Hello Project Ezra! Sorry for the late posting this week. I pray that you will still have time to consider and meditate on John chapter 9 this week prior to heading out to the street to share God’s word publically. John 9 deals with the man born blind, who was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath. Throughout the passage we see the contrast between the man healed of his blindness and the men who searched for whatever excuse they could find to remain blind. The blind beggar knew that he could see, and that something miraculous and supernatural had happened in his healing, so miraculous that it had to be of God. But as is often the case with our fallen race, the Pharisees looked for excuses to deny its truth. They doubted that he had actually been blind, they denied he was telling the truth, they attacked his credibility by accusing him of sin, and then they did the same to Jesus. But in the end, it was their own credibility that was shown false, because the formerly blind man, which the community knew well, could still see.
Most people we will meet when sharing the gospel are willfully blind, like the Pharisees. Though it is true that we can’t see apart from the Spirit working in our hearts, it is also true that we choose and cling to our blindness. Only through a direct and powerful work of God, through the Holy Spirit, can the heart be changed and eyes opened. So not only do we need to confront people on their blindness, but we need to pray that the Spirit will open their eyes to His truth, and will take their heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Our evangelism must always start with, end in, and be soaked throughout with prayer. Without the power of God, anything we say will be useless, and those we preach to will remain blind and deaf. So let’s pray that God changes hearts and minds, and opens ears and eyes this weekend.
All for His glory,
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND THE GROUP
READ JOHN 9
This passage talks about a man who received his sight, and about a group of men who chose to remain blind.
In our day, like in theirs, many people choose to remain spiritually blind. And you may be one of them
People can and are blinded by many things
Some are blinded by religious observance and self-righteousness, which convinces them they are already in good standing with God
Some are blinded by worldly lusts, which convince them that the pleasures of the flesh are worth more than the holiness of God.
Some are blinded by a desire for control and autonomy, wanting their own freedom at all costs, though that freedom is a mirage.
Many will say, as the church of Laodicea did, that they are rich, that they have prospered, and need nothing, not realizing that they are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:15-17)
Whichever describes you, it is likely that you are willfully blind to the truth that is right in front of you, just as the Pharisees were.
They had seen, and by their own words had to acknowledge, that a miraculous sign had taken place in the healing of the man born blind
Yet they searched for ways to marginalize the miracle and cast doubt on Jesus and on His power in working it.
Jesus said “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
Are you doing the same thing?
We live in a creation that screams out that there is a creator
The beauty and complexity of our world could only have been created by an intelligent and loving God
And we all live with a God-given conscience that cries out against our willful sins every day.
USE THE LAW TO BRING CONVICTION OF SIN. FOCUS ON THE FACT THAT WE ALL KNOW WHEN WE SIN AND CHOOSE TO SUPPRESS THAT TRUTH IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. OUR BLINDNESS IS WILLFUL.
Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
And because of our willful sin, we are deserving of God’s judgment and wrath, which will be carried out in a real place called hell.
You may choose to deny both judgment and hell. But your beliefs can not change reality, no matter how strong those beliefs are.
But if you will humble yourself before God, and open your eyes to His truth, you can be saved from the terrors of hell, and from God’s righteous judgment.
You can be saved if you are born again, by the Spirit of God
Jesus said “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
We are born again, by God’s Spirit, through repentance and faith.
Repentance is turning from sin. It is not perfection, but a change in our direction, a turning from the sins we love, but which God hates.
Faith in Christ alone means abandoning any hope of meeting God’s standard by our own merits, and trusting in Christ’s perfect life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection as our only hope for a right standing before God.
Have you done that? Have you repented and trusted Christ alone?
Or do you continue in your blindness, denying God, or trusting in your own goodness to save you?
I pray that today you will cry out to God to save you. And I pray that He will do just that.
Then you will be able to say, with the hymn writer
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see!