalms, and the worship of the people and was drawn to God? His heart had been awakened to faith and Jesus was in tune with his heart.
“He could feel though he could not see. So the Lord put clay on the eye-socket, awaking wonder, hope, expectation; and such was the ladder put down for his faith to climb up into the light” (F. B. Meyer, The Works of F. B. Meyer, Vol. 2, Loc. 19085).
II. Religion blinds and binds – John 9:13-34
The Pharisees started from the premise that Jesus was a sinner. Consequently what was of utmost importance to them was the fact that He had broken the rules of the Sabbath. They totally dismissed the healing because their eyes were blinded by their religion.
The blind man started with the miracle. His reasoning was that only someone from God could perform such a miracle, so he must be a prophet.
We must first believe, to see. Spiritual sight is given only to those with faith. We must “walk by faith and not by sight”. Believing changes our perspective.
How do you account for the different perspectives of the 12 spies in the Numbers 13-14? Ten came back with a bad report and only two had a good report. The ten saw through eyes of unbelief. Consequently they were bound to the natural. They saw the cities with the fortified walls. They saw the giants and were terrified.
Joshua and Caleb believed God. Thus, they saw a land flowing with milk and honey. They also saw the cities and the giants, but were assured that God was giving them the land. They said, “Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them” (Numbers 14:9).
Believing is seeing! There is no spiritual sight without faith.
III. Jesus seeks the outcast – John 9:35-41
“The man evidently recognizes the voice, for he clearly knows that Jesus is his benefactor, though up till now he has not seen Him” (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, p. 494).
My mother’s mother married her husband and inherited a handicapped son and mother-in-law. My grandfather’s first wife died in childbirth. Their son William was born blind and never walked. My mother was one of ten children. They lived on a farm and always had fresh milk and plenty of food. I remember as a child visiting my grandmother’s home when William and my great-grandmother were still living. Having been blind all of his life, William was able to recognize people by their voice. He could also recognize you by your footsteps. It always amazed me that he was able to identify whoever was walking down the hall and call us by name.
IV. Jesus is the Good Shepherd – John 10:1-6
This scene takes place in the presence of the man born blind who can now see and the Pharisees with whom Jesus had just been conversing. “Because the Pharisees are blind leaders, they are also bogus shepherds and come under the category of those listed in vs. 8 thieves and robbers” (Tyndale, NT Commentaries, The Gospel According to St. John, p. 128).
He leads them out and goes before them - His sheep know His voice. The sheep are completely dependent upon the Shepherd. The Shepherd protects, leads, feeds and shelters the sheep. He knows them by name. He inspects each one individually as he leads them into the sheepfold before nightfall.
Ezekiel 34; Psalm 23
“The shepherd is Jesus himself; he is pictured as coming to the Jewish fold and calling his disciples out. One of them, indeed, had just been pushed out; others had come out already and yet others would come out before long. The members of the religious establishment could not communicate with the man who had been blind any more than he could communicate with them; to him their voice was ‘the voice of strangers’. But when the true shepherd of Israel found him and spoke to him, he responded to him at once” (F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John, p. 224-225).
When the shepherd called the sheep out of the fold, what protection did they have? They had only what the shepherd provided. That is why it was so important that they stay close to Him.
“You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4).
V. Jesus is the Door – John 10:7-9
“I am the Door of the sheep” (John 10:7).
Jesus is the only way to the Father. We must enter through the Door. After inspecting the sheep and making sure each one is safely inside the sheepfold, the Shepherd lies down across the opening. Nothing will go in or come out without going through Him. The Shepherd is the Door.
“I am the way, and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
Illustration about the beggar man in China, by Anne Graham Lotz in, The Greatest Story, p. 219-220.