Welcome back to Bible study! Last week we took a little detour in honor of Holy Week. God wants His people to wake up! We have much to learn during these uncertain days. We have become a very sleepy and over-indulged society. God wants us coming back to simple things that connects us more deeply.
God’s desire for us is to regain clear vision. The best antidote for cloudy eyesight is with truth, His truth. Thus, we study His Word. Let’s begin by recapping where we left off two weeks ago. We had studied John 9:1-16. Jesus healed a blind man.
God is causing a wiping of the eyes to be taking place during this global pandemic. We would all benefit if we asked God for 2020 vision. A tremendous healing would take place!
The healing of the blind man caused many people to question Jesus. Many were amazed at the kind of power He had to heal someone who was born blind. We ended the study with even the Pharisees having trouble believing what they were seeing. The Pharisees claimed that Jesus is not God while others saw Him as an ordinary sinner, like themselves. This caused a deep division of opinion about Him.
2,000 years later, Jesus is still causing deep division. This proves that God is real and we would be wise to listen to Him! Read John 9:17-41 for today’s study lesson. We will see the process of how Jesus takes us from our blindness to seeing clearly. We will see how there are three steps God takes us through so we can obtain 2020 vision.
We start out with seeing how the Pharisees struggled with understanding Jesus. They remain stuck in their pre-conceived ideas of who the Messiah should be. Jesus wasn’t fitting into their thought process.
QUESTION: What did the Pharisees do to show they refused to believe Jesus? Look at verses 18-23.
Aren’t we the same as the Pharisees? When we don’t want to believe the words of Christ, we keep searching elsewhere for answers. We look everywhere else but up to God and down into the scriptures. We seek the opinions of others before seeking Christ. We read self-help books before the Bible. This is what causes us to have cloudy vision. And we see how fear can cause even the man’s own parents to throw him under the bus. They let their son stand alone to defend himself.
QUESTION: How did the Pharisees respond in verses 24-29?
In these six verses, we see the battle that goes on between believing Jesus and following religion. The Pharisees understand how God should receive glory. This is true but they are missing that Jesus is whom they have been waiting for. He isn’t fitting what they envisioned. He is going against what they have been taught from Moses. Again, they are trusting their own thinking and reasoning. This man named Jesus was disrupting their religious ways of pleasing God.
GO DEEPER IN SCRIPTURE: How can Proverbs 3:5-7 help you with your own preconceived ideas of Jesus Christ? Read Hebrews 8:6-13 to learn how Jesus is the new covenant that God is giving to mankind. The Pharisees were living in the old covenant.
QUESTION: How did the healed man cause the Pharisees to curse him, see verses 27-28? This causes me to chuckle.
When someone doesn’t want to hear Truth, they lie, argue, show anger and/or get defensive. As we continue studying how the man tries to explain what he knows, the Pharisees throw him out of the synagogue. They weren’t about to be schooled by some man who has been blind since birth. Another trait of someone who doesn’t want to see and hear Truth is arrogant pride.
Let’s look at the three steps a person goes through to receive 2020 vision from God. Step one: we need to believe. Look at verse 17. The Pharisees asked his opinion about Jesus. “I think He must be a prophet”, the man said. He has the understanding that there is something bigger than himself. Jesus healing his sight caused him to look up and wonder more deeply. I believe that he came from a family that worshiped God religiously so he had knowledge of religious things.
QUESTION: Jesus is all around, wooing us to Himself. Has He got your attention? What do you see that makes you know that you should look up?
Step two: acknowledging what you know about God. The man understood that God is ready to hear those who worship Him and obey what He has called them to do. He also understood that God has opened the eyes of the blind since the beginning of time. Reread verses 30-33.
QUESTION: What do you know about God? What have you been taught?
If you have not been taught, I have great news! Today is your lucky day! You may not have grown up in a church, but God has been revealing Himself to you from the moment you were born. Look at nature, His creation screams how real He is. God is everywhere and He is waiting for EVERYONE to see like this blind man.
Step three: look at verses 35-38, Jesus went and found the man. Isn’t this awesome? Jesus seeks each of us out! Do not miss this. JESUS IS SEEKING YOU OUT RIGHT NOW!
QUESTION: What did Jesus ask him in verse 35?
Notice how he answered Christ. He did not fully understand who he was talking to by how he responded. Don’t miss this this point either, God is not deterred by our lack of understanding. Again, we see faithfulness and grace by the One who loves us more than we love ourselves.
QUESTION: What was the man’s desire in verse 36? And how did Jesus respond, see 37?
I wish you could see the happy dance that is going on in my head as I type this lesson out for you! This is so unbelievably great! Do not miss this! Jesus tells a person who desires to see clearly, “You have seen Him and He is speaking to you!” God will make Himself clearly known to you! You will know without a shadow of a doubt when He is with you. Boom! Our hearts are complete!
Let’s do a little math lesson as we recap the three steps. 1. Believe that God exists + 2. Notice how the hand of God is all around you + 3. Have the desire or thirst to see Jesus = HE WILL REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU! And this my friends, is why we are here. We were born for such a time as this. To be known by God’s Son, the Lover of our souls!
IMPORTANT QUESTION: What was the man’s response in verse 38?
Here is where many stop in their faith journeys. Here is where many settle for Jesus as Savior only. “Oh good, I’m going heaven when I die. Until then, I am to make the most of what this world offers me right now.”
But Jesus did NOT come to be our savior only. He came to be our Lord as well. We are to follow Him. We are to worship Him in all areas of our lives. Seeing Him only as savior makes us like the Pharisees. Seeing Jesus as savior only places us in the same arena as Satan. Satan believes but we know he will not be in heaven. Why? He does not obey God.
GO DEEPER IN SCRIPTURE: Read Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-19 to read the demise of Satan. To retaliate against God, Satan has been deceiving man to not follow Him. Also read Matthew 7:13-14.
QUESTION: What else did Jesus say to the man in verse 39?
Normally, Jesus answers straight-forward when people ask questions. This time He leaves the Pharisees with a twist. See verses 40-41.
QUESTION: What do you think Jesus means? What is He wanting you to understand?
Jesus is wanting all of us to walk around with 2020 vision. On our own, we are blind. We need Him, desperately. Let’s make 2020 the year where we see clearly.