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May 9, 2003

Remember what happened to ...?

1 Samuel 6:6
Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?

The background of this passage is that the Ark of the Covenant has been captured by the Philistines (under's Saul's first year of being King). Since bring it into thier land they have been plagued bu god. The leaders called for thier priests and mystics to determine what should be done to remove this curse. Thier conclusion - send the Ark back to Israel. And thier reasoning for such action is stated in the verse above.

How interesting that hundreds of years after the fact, the stroy of God's deliverance of His people is still known in the region. The Exodus was not only an event that affected Israel, but the nations of the area. God established a precedent of how He would care for His own. Even these pagen "wise men" were able to discern that the God of Israel was greater than their gods. And they warned thier leaders to learn a lesson from the Egyptians or thier fate would be similar.

Nothing is more impacting than the testimony of God's intervention on behalf of His peole. I want my life to be a witness to the nations of God's power at work in my life, my family, our church, and the Body of Christ as a whole. Even if those around me do not choose to serve my God, let them undenably recognize His favor and power at work in my life as a testimony to His greatness.

October 13, 2010

Believe (in) Me

John 9:25 (NKJV)
25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

John 10:40-42 (NKJV)
40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about his Man were true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.

OBSERVATION
Chapter 9 begins with the story of the blind man at the pool of Siloam. So many interesting sub-plots: Is infirmity a result of sin (v2)? Does keeping the Law make one righteous (v16)? Lots of interaction between the religious establishment and Jesus about His blasphemous actions. All of this is muted by the testimony of the formerly blind man in v25: “I was blind, now I see.” I love the sarcasm of his later comment, when being grilled by the Pharisees he wearies of their questions and says, “Why do you want to hear it (my story) again? Do you also want to become His disciples?” (v27).

After all this, v35 says that Jesus went looking for the man he had healed, and asked him, “Do you believe?” The man responds with “Who is He, that I may believe in him?” And Jesus gives a great response: “You have both seen Him (funny to say to a man who was formerly blind) and it is He who is talking to you.”

From here, we follow Jesus as he returns to the Jordan River region (Aenon near Salim – see 3:23) where John the Baptist had been ministering. By now, John had been in prison, having had his own crisis of faith (see Luke 7:18-28, also, John had likely been martyred by this time – see Matthew 14:1-12). Jesus confirms his messiahship by telling John’s disciples to give this report to John: “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: the blind see…” John the Baptist’s testimony of the Christ (John 1:29,32-34) continued to carry weight, as 10:40-42 reports, and because of these things, many believed.

APPLICATION
There is nothing more powerful than an individual’s story of who Jesus is to them: The blind man who says, “I was blind, now I see,” the prophet whose doubts are alleviated when his words are confirmed. Yet us “religious folk” always want to explain things away when it doesn’t fit in our box. There’s even a segment of the Church today whose theology makes no room for the power of God to be demonstrated in tangible ways simply because they’ve deemed it unnecessary in this “dispensation.” I’m not here to argue nuances. I can only say that I too was “blind” at one time. I can only say that I had doubts about what I believed and questions about in Whom had placed my hope. I look to Jesus’ words in 10:37-38: “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him.”

PRAYER
Lord, I believe in Whom I’ve seen and in Whose voice I hear.

About Evangelism

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Evangelism category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disciplines is the previous category.

Faith is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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