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Sunday, October 22, 2018

posted Oct 22, 2018, 5:16 PM by Site Administrator

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SO THAT THE WORK OF GOD MIGHT BE DISPLAYED IN HIS LIFE

 

John 9:1-7

Key Verse 9:3

 

Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

 

First, So that the work of God might be displayed in his life (1-3). Look at verses 1 and 2. As Jesus and His disciples were walking along, they came across one man who was born blind. Having been blind even from birth, this man had never seen the beautiful world that God had created. Simple things such as the blue sky on a sunny day, or glittering stars in the sky at night, were foreign and unknown to him. He could not see the beautiful colors of red roses, yellow tulips, purple violets, or white begonias. On the 4th of July this man could hear, but could not see the spectacular fireworks. When the disciples saw him, they felt that it was so unfair that all of the basic pleasures of life had been taken away from him not just for one day or one month, but for his life time even from his birth. Then, they naturally came to have a question, Why? Why was he born this way? It was not his own choice that he was born blind. There must be a reason, and the only reason they could think of was someone's sin, and according to their assumption, his blindness was God's curse. They asked Jesus, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?

 

This question is a real question all people have. There are many people who were born in a poor or dysfunctional family; some people were born in a country human rights were not honored, so they experienced untold pains and sorrows; even some people were born with physical disabilities, deprived of many basic privileges of life. Certainly, they did not choose to be born in that way. Why were they born in that way? By whose choice? And for what purpose? Usually, people avoid this kind of question, because they don't know the answer. Yet, what was Jesus' answer? Look at verse 3. Let us read this verse altogether: 

 

Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

 

Jesus said that this man’s suffering was not because he or his parents had sinned. He confirmed that this man’s condition was not because God was punishing him. In fact, Jesus taught that quite the opposite was true. In Jesus’ eyes, this man was not cursed, nor was God’s punishment being carried out on him, but rather this man was a chosen instrument of God to reveal God’s glory. God chose him even before he was born to be his special instrument, and God equipped him uniquely so that he would be able to reveal the work of God in his life very effectively. Suddenly, probably the most miserable man became a very great tool uniquely equipped and prepared to reveal the glory of God. In Jesus' eyes, this man was not a miserable or condemned man, but instead God’s chosen instrument. For example, if this man was to overcome the fatalistic element in his life to even praise and thank God, many people would be so amazed and come to know God through his life. Him giving thanks to God would be far weightier than other people saying, Thank God. God’s glory then, would be magnified in his life. His blindness would then become an instrument to be used for the salvation of many. 

 

Why do you think people are born with so many problems? What is the cause of human suffering? Jesus says, This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. When we look back our own life, we too come to have many questions, Why? Why? Jesus says, so that the work of God might be displayed in your life. Those who accept this will of God upon their lives come to the light and live victorious and powerful life rendering glory to God. They can see that nothing happened without any purpose; they can see that all things happened in their life so that they might be uniquely equipped and prepared to do God's work; through all things happened to them in their life, their understanding, value system, characters have been shaped up in a way God can use for his purpose very effectively. Indeed, when we accept this will of God to display the work of God in our life, we can see that we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). People are miserable not because they have problems, but because they do not accept the divine, good and perfect will of God for their lives. When we accept the will of God upon our lives, we become God’s chosen instrument uniquely prepared and equipped to display the work of God and render glory to God. 

 

Second, As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me (4-5). Look at verse 4. Let’s read this verse together: 

 

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

 

Here, ‘day’ refers to man’s life on this earth, while ‘night’ refers to the time of man’s death. As long as it is day means as long as we breathe,… Jesus says, As long as we breathe, we must do the work of God. The disciples were fatalistic upon seeing the tragic life of the man born blind. Because it looked too tragic and because it was a humanly impossible situation, in their minds they had already given up. They had no desire or faith to do anything positive in that situation. But Jesus told them that no matter what, in all circumstances, man must do the work of God. If you think you are breathing, then, you have this supreme duty to do the work of God.

 

Jesus says, Night is coming when no one can work. This means that the time of our death is already coming. Death does not wait for us to finish all we want to do; instead, death is coming to get us moment by moment. We do not have that much time. We should not waste our time in pity party, or in complaining, or in pursuing worthless things in this world. Night is already coming. You may think that you will do the work of God after graduation, or after marriage. Some people plan to do the work of God after making a lot of money. But who knows whether you will live until that time? You never know what will happen tomorrow. Night is coming, and now is the time for us to do the work of God wholeheartedly. 

 

As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. This was how he understood of his life. At the same time, this shows Jesus' burning passion to do God's work. With this understanding of his life purpose and this passion for God's work, he saw everything. He was there to do God's work, and his time was limited. So, he would use every flying minute to do God's work; simply, no time to waste in pity-party or complaining. When he had such burning passion to do God's work in any way possible, then, when he saw the man born blind, he was excited, because in his eyes, this man was uniquely equipped to display the work of God in his life. When he said to his disciples, As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me, it was like him saying to them, Don't talk about anything negative. No time to lose. Let's go and do the work of God.

 

When we really pursue God’s mission, then we too become like Jesus, seeing everything in God’s mission in mind. We look for sheep day and night. Then, as we walk on the street, someone asks us for help to find V.A hospital. We help him, then, we ask, By the way, are you interested in studying the Bible? We want to make disciples – this is what we pursue wholeheartedly; we mean business. Then, if someone asks us, Do you think allChristian should be Bible teachers? Then, we say, Yes, everyone, especially, you! We just want to establish disciples as Jesus has commanded us to make disciples of all nations. No matter what, as long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent us.

 

Look at verse 5. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Before Jesus entered the scene, everything looked so fatalistic and tragic. Without Jesus, the man born blind had to live the most condemned and cursed life. He had to suffer from sorrow and meaninglessness to the end. The man born blind was pleading for mercy with his best sorrowful voice, saying, Alms for the blind. And the disciples felt so bad and sorry. They too had no hope or vision for a man like this. Everything looked completely dark. But when Jesus came into the scene, suddenly everything in this scenario changed. The most fatalistic case became the best chance to reveal God’s glory. When Jesus came into this man’s life, his life became the very tool to reveal God’s glory. Everybody became excited and eager to start working. In this way, when Jesus came into his life, the most fatalistic man was changed into a powerful instrument of God, because Jesus was the light of this man. 

 

While Jesus is in our life, he is the light of our life. He sends forth light and lightens everything up. Then, suddenly, everything in our life becomes clear and everything carries real value, meaning and purpose. Our job carries real meaning and value that we work faithfully. Our school work carries real value and meaning that we study hard. Our family carries real value and meaning that we support it faithfully. Our past, our present and our future, everything in our life has real value and meaning. It is really like we are in the garden of Eden. All these have happened in our life only because of one fact – Jesus is in our life. The only problem is though, that, because we have been in this kind of blessed environment for years, now this kind of life has become the norm that often, we forget about what a blessed life we are enjoying in Christ Jesus. But just think about how we lived, how our life was before coming to Jesus. How was it? It was really terrible – dark, gloomy, sorrowful, fearful, sinful, and many of us were even suicidal. Was there any hope for our future? Did we have any meaning in school work? What about our family life? Did you enjoy it? We were crying and crying, without knowing what to do, without knowing where our life was going. It was meaningless and empty. Demons tortured us. We were fearful of what was waiting for us – destruction and death. Just thinking about it, we are scared. But now, everything has changed. Jesus has changed everything. Night has turned to day. Indeed, on those living in the shadow of death, a light has dawned. Jesus proclaimsWhile I am in the world, I am the light of the world. We praise Jesus! He is our light.

 

Here, we can see that the most important thing in our life is to have Jesus in us; the most important thing is to have a room for him to dwell in us. All good things come from Jesus, and without Jesus, we lose everything. When you have him in your life, your life has the light. You see a great hope and vision for your life, and you live a powerful and glorious life. But without Jesus, you have no light in your life; suddenly, you lose everything - hope, meaning and purpose in everything you do. Even if you may go through the motion of worship, even doing Bible studies, you don't see any real purpose and meaning. Without Jesus, you can do nothing; without Jesus, you perish. Because of him, we live, and without him we die. The most important thing is to have Jesus in us. That’s why we must hold onto his teaching. That’s why we must persevere in doing God’s will.  That’s why we must reject all temptations – temptation is nothing but our enemy trying to take us out of Jesus. Secure Jesus in your life no matter what and enjoy your life with him to the full. 

 

Third, with saliva and mud (6-7). Look at verses 6 and 7. After teaching his disciples, Jesus, suddenly, began spitting on the ground, and he scooped a handful of dirt, and made it round like pancake. It was a homemade mud pack – 100% natural made of Jesus’ saliva and dirt. Then, he put it on the man’s eyes and commanded him, Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam. Jesus’ way of healing the man was very active and powerful, but very questionable in the matter of hygiene. Surely, he could have opened the man’s eyes in more stylish way by simply saying, Be opened or Your faith has healed you as he did to others. But instead, Jesus chose to use such a primitive and even questionable practice in helping the man to open his eyes. Why? Jesus was demonstrating his words, As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Even though there was no medical equipment available for him to use to open this man’s eyes, Jesus did not give up. When he did not have a band-aid, he made one using his saliva and dirt. When there was no normal saline to wash the treatment area, he asked him to go to the Pool of Siloam. Through this, Jesus showed his disciples that they must do the work of God in all circumstances, and they should never say, We cannot do the work of God, because of this reason or that reason. Rather, using whatever they have, they must do the work of God, no matter what. 

 

Jesus wanted his disciples to do the work of God even in the case of a man born blind. A man born blind – what can you do with this case? Actually, nothing! Human impossibility! But Jesus never wants his disciples to sit back and give up, only because it is a human impossibility; instead, he wants his disciples to do God’s work, as long as they breathe, even in this kind of impossible situation. You may have a very challenging situation – maybe, your school load is too heavy, but if you think you are breathing, Jesus wants you to do God’s work. Maybe, you don’t have a lot of time, but at least you have saliva. Maybe, you don’t have enough resources to do God’s work, but at least, there is dust on the ground. Maybe, as you try to do God’s work, you cannot do it in a fancy way – don’t worry about manner or etiquettes or hygiene. Just make some mud and put it on the man’s eyes. Jesus’ way of doing the work of God in the impossible situation wasn’t so fancy or fantastic or miraculous, but very simple and basic – what Jesus' example shows is do something. Never say, Never! Never say, It is impossible, or I cannot do it. Instead, do something trying to display the work of God. As long as it is day, we must do the work of God who sent us. Those who follow Jesus’ example do the work of God in all circumstances and render glory to God – they are disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

What was the man’s response? He went, washed and came home seeing. Wow! This man obeyed Jesus’ instruction. It was not easy for him to do so. While he was sitting there expecting some coins from the passers-by, he suddenly realized that some people were talking about him. Then, he heard one person spitting on the ground, not one or two times, but several times, and after one or two minutes, suddenly, a man applied on his face something – it was a homemade mud pack mixed with man’s saliva. But Jesusdid not explain anything, but simply told him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. At that time, he could have said to himself, Oh, man, these guys are making sport of me, and could have been very angry at Jesus and his disciples. Or he could have withdrawn in deep sorrow and embarrassment, and then sat down and wailed uncontrollably. But amazingly, he did not think that way or do anything like that. Instead of entertaining human thoughts and becoming fatalistic, he regarded Jesus as a servant of God andobeyed his instruction. So, he made his journey to the pool of Siloam. On the way, how did he look? A blind man struggling to make his way to the pool, while his face was covered with mudpack? He looked so funny and weird. People might have laughed at him or ridiculed him. But he didn't care. He just wanted to obey the man who gave him this order. As a result, his eyes were restored, and he could see the world for the first time in his life. 

 

Actually, Jesus could have done everything for him in opening his eyes. But after doing his part, Jesus gave him this instruction, asking him to participate in his work to display the work of God in his life through his obedience. When we think about this carefully, we realize that this is the very style of God found in the Bible continually. God wants us to participate in his work through our obedience that comes from faith. Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. This was the final test - everything else was done by Jesus and then, he challenged him to participate in his work with this instruction. If the man had been only concerned about his pride or his self esteem or if he had entertained human thinking and rejected Jesus, he would have remained as a loyal enemy of Jesus for the rest of his life, with great anger and bitterness toward him, always blaming him and thinking of him as a bad person. But when he obeyed his instruction overcoming all human thinking and sense of humiliation, he experienced the power of God and his eyes were opened to see that the man who gave him this instruction was a servant of God; since then, his life changed completely. 

 

Jesus, a great man of God, treated this blind beggar in such a humiliating and despicable way, and without explaining why he was doing so, he simply told him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. What a great challenge the blind beggar had! Sometimes, we feel treated in the same way. Usually, no one intentionally treats you that way – instead, usually, in a nice way, understandable way, with a lot of explanation and communication– only exceptional people like Joseph in Genesis and Jesus in today’s passage did so intentionally. But ordinary people like you and me do not do so intentionally. But often, due to lack of communication or misunderstanding, we feel like we are treated unfairly or even in a humiliating way. This happens actually in all human communities – between husband and wife, between parents and children, among coworkers at work, among friends, among siblings, and among brothers and sisters in the church. As far as we live in a human community, we cannot avoid it. But the important thing is how you respond when that happens to you. Many people give into their sense of injustice; as a result, their inner world is really ruined. They are full of bitterness and anger; their wholehearted desire is to retaliate; often, we see many of them live as enemies of God. No healing comes to them. When such a thing happens to you, don’t give into your hurt feelings; don’t insist your own pride; don’t insist your sense of justice either. Instead, remember today’s passage – how Jesus humiliated the blind beggar intentionally, and how the man submitted himself to him, honoring him and obeying his command. At that time, God will comfort you, and you will experience God’s healing. 

 

In this passage, we learn that Jesus is the light of the world. While Jesus is in my life, he is the light of John Baik. Without Jesus, our lives cannot have any meaning or purpose. Without Jesus, our life has no taste like a Black and White TV. But when Jesus comes into our lives, we begin to have light in our lives and suddenly life becomes full of meaning – very colorful like a color TV. Then, we realize that we must do the work of Him who sent us. As long as it is day, we must do the work of God who sent us into this world.

 

One Word: While Jesus Is In My Life, He Is The Light Of My Life

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