ISSUE: 2018, Volume 15, Issue 4
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I've been enjoying two truths in particular from chapters 4 and 9 of John's Gospel that I’d like to share. The great thing about reading God's word is that we can enjoy it plus we get something from it. Sadly, I am concerned that speaking about the scriptures amongst my friends is somewhat 'down the list'. We should not be afraid to share our enjoyment of the Bible with fellow believers.
Here are the two statements that caught my attention:
‘Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?’ John 4. 29.
‘A man that is called Jesus’, 9. 11.
What struck me was simply the following match between the two verses – ‘come see a man’, ‘a man that is called Jesus’.
John chapter 4 verse 4 states that the Lord Jesus ‘must needs go through Samaria’. The woman the Lord Jesus met got a lot more than she bargained for on her trip to collect water. After a lengthy conversation, within which the Lord acknowledges Himself as Messiah, the woman leaves her water pot and goes into the city. Far from leaving the Lord sorrowing as the rich young ruler did in Luke chapter 18 verse 23, she was eager to tell others about the Saviour.
How often do we give this invitation to others, ‘come see a man’? We know that we will not meet Him face to face until the rapture, but we have encountered Him by faith, 2 Tim. 3. 15. This man is the Creator, John 1. 3; this is the one who made pre-incarnate appearances to saints in Old Testament days. Yet, He is now found talking to an immoral woman from a despised nation. God regularly chooses to reveal himself to those we may consider most unlikely candidates, Matt. 11. 25. Think of Abraham to whom God revealed that a great nation would come from him, Gen. 12. 2. Consider Moses to whom it was revealed that God Almighty would be known as ‘Jehovah’ – He that is, that was, and that is to come, Exod. 6. 3. This significance of this name was hidden from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
One cannot but help sympathize with the blind man in John chapter 9. He had been blind from birth and he had no way of earning any money except by begging. Yet, in divine providence, the Lord Jesus crosses his path. Notice, it is the Lord Jesus who first sees him. The disciples notice this and take the opportunity to ask why this man was born blind. Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins? The Lord Jesus explains, neither, but that, ‘the works of God should be made manifest in him’, John 9. 3. In one statement, the Lord deals with the common misconception of the day, mainly that illness and disability were the direct consequence of sin.
The Lord then anointed the man's eyes with clay and instructed him to, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’. We can often struggle to obey basic Bible commands. Naaman, the Syrian General, in 2 Kings chapter 5 had to be persuaded to obey Elisha's simple instruction.
This blind man, however, did not hesitate and the reward was greater than he could ever have imagined – he came seeing!
Here was a man who freely admitted that he did not understand, but he knew one thing, ‘I was blind but now I see’, v. 25. Paul writes to Timothy and tells him that ‘all scripture . . . is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect’, 2 Tim. 3. 16, 17. The word 'perfect' comes from the Greek word, artios, which means ‘complete’. The idea behind this word is being fitted for use for God.
The blind man later receives a grilling from the Pharisees, who cast him out of the temple. I find my heart warmed as the former blind man who had originally declared to his neighbours, ‘a Man that is called Jesus’ gave me my sight back, is found by that same Jesus, v. 35. We do have a compassionate Saviour which can be seen as He reveals to him that He is the Son of God; just as He told the woman at the well that He is the Messiah.
Truly we can say, ‘Come see a man’, ‘a man that is called Jesus’. Although ‘a man of sorrows’, Isa. 53. 3, yet 'a man approved of God', Acts 2. 22, who was ‘found in fashion as a man’, Phil. 2. 8.