Prayer Focus:   Senegal, Seychelles,

Bible Reading:  John 7-9

Scripture –  

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?”Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

– John 9:1-11

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind.14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”  – John 9:13-17

24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

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

28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” John9: 24-30

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.  – John 9-24-38

Observation – So many wonderful stories and plots are in these books it is hard to focus on just one aspect.  But the one that calls out to me is the first part of John 9.  What we see here is the outline an unbeliever follows when coming to learn of Jesus and learning to be his disciple.  In John 9:11, the man only knew that “the man they call Jesus put some mud on my eyes.  In John 9:17, after learning a little more, the man now knew him as “a prophet”,.   In John 9:30, he knows that Jesus is not a sinner, and must be from God.  Finally when confronted with Jesus after the man was rejected by the Pharisees, the man believes and worships him.

Application –  As we discussed this morning at church, we are all in some manner on a continuum in our relationship to God and Jesus.  Some us openly reject him, some see him as a good teacher and moralist, some see him as a prophet of God, and some us see him as the SON OF GOD, that was, and is and always will be.  What is important is to realize where on that continuum those we deal with on a day to day basis are, those that we are called to disciple, those we hope to bring to Christ.  Only in that way can we find common ground to build a relationship and hope to lead them from strangers and enemies to friends.  I’ve been struggling lately, I was challenged a couple weeks ago at the M conference to Hug a Gay Person, Love a Commie, and Pray with an Islamic Person, in this way the Kingdom of God will be achieved.  The speaker, Bob Roberts from Northwood Church in Dallas, Texas was challenging us to love our neighbor, and to serve the sheep even as Jesus does.  We all have faults, we all have sinned and will sin again, but God made each and every one of us and it is HIS will that we reach them all.  Just as the blind beggar was brought to faith in Christ through the relationship and service he developed with “the man they call Jesus, ” we all as Christians need to cultivate relationships with our neighbors and find a way to make those we are acquainted with into the neighbors they actually are.

Prayer –  Lord help me to make a neighbor out of those I meet, help my to love the lost, have compassion for the afflicted, and grace for those that wrong me. Thank you Lord for loving us all, Open our Eyes Lord that we can see. Amen.