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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sharing What I See

Yesterday I promised to share what I see in John 9:1 - 34, that models a great approach to evangelism for us.
How does John 9 help us to share our faith?  Thoughts at DTTB.
John 9:1 – 7
If you read the chapter you know that Jesus puts clay on the blind man's eyes and tells him to go wash it off in the pool of Siloam.  He does and he is healed.

That starts a humorous chain of events, at least I think it is humorous…

John 9:8 – 12
The man comes back to the neighborhood, inciting a vigorous debate amongst the neighbors about who this person who looks, smells, talks, walks, and lives in the same house as their blind friend must be.  He certainly can’t be their blind friend, he can see after all.  After hearing his story they ask where the man who healed him is.  The man tells them what he knows, "I do not know."

John 9:13 – 17
For some reason perhaps alluded to in verse 14, the newly sighted man is brought before the Pharisees.  Why his neighbors thought that was a good idea is a mystery to me, but that is what they did.  The Pharisees are unable to connect how someone who heals on the Sabbath, which looks like work to them, could possibly heal on the Sabbath because that would be a sin and would prevent someone from healing on the Sabbath… makes my head hurt.

These great leaders and theologians decided to solve the problem by asking the man what he thought.  He threw out a guess… "He is a prophet."

John 9:18 – 23
Not satisfied with the theological perspective of one inferior in education and standing to their high position.  The Pharisees (whose logic in the paragraph above made my head hurt) thought it would clear things up to call in witness, the man’s parents, who were not present either when Jesus applied clay to the man’s eyes or when he washed in the pool.  They were pressed by the Pharisees to explain how their once blind son could now see.  Their answer, "Ask him."

John 9:24 – 34
Soooo… the Pharisees call the man back.  Now they turn up the pressure, telling him to give glory to God – that was a threat.  They ask again what Jesus did to open his eyes.

Think about this for a minute.  This man is sitting there, probably begging, the disciples initiate this by asking Christ a question.  Jesus, unbidden, puts clay on the guy’s eyes and tells him to go wash.  Now for the first time in his life he can see.  He has not seen the one who healed him.  All he knows is what happened.  Now the religious leaders are in a tizzy because this happened on the Sabbath.

So when they ask him what happened his response is essentially, "I already told you, weren't you listening?"  They tell him the problem is that they cannot know where Christ is from and then the best lines of the dialog:
Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.  We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.  Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.  If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.
The Pharisee’s response, "Oh, yeah!  Says you!"  It's in the original.  Since they can't argue with him they apply more logical fallacies and kick him out.

So What
So how does this instruct us?  The man never said more than he knew.  He shared what had happened to him.  When pressed he shared what he thought about what he knew.  No more.

That is all that we are required to do.  Share our experience, what we know, and what we think about it.  We pretty much do that all the time.  We do it when our friends ask us about movies we have seen, cars we drive, appliances, internet, cable…  We do it all the time.

Jesus just asks us to tell them about Him.

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