Freedom House Church and Healing Centre

"We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day;

night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4)


Hello Saints,

John 9 has always fascinated me. It is filled with conflict and theological angst. The scene is Jerusalem after the Feast of Tabernacles, a great Jewish celebration which started back in chapter 7. Opposition from the Pharisees is mounting as Jesus continues to reveal who He really is and why He was sent by the Father. The tension between the religious leaders and Jesus climaxes at the end of chapter 8 after Jesus declares His divinity, “before Abraham was born, I Am” (8:58). They knew exactly what Jesus was saying and they were furious; they wanted to stone Him to death right there on the spot, in the temple. Jesus stealthily walked out of the temple. As Jesus walks away from this angry religious mob, remarkably, unconcerned by those who hate Him, He actually takes time to see a blind man and minister healing to Him. It was the Sabbath (9:14) when Jesus performed the healing, which even further angered the blind spiritual guides.  Jesus can’t win with these guys! The religious will always be offended by true Christianity – loving God and loving people – the letter kills but the Spirit gives life! The scene brings out the heart and theology of the disciples: Jesus sees a poor blind man, blind from birth, and an opportunity to bring the Kingdom of God into this destitute person’s life. The disciples, steeped in theological brainwashing immediately default to, “who is to blame for his condition, him or his parents?” See, the thought is somebody did something wrong and that’s why the man is blind – religion wants to heap condemnation and accusation on people, and true Christianity wants to bring healing and freedom to people; wants to bring restoration and life! We should really pause at this point and ask ourselves, “what do I represent; to what doctrine do I adhere? Am I prone to judge people who are experiencing life challenges; am I quick to find fault?” I think if we are honest, many times we are more like the disciples looking to blame, than like Jesus looking to set free! The stuff I hear Christians say!!! The stuff I hear myself say!!!! Lord have mercy! Like the religious of the day, we think we have God all figured out: He operates by the retribution principle – He punishes the wrongdoer, and necessarily, I must be doing good, cause I don’t have what that person is experiencing. Religious pride can be so ugly.

Jesus, the teacher, who is even patient with the slow of learning, sets His disciples straight saying, “guys, nobody sinned, this is all about God getting glory – it’s about God doing a great miracle in this man’s life by giving a man born blind an opportunity to see; it’s about revealing Jesus to the world.” Even further, Jesus brings it right home for the disciples – the New Living Translation best expresses it: “…He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent Me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end” (John 9:3-4). What is Jesus saying? He is transferring His mission of preaching and demonstrating the kingdom of God to His disciples. In other words…the church that Jesus has assembled and built is to carry on His mission of making Him known by doing what He said and did “"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father (John 14:12). In one quick moment, Jesus has clearly revealed the difference between religion and following Jesus – religion heaps condemnation on people and leaves them in their pitiful condition, but true Jesus followers bring freedom to people, both physical and spiritual. Jesus followers preach the good news and set captives free, with signs and wonders following. Those who believe in His name will not only preach with words, but the word preached will be confirmed with the power of God! (Mark 16:14-20). Again, we need to ask ourselves, “is that the way I live my faith in Christ?” “Am I a religious rule preacher or a Jesus follower, living like He did, doing the works He wants me to do to bring glory to the Father? It is time for the church to get out of its cocoon, four walls, complacency, call it what you will and reveal the heart of God to the world – He has come to declare good news and release the captives, blind and oppressed (Luke 4:18).

By the way, let us not miss the urgency of the mission – “night is coming…the light of the world will not be around forever” (9:4-5). There is a day coming when it will be too late, and the Lord will return in judgment (9:39). Until that day, all the more as we see that day approaching rapidly, we ought to be “working” the works that Jesus gave us to do, calling people out of darkness into the light of Christ as Holy Spirit leads us. We ought to be the church, bold and free to preach the kingdom of God with signs and wonders following, offering all an opportunity to believe on the Savior of the world. Let us leave religion behind and enter into the work of the life-giving Spirit of God. “

Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near. (Heb. 10:24-25)


Have a fruitful week!

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