The Fourth Sunday of Lent, 22 Mar 2020 – Gospel Reading: John 9:1-41 ~ Jesus: “I entered this world to render judgment”

The Fourth Sunday of Lent

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

God our Creator, show forth your mighty works in the midst of your people.

Enlighten your people in the midst of this COV-19 pandemic,
that we may know your Son as the true light of the world
and through our worship confess him as Christ and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
holy and mighty God for ever and ever. Amen!
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“Shine Jesus Shine” – Graham Kendrick

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Gospel Reading: John 9:1-41 (NLT)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”

But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”

They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?”

He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!”

“Where is he now?” they asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them.

Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?”

The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.”

The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”

His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”

So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”

“I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

“But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”

“Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”

Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”

“Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”

“You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.

Spiritual Blindness

When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”

“You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”

“Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.

Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”

“If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
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“I Speak Jesus” – Here Be Lions & Darlene Zschech

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 -Prayers of Intercession:

Sovereign Lord: Open our blind eyes and amaze us with your wonder-working power, here and now, in the midst of this world-wide pandemic.

+ We speak the name of Jesus over your world-wide church – that we may be a light to the nations, a source of help and healing, and hope….

+ We speak the name of Jesus over your people worldwide – that we may choose joy over fear, confident and secure your perfect love….

+ We speak the name of Jesus over all who are sick and suffering – that they may be healed through faith in Jesus, giving him the glory….

+ We speak the name of Jesus over all who are suffering financially – that their families may be provided for and their livelihoods revived….

+ We speak the name of Jesus over all who have wandered away from you – that their present distress may lead them to repent and return to living in your the light….

+ We speak the name of Jesus over all who grieve and mourn the loss of loved ones – that they may receive beauty for ashes and the anointing of joy for their mourning….

+ We speak the name of Jesus over our nation and those in authority – that they may receive wisdom and sound judgement, replacing rancor with a spirit of cooperation for the good of all….

Sovereign Lord: We speak the name of Jesus over your church and all of creation that the nations may be amazed at what you are doing – something we wouldn’t believe even if someone told us about it.
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“Raise a Hallelujah” – Bethel Music

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Closing: Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday Morning: 05 Feb 2019 – John 9:24-41 ~ Yes, Lord, I believe!

Tuesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 9:24-41 (NLT)

So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”

“I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

“But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”

“Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”

Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”

“Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”

“You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.

Spiritual Blindness

When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”

“You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”

“Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.

Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”

“If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”
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Morning Reflection:

Today’s reading continues the story of Jesus’ encounter and healing of the man born physically blind. Jesus used this encounter to illustrate the world’s need to be healed of its spiritual blindness.

The religious leaders grill the man on the who and how of his physical healing. While the man is focused on what happened – “I was blind, and now I can see!” It’s only later, when Jesus reveals himself to the man, that he gains his spiritual sight –

“Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
– John 9:38

It’s at this point in the story that the religious leaders attempt to assert their spiritual superiority over Jesus. But Jesus will have none of it, declaring that his purpose is to render judgement on their spiritual pride and arrogance.

Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind
and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

– John 9:39

So what can we learn from today’s reading?

+ Jesus offers spiritual sight to all who will believe in him.

+ Jesus seeks out those who recognize their spiritual blindness.

+ Jesus utilizes his divine power to open the eyes of the spiritually blind.

+ Jesus renders the judgement of God on all who refuse to believe in him.

Questions for consideration:

  • How would you describe yourself – a new believer, a growing believer, a mature believer, or something else? Please explain.
  • As the Gospel of John progresses, Jesus is gradually revealing himself to his disciples and, in turn, to us. What are you learning about Jesus that is changing the way “see” him? Please explain.
  • How has what you are learning about Jesus changed your thinking, the way you live, and/or your worship? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ: Thank you for convicting me of my spiritual blindness. And thank you for rescuing me from my pride and arrogance in refusing to acknowledge you as my Savior and Lord. I was blind but now I see, but still only partially. Continue to reveal yourself to me through your Word and Spirit, that every day might become a time for rejoicing at the wonders you have shown me – all to the glory of your name. Amen.
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“Was Blind, but now I see” – Il Divo

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Daily Reading: 22 June – The Miracles of Jesus: Healing a Blind Man – John 9:1-41

Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:13.c – The Miracles of Jesus

Healing a Blind Man – John 9:1-41 (NLT)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

John 9  As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Christ Healing the Blind Man Andrey Mironov, 2009
Christ Healing the Blind Man
Andrey Mironov, 2009

6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”

But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”

10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?”

11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!”

12 “Where is he now?” they asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

13 Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, 14 because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them.

17 Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?”

The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.”

18 The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”

I once was blind

20 His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”

25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”

27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”

28 Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”

30 “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”

34 “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.

Spiritual Blindness

sight to blind

35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”

37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”

38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.

39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”

41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.

Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom – Ephesians 1:16-18

I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

“Open My Eyes” – Hillsong

Closing Sentence

Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me! – Psalm 119:17-19

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!