An Explanation of Lessons from Lent
In the next 40 days (26 now because you have already accomplished fourteen), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.
I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.
I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.
I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.
That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.
So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?
At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.
I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!
March 6, 2015 ~~ John 6-9
Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.
After this, Jesus went to the farther side of the Sea of Galilee—that is, the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great crowd was following Him because they had seen the signs (miracles) which He [continually] performed upon those who were sick. 3 And Jesus walked up the mountainside and sat down there with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was approaching. 5 Jesus looked up then, and seeing that a vast multitude was coming toward Him, He said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread, so that all these people may eat? 6 But He said this to prove (test) him, for He well knew what He was about to do. 7 Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennies’ (forty dollars) worth of bread is not enough that everyone may receive even a little.
8 Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 There is a little boy here, who has [with him] five barley loaves, and two small fish; but what are they among so many people? 10 Jesus said, Make all the people recline (sit down). Now the ground (a pasture) was covered with thick grass at the spot, so the men threw themselves down, about 5,000 in number.
11 Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed [a]to the disciples and the disciples to the reclining people; so also [He did] with the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they had all had enough, He said to His disciples, Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces that are left over), so that nothing may be lost and wasted. 13 So accordingly they gathered them up, and they filled twelve [[b]small hand] baskets with fragments left over by those who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
14 When the people saw the sign (miracle) that Jesus had performed, they began saying, Surely and beyond a doubt this is the Prophet Who is to come into the world! 15 Then Jesus, knowing that they meant to come and seize Him that they might make Him king, withdrew again to the hillside by Himself alone.
16 When evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 And they took a boat and were going across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and still Jesus had not [yet] come back to them. 18 Meanwhile, the sea was getting rough and rising high because of a great and violent wind that was blowing. 19 [However] when they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and approaching the boat. And they were afraid (terrified). 20 But Jesus said to them, It is I; be not afraid! [I Am; stop being frightened!] 21 Then they were quite willing and glad for Him to come into the boat. And now the boat went at once to the land they had steered toward. [And immediately they reached the shore toward which they had been slowly making their way.]
22 The next day the crowd [that still remained] standing on the other side of the sea realized that there had been only one small boat there, and that Jesus had not gone into it with His disciples, but that His disciples had gone away by themselves. 23 But now some other boats from Tiberias had come in near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 So the people, finding that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, themselves got into the small boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the lake, they said to Him, Rabbi! When did You come here? 26 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied.
27 Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes [in the using], but strive and work and produce rather for the [lasting] food which endures [continually] unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him. 28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]
29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].
30 Therefore they said to Him, What sign (miracle, wonderwork) will [c]You perform then, so that we may see it and believe and rely on and adhere to You? What [supernatural] work have You [to show what You can do]? 31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as the Scripture says, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.
32 Jesus then said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven [what Moses gave you was not the Bread from heaven], but it is My Father Who gives you the true heavenly Bread. 33 For the Bread of God is He Who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. 34 Then they said to Him, Lord, give us this bread always (all the time)!
35 Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time). 36 But [as] I told you, although you have seen Me, still you do not believe and trust and have faith. 37 All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].
38 For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will and purpose but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me. 39 And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should not lose any of all that He has given Me, but that I should give new life and raise [them all] up at the last day. 40 For this is My Father’s will and His purpose, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.
41 Now the Jews murmured and found fault with and grumbled about Jesus because He said, I am [Myself] the Bread that came down from heaven. 42 They kept asking, Is not this Jesus, the [d]Son of Joseph, Whose father and mother we know? How then can He say, I have come down from heaven?
43 So Jesus answered them, Stop grumbling and saying things against Me to one another. 44 No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day. 45 It is written in [the book of] the Prophets, And they shall all be taught of God [have Him in person for their Teacher]. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me—
46 Which does not imply that anyone has seen the Father [not that anyone has ever seen Him] except He [Who was with the Father] Who comes from God; He [alone] has seen the Father. 47 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, relies on, and has faith in Me] has (now possesses) eternal life.
48 I am the Bread of Life [that gives life—the Living Bread].
49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and [yet] they died. 50 [But] this is the Bread that comes down from heaven, so that [any]one may eat of it and never die. 51 I [Myself] am this Living Bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever; and also the Bread that I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh (body).
52 Then the Jews angrily contended with one another, saying, How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?
53 And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood]. 54 He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has (possesses now) eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true and genuine food, and My blood is true and genuine drink. 56 He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood dwells continually in Me, and I [in like manner dwell continually] in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live by (through, because of) the Father, even so whoever continues to feed on Me [whoever takes Me for his food and is nourished by Me] shall [in his turn] live through and because of Me. 58 This is the Bread that came down from heaven. It is not like the manna which our forefathers ate, and yet died; he who takes this Bread for his food shall live forever.
59 He said these things in a synagogue while He was teaching at Capernaum. 60 When His disciples heard this, many of them said, This is a hard and difficult and strange saying (an offensive and unbearable message). Who can stand to hear it? [Who can be expected to listen to such teaching?]
61 But Jesus, knowing within Himself that His disciples were complaining and protesting and grumbling about it, said to them: Is this a stumbling block and an offense to you? [Does this upset and displease and shock and scandalize you?] 62 What then [will be your reaction] if you should see the Son of Man ascending to [the place] where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life. 64 But [still] some of you fail to believe and trust and have faith. For Jesus knew from the first who did not believe and had no faith and who would betray Him and be false to Him. 65 And He said, This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him [unless he is enabled to do so] by the Father.
66 After this, many of His disciples drew back (returned to their old associations) and no longer accompanied Him.
67 Jesus said to the Twelve, Will you also go away? [And do you too desire to leave Me?] 68 Simon Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (the message) of eternal life. 69 And we have learned to believe and trust, and [more] we have come to know [surely] that You are the Holy One of God, the Christ (the Anointed One), the Son of the living God. 70 Jesus answered them, Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And [yet] one of you is a devil (of the evil one and a false accuser). 71 He was speaking of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for he was about to betray Him, [although] he was one of the Twelve.
After this, Jesus went from place to place in Galilee, for He would not travel in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.
2 Now the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was drawing near. 3 So His brothers said to Him, Leave here and go into Judea, so that [a]Your disciples [there] may also see the works that You do. [This is no place for You.] 4 For no one does anything in secret when he wishes to be conspicuous and secure publicity. If You [must] do these things [if You must act like this], show Yourself openly and make Yourself known to the world! 5 For [even] His brothers did not believe in or adhere to or trust in or rely on Him either.
6 Whereupon Jesus said to them, My time (opportunity) has not come yet; but any time is suitable for you and your opportunity is ready any time [is always here]. 7 The world cannot [be expected to] hate you, but it does hate Me because I denounce it for its wicked works and reveal that its doings are evil. 8 Go to the Feast yourselves. I am not [yet] going up to the Festival, because My time is not ripe. [My term is not yet completed; it is not time for Me to go.]
9 Having said these things to them, He stayed behind in Galilee.
10 But afterward, when His brothers had gone up to the Feast, He went up also, not publicly [not with a caravan], but by Himself quietly and as if He did not wish to be observed. 11 Therefore the Jews kept looking for Him at the Feast and asking, Where can He be? [Where is that Fellow?] 12 And there was among the mass of the people much whispered discussion and hot disputing about Him. Some were saying, He is good! [He is a good Man!] Others said, No, He misleads and deceives the people [gives them false ideas]! 13 But no one dared speak out boldly about Him for fear of [the leaders of] the Jews.
14 When the Feast was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple [[b]court] and began to teach. 15 The Jews were astonished. They said, How is it that this Man has learning [is so versed in the sacred Scriptures and in theology] when He has never studied? 16 Jesus answered them by saying, My teaching is not My own, but His Who sent Me. 17 If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority.
18 He who speaks on his own authority seeks to win honor for himself. [He whose teaching originates with himself seeks his own glory.] But He Who seeks the glory and is eager for the honor of Him Who sent Him, He is true; and there is no unrighteousness or falsehood or deception in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the Law? And yet not one of you keeps the Law. [If that is the truth] why do you seek to kill Me [for not keeping it]? 20 The crowd answered Him, You are possessed by a demon! [You are raving!] Who seeks to kill You?
21 Jesus answered them, I did one work, and you all are astounded. 22 Now Moses established circumcision among you—though it did not originate with Moses but with the previous patriarchs—and you circumcise a person [even] on the Sabbath day. 23 If, to avoid breaking the Law of Moses, a person undergoes circumcision on the Sabbath day, have you any cause to be angry with (indignant with, bitter against) Me for making a man’s whole body well on the Sabbath? 24 Be honest in your judgment and do not decide at a glance (superficially and by appearances); but judge fairly and righteously.
25 Then some of the Jerusalem people said, Is not this the Man they seek to kill? 26 And here He is speaking openly, and they say nothing to Him! Can it be possible that the rulers have discovered and know that this is truly the Christ? 27 No, we know where this Man comes from; when the Christ arrives, no one is to know from what place He comes.
28 Whereupon Jesus called out as He taught in the temple [[c]porches], Do you know Me, and do you know where I am from? I have not come on My own authority and of My own accord and as self-appointed, but the One Who sent Me is true (real, genuine, steadfast); and Him you do not know! 29 I know Him [Myself] because I come from His [very] presence, and it was He [personally] Who sent Me.
30 Therefore they were eager to arrest Him, but no one laid a hand on Him, for His hour (time) had not yet come. 31 And besides, many of the multitude believed in Him [adhered to Him, trusted in Him, relied on Him]. And they kept saying, When the Christ comes, will He do [can He be expected to do] more miracles and produce more proofs and signs than what this Man has done?
32 The Pharisees learned how the people were saying these things about Him under their breath; and the chief priests and Pharisees sent attendants (guards) to arrest Him. 33 Therefore Jesus said, For a little while I am [still] with you, and then I go back to Him Who sent Me. 34 You will look for Me, but you will not [be able to] find Me; where I am, you cannot come.
35 Then the Jews said among themselves, Where does this Man intend to go that we shall not find Him? Will He go to the Jews who are scattered in the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What does this statement of His mean, You will look for Me and not be able to find Me, and, Where I am, you cannot come?
37 Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! 38 He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. 39 But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).
40 Listening to those words, some of the multitude said, This is certainly and beyond doubt the Prophet! 41 Others said, This is the Christ (the Messiah, Anointed One)! But some said, What? Does the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Does not the Scripture tell us that the Christ will come from the offspring of David and from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?
43 So there arose a division and dissension among the people concerning Him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one [ventured and] laid hands on Him.
45 Meanwhile the attendants (guards) had gone back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, Why have you not brought Him here with you? 46 The attendants replied, Never has a man talked as this Man talks! [No mere man has ever spoken as He speaks!] 47 The Pharisees said to them, Are you also deluded and led astray? [Are you also swept off your feet?] 48 Has any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 As for this multitude (rabble) that does not know the Law, they are contemptible and doomed and accursed!
50 Then Nicodemus, who came to Jesus before at night and was one of them, asked, 51 Does our Law convict a man without giving him a hearing and finding out what he has done? 52 They answered him, Are you too from Galilee? Search [the Scriptures yourself], and you will see that no prophet comes (will rise to prominence) from Galilee. 53 [d]And they went [back], each to his own house.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Early in the morning (at dawn), He came back into the temple [[a]court], and the people came to Him in crowds. He sat down and was teaching them, 3 When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the middle of the court and put the case before Him. 4 Teacher, they said, This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. 5 Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such [women—offenders] shall be stoned to death. But what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?
6 This they said to try (test) Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. 7 However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. 8 Then He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger.
9 They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court. 10 When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? 11 She answered, No one, Lord! And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.
12 Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.
13 Whereupon the Pharisees told Him, You are testifying on Your own behalf; Your testimony is not valid and is worthless. 14 Jesus answered, Even if I do testify on My own behalf, My testimony is true and reliable and valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You [set yourselves up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You condemn by external, human standards.] I do not [set Myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone. 16 Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true [My decision is right]; for I am not alone [in making it], but [there are two of Us] I and the Father, Who sent Me. 17 In your [own] Law it is written that the testimony (evidence) of two persons is reliable and valid. 18 I am One [of the Two] bearing testimony concerning Myself; and My Father, Who sent Me, He also testifies about Me. 19 Then they said to Him, Where is this [b]Father of Yours? Jesus answered, You know My Father as little as you know Me. If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.
20 Jesus said these things in the treasury while He was teaching in the temple [[c]court]; but no one ventured to arrest Him, because His hour had not yet come. 21 Therefore He said again to them, I am going away, and you will be looking for Me, and you will die in (under the curse of) your sin. Where I am going, it is not possible for you to come.
22 At this the Jews began to ask among themselves, Will He kill Himself? Is that why He says, Where I am going, it is not possible for you to come?
23 He said to them, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world (of this earthly order); I am not of this world. 24 That is why I told you that you will die in (under the curse of) your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Whom I claim to be—if you do not adhere to, trust in, and rely on Me], you will die in your sins.
25 Then they said to Him, Who are You anyway? Jesus replied, [Why do I even speak to you!] I am exactly what I have been telling you from the first. 26 I have much to say about you and to judge and condemn. But He Who sent Me is true (reliable), and I tell the world [only] the things that I have heard from Him.
27 They did not perceive (know, understand) that He was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus added, When you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will realize (know, understand) that I am He [for Whom you look] and that I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me. 29 And He Who sent Me is ever with Me; My Father has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.
30 As He said these things, many believed in Him [trusted, relied on, and adhered to Him]. 31 So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
33 They answered Him, We are Abraham’s offspring (descendants) and have never been in bondage to anybody. What do You mean by saying, You will be set free? 34 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin. 35 Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever. 36 So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.
37 [Yes] I know that you are Abraham’s offspring; yet you plan to kill Me, because My word has no entrance (makes no progress, does not find any place) in you. 38 I tell the things which I have seen and learned at My Father’s side, and your actions also reflect what you have heard and learned from your father. 39 They retorted, Abraham is our father. Jesus said, If you were [truly] Abraham’s children, then you would do the works of Abraham [follow his example, do as Abraham did]. 40 But now [instead] you are wanting and seeking to kill Me, a Man Who has told you the truth which I have heard from God. This is not the way Abraham acted. 41 You are doing the works of your [own] father. They said to Him, We are not illegitimate children and born out of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me and respect Me and welcome Me gladly, for I proceeded (came forth) from God [out of His very presence]. I did not even come on My own authority or of My own accord (as self-appointed); but He sent Me. 43 Why do you misunderstand what I say? It is because you are unable to hear what I am saying. [You cannot bear to listen to My message; your ears are shut to My teaching.] 44 You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me [do not trust Me, do not rely on Me, or adhere to Me].
46 Who of you convicts Me of wrongdoing or finds Me guilty of sin? Then if I speak truth, why do you not believe Me [trust Me, rely on, and adhere to Me]? 47 Whoever is of God listens to God. [Those who belong to God hear the words of God.] This is the reason that you do not listen [to those words, to Me]: because you do not belong to God and are not of God or in harmony with Him.
48 The Jews answered Him, Are we not right when we say You are a Samaritan and that You have a demon [that You are under the power of an evil spirit]? 49 Jesus answered, I am not possessed by a demon. On the contrary, I honor and reverence My Father and you dishonor (despise, vilify, and scorn) Me. 50 However, I am not in search of honor for Myself. [I do not seek and am not aiming for My own glory.] There is One Who [looks after that; He] seeks [My glory], and He is the Judge. 51 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone observes My teaching [lives in accordance with My message, keeps My word], he will by no means ever see and experience death.
52 The Jews said to Him, Now we know that You are under the power of a demon ([d]insane). Abraham died, and also the prophets, yet You say, If a man keeps My word, he will never taste of death into all eternity. 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham? He died, and all the prophets died! Who do You make Yourself out to be?
54 Jesus answered, If I were to glorify Myself (magnify, praise, and honor Myself), I would have no real glory, for My glory would be nothing and worthless. [My honor must come to Me from My Father.] It is My Father Who glorifies Me [Who extols Me, magnifies, and praises Me], of Whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you do not know Him or recognize Him and are not acquainted with Him, but I know Him. If I should say that I do not know Him, I would be a liar like you. But I know Him and keep His word [obey His teachings, am faithful to His message]. 56 Your forefather Abraham was extremely happy at the hope and prospect of seeing My day (My incarnation); and he did see it and was delighted. 57 Then the Jews said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?
58 Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I Am.
59 So they took up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus, by mixing with the crowd, concealed Himself and went out of the temple [[e]enclosure].
As He passed along, He noticed a man blind from his birth.
2 His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? 3 Jesus answered, It was not that this man or his parents sinned, but he was born blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested (displayed and illustrated) in him. 4 We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight; night is coming on, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the world’s Light.
6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground and made clay (mud) with His saliva, and He spread it [as ointment] on the man’s eyes. 7 And He said to him, Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam—which means Sent. So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
8 When the neighbors and those who used to know him by sight as a beggar saw him, they said, Is not this the man who used to sit and beg? 9 Some said, It is he. Others said, No, but he looks very much like him. But he said, Yes, I am the man.
10 So they said to him, How were your eyes opened? 11 He replied, The Man called Jesus made mud and smeared it on my eyes and said to me, Go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and I obtained my sight! 12 They asked him, Where is He? He said, I do not know.
13 Then they conducted to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was on the Sabbath day that Jesus mixed the mud and opened the man’s eyes. 15 So now again the Pharisees asked him how he received his sight. And he said to them, He smeared mud on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.
16 Then some of the Pharisees said, This Man [Jesus] is not from God, because He does not observe the Sabbath. But others said, How can a man who is a sinner (a bad man) do such signs and miracles? So there was a difference of opinion among them. 17 Accordingly they said to the blind man again, What do you say about Him, seeing that He opened your eyes? And he said, He is [He must be] a prophet!
18 However, the Jews did not believe that he had [really] been blind and that he had received his sight until they called (summoned) the parents of the man.19 They asked them, Is this your son, whom you reported as having been born blind? How then does he see now? 20 His parents answered, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind. 21 But as to how he can now see, we do not know; or who has opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age. Ask him; let him speak for himself and give his own account of it.
22 His parents said this because they feared [the leaders of] the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should acknowledge Jesus to be the Christ, he should be expelled and excluded from the synagogue. 23 On that account his parents said, He is of age; ask him.
24 So the second time they summoned the man who had been born blind, and said to him, Now give God the glory (praise). This [a]Fellow we know is only a sinner (a wicked person). 25 Then he answered, I do not know whether He is a sinner and wicked or not. But one thing I do know, that whereas I was blind before, now I see.
26 So they said to him, What did He [actually] do to you? How did He open your eyes? 27 He answered, I already told you and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Can it be that you wish to become His disciples also? 28 And they stormed at him [they jeered, they sneered, they reviled him] and retorted, You are His disciple yourself, but we are the disciples of Moses. 29 We know for certain that God spoke with Moses, but as for this Fellow, we know nothing about where He hails from.
30 The man replied, Well, this is astonishing! Here a Man has opened my eyes, and yet you do not know where He comes from. [That is amazing!] 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and a worshiper of Him and does His will, He listens to him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He would not be able to do anything like this.
34 They retorted, You were wholly born in sin [from head to foot]; and do you [presume to] teach us? So they cast him out [threw him clear outside the synagogue].
35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and meeting him He said, Do you believe in and adhere to the Son of Man [b]or the Son of God? 36 He answered, Who is He, Sir? Tell me, that I may believe in and adhere to Him. 37 Jesus said to him, You have seen Him; [in fact] He is talking to you right now. 38 He called out, Lord, I believe! [I rely on, I trust, I cleave to You!] And he worshiped Him.
39 Then Jesus said, I came into this world for judgment [as a Separator, in order that there may be [c] separation between those who believe on Me and those who reject Me], to make the sightless see and to make those who see become blind.
40 Some Pharisees who were near, hearing this remark, said to Him, Are we also blind? 41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but because you now claim to have sight, your sin remains. [If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but because you insist, We do see clearly, you are unable to escape your guilt.]
And the Sisters spoke with one voice to raise the “Amen”
I love that so many of the people in the Gospels remain anonymous. Think about it for a minute. The woman who reaches out in faith, believing that if she can just touch even the hem of His garment she will be healed, is never given a name. Christ has her step out for the crowd so they get to know who she is but we don’t. Her faith is world renown but her identity is not.
The Samaritan woman at the well, the first one Christ clearly tells who He is, goes unnamed. She returns to her town with the message, “I’ve met the Messiah, come and see” and they know who she is, but not us. She brought many to meet Him—and the message still rings in our ears—but on this side of the page we’re not formally introduced.
And in the passages above, we have more . . . the little boy who gives his lunch on the mountain and sees it multiplied. . .the adulterous woman hauled before the crowd who hears the stones thud to the ground . . . the blind man who receives his sight and testifies to the goodness of Jesus.
I love their anonymity because while we may not know who they are there is no doubt who their Healer, their Restorer, their Redeemer, their Provider . . . . their Messiah is. He is the I AM.
And Beloved, isn’t the same true of you and I? Aren’t we known to a very small circle in this particular time but don’t we pray that the faith legacy we leave behind will touch people we never meet? Not because we want them to know who we are but because we want them to know who HE IS.
Isn’t it true that we want the events of our own lives . . .
- the moments when we reached for Jesus in faith . . .
- the times we shared with others “I found the Messiah, come and see” . . .
- the days we offered everything we had and Jesus did the miraculous thing on the mountain top . . .
- the instances when we wore His forgiveness so gratefully . . .
- and the times we testified “ I am blind but now I see” . . .
aren’t those things we want to live on?
Not so people know who we are but so they know who HE IS.
Let us be known not for our efforts but for the works of the Healer, the Restorer, the Redeemer . . . the Savior in our lives. Let the spotlight not fall on us but shine brightly on the Light of the World. And may the power of Who He IS, the glory of the Great I AM, the beauty of His Name be made known in our anonymity.
I was blind but now I see. Signed Anonymous . . . #lessonsfromlent