250 - The Light of the World
SEPTEMBER 7- Nº 250 John 8:12-20, 59; 9:1-38
Jesus continued teaching at the Temple. One time, he looked up at the towering lampstands that stood in the courtyard. “I am the light of the world!” he declared. Everyone knew that the flames of the menorah were a reminder of the many years that God had led Israel through the wilderness from within a pillar of fire (see #45 - February 14). But they also anticipated a time when the Messiah would renew Israel’s glory and once again bring light into the world through the nation (see Isaiah 60:19-20). It was clear that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah that God had promised. The Pharisees were so upset they tried to stone him immediately, but he slipped away. As Jesus and his disciples left the Temple that Sabbath, they saw a man who had been blind since his birth. The disciples asked, “Teacher, who sinned and caused this man to be born blind?” “No one,” Jesus responded. “This happened so that God could display His power and show the world that He sent me. Remember, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud, and put it on the man’s eyes. Then he told the man to wash it off in the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed, and immediately he could see! When the man walked down his street, the neighbors were shocked. They couldn’t believe this was the same man who had been a blind beggar his entire life. When he explained what had happened, they took him straight to the Pharisees. They knew this was an extremely significant event! The religious leaders had taught for centuries that when the Messiah came, he would give sight to someone born blind (see #226 - August 14)! The Pharisees couldn’t deny that a miracle had taken place. But some of them refused to believe that it was Messianic. They didn’t believe the Messiah would “work” on the Sabbath. But others insisted, “How could a sinner do something this miraculous?” There was an argument, so they asked the man, “What do you say? What kind of man healed you?” The man replied, “He must be a prophet.” The majority of Pharisees were not happy with his answer, so they sent for the man’s parents and questioned them: “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?” The parents were afraid to answer because they knew the religious leaders could expel them from the synagogue if they said that Jesus had done it. So, they replied, “Yes, this is our son. And yes, he was born blind. But that’s all we know. Ask him—he’s an adult. He can answer your questions.” The Pharisees tried to get the man to agree that Jesus was a sinful man and that he was using Satan’s power—not God’s. The man finally grew tired of the questioning and said, “No one has ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man was not from God, he could not have done it!” The Pharisees were irate! “How dare you try to lecture us,” they scolded, and they threw him out of the Temple. When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (This was a term the prophet Daniel had used when referring to the Messiah—see #229 - August 17). “Who is he, sir? Tell me so I can believe!” the man responded. Jesus smiled, “You are looking at him with your own eyes.” “Lord, I believe,” the man replied.
God is much bigger, more powerful, and more creative than we could ever imagine! We miss out on so much when we restrict Him within the boundaries of our own expectations or limit Him based on our own experiences—like the Pharisees did!