Thursday, November 24, 2016

John Chapter 9: Legalism Sickness Healing and Time of Jacob's Trouble

   1: And as Iesous passed by he saw a man who was blind from his birth 2: And his disciples asked him saying Master who did sin this man or his parents that he was born blind 3: Iesous answered Neither has this man sinned nor his parents but that the works ho Theos should be made manifest in him[1] 4: I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day the night comes when no one can work 5: As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world[2] 6: When he had thus spoken he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay 7: And said to him Go wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation Sent) He went his way therefore and washed and came seeing[3] 8: The neighbors therefore and they which before had seen him that he was blind said Is not this he that sat and begged 9: Some said This is he others said He is like him but he said I am he 10: Therefore said they to him How were your eyes opened 11: He answered and said A man that is called Iesous made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me Go to the pool of Siloam and wash and I went and washed and I received sight 12: Then said they to him Where is he He said I know not 13: They brought to the Pharisees him that before had been blind 14: And it was the Sabbath day when Iesous made the clay and opened his eyes 15: Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight He said to them He put clay upon my eyes and I washed and do see 16: Therefore said some of the Pharisees This man is not from ho Theos because he keeps not the Sabbath day[4] Others said How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles And there was a division among them [5] 17: They said to the blind man again What say you of him that he has opened your eyes? He said He is a prophet 18: But the Jews did not believe concerning him that he had been blind and received his sight until they called the parents of him that had received his sight 19: And they asked them saying Is this your son who you say was born blind how then does he now see 20: His parents answered them and said We know that this is our son and that he was born blind 21: But by what means he now sees we know not or who has opened his eyes we know not he is of age ask him he shall speak for himself 22: These words spoke his parents because they feared the Jews for the Jews had agreed already that if any did confess that he was Christos he should be put out of the synagogue[6] 23: Therefore said his parents He is of age ask him 24: Then again called they the man that was blind and said to him Give glory to Theos we know that this man is a sinner 25: He answered and said Whether he be a sinner or no I know not one thing I know that whereas I was blind now I see 26: Then said they to him again What did he to you how opened he your eyes 27: He answered them I have told you already and ye did not listen why would you hear it again will you also be his disciples 28: Then they reviled him and said you are his disciple but we are Moses' disciples 29: We know that ho Theos spoke to Moses as for this fellow we know not from where he is 30: The man answered and said to them Why this is a marvelous thing that you know not from where he is and yet he has opened my eyes 31: Now we know that ho Theos hears not sinners but if any be God-fearing and does his will them he hears 32: Since the world began was it not heard that any opened the eyes of one that was born blind 33: If this [man] were not of Theos he could do nothing 34: They answered and said to him you were altogether born in sins and do you teach us And they cast him out 35: Iesous heard that they had cast him out and when he had found him he said to him Do you believe on the Son ho Theos 36: He answered and said Who is he Lord that I might believe on him 37: And Iesous said to him You have both seen him and it is he that speaks with you 38: And he said Lord, I believe And he worshipped him 39: And Iesous said For judgment I am come into this world that they which see not might see and that they which see might be made blind[7] 40: And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words and said to him Are we blind also 41: Iesous said to them If you were blind you should have no sin but now you say We see therefore your sin remains

[1] The disciples here illustrate the typical Israelite response to sickness and infirmity in that it must have been caused by sin. Jesus did not rebuke them for this response, as it could have been true—however their automatic assumption about was incorrect and sinful. Jesus corrected them. He explained that the blind man’s suffering was part of God’s infinite plan to bring glory to himself. There is no doubt that many believed on the Messiah when they witnessed Jesus give sight to the blind man. The Law of Moses does say that if YHWH is obeyed none of the diseases that plagued the Egyptians would come upon the Children of Israel. But the scriptures also give a clear example of a man plagued by sickness and misfortune who did not bring on calamity through his own personal sin—That man is Job. This is where Christians must tread carefully, correctly discern the Word of God, and withhold judgments such as the one the disciples made concerning the blind man and his parents. Unless a Believer is given a Word for someone from the Almighty, via the Gifts of the Holy Spirit such as: The Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, or Word of Prophecy 1 Corinthians 12:4-10, no one, but Jesus, can say, “Go and sin no more….”
[2] When Jesus says, “The night comes when no one can work,” he is referring to the seven year night known as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” which will commence when “He who restrains” is taken out of the way (The Holy Spirit restrains the spirit of anti-Christ, but that restraint will end when He exits this earth via the temples of those he indwells). When the Church—The Bride of Christ—is raised from the dead and the living are Caught Up, this event will signal the beginning of the First Resurrection and the Beginning of Sorrows which precedes The Great Tribulation (total time frame of both equals seven years). Both Jesus and Jeremiah used the same word, “Great,” in describing the “Great” time of trouble/tribulation that would afflict the whole earth during the seven year period of time just preceding the visible, physical, return of Jesus Christ to defeat his enemies and establish His Kingdom on earth 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, Jerimiah 30:7, Matthew 24:21, Luke 21:35-36.
[3] There is more than one scriptural example of a healing taking place only after the afflicted one obeyed instructions from a prophet to wash with or step into water. Remember, Jesus was also a Prophet Deuteronomy 18:15. This also brings to mind Ephesians 5:26 where Christians are told that they are set apart and made clean by the washing of the water of the Word. Jesus is the Word, and the scriptures admonish many times to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. Daily Bible reading, and being doers of the Word and not hearers only, is essential to the renewing process and spiritual growth with the help of the Holy Spirit.
[4] In India, the sick and suffering with no loved ones to help them, are deliberately permitted to continue suffering, because it is Karma. What a perfect excuse, for those who believe everyone is perfected through suffering—through many lifetimes of paying penance for their wrongs—to refuse to help those in need.  Keeping the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. God gave the Jewish people laws and statutes that it might be well with them and their children Deuteronomy 4:40. But Jewish leaders burdened them with many rules and regulations connected to each Commandment and Statute, so much so, that they could justify allowing someone to continue suffering, when it was in their power to help, just because it was a Sabbath day. Jesus exposed this hypocrisy on more than one occasion. He always chose life and well-being over rules and regulations. The religious crowd hated him for this.
[5] Jesus pointed to the miracles he did as proof that he was the Messiah Matthew 11:3-5. He sent forth his disciples (not just The Twelve) to preach the Gospel and do miracles as well. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit include gifts of miracles and healing. Healing is the “Children’s Bread.” But the scriptures also warn against seeking after signs and wonders, because there are such things as lying wonders and spirits of devils working miracles Matthew 12:38-39, Acts 8:18-22, Revelation 12:13-14, 16:14. It is likely there are certain kinds of miracles spirits of devils cannot perform, such as those Jesus pointed to as proof of who he was, e.g., blind see, lame walk, lepers healed, deaf hear, dead raised. All things, therefore, must be judged against the Written Word of God by the Holy Spirit of God.  
[6] Being put out of the synagogue meant being dis-fellowshipped and shunned. The blind man’s parents feared becoming outcasts in Israel.
[7] Heartless religious leaders dis-fellowshipped and shunned a man who had already experienced what it was like to be a life-long social outcast (to some extent) due to his physical handicap of blindness. Now that he was healed, they made his ostracization complete. But Jesus sought him out and gave him opportunity to acknowledge him as Messiah and to let him know that he was not truly alone. No doubt this also signaled his disciples to take note of him and bring him into fellowship with them. What a wondrous thing it was that Jesus also revealed the grand purpose of God behind this man’s blindness and subsequent receiving of sight. 

Additional commentary pending for this chapter. Questions and comments are welcome.

John Chapter 8: Expendable Women Received Text

  1: Iesous went to the mount of Olives 2: And early in the morning he came again into the temple and all the people came to him and he sat down and taught them 3: And the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery and when they had set her in the midst 4: They said to him Master this woman was taken in adultery in the very act 5: Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned but what say you 6: This they said testing him that they might have [reason] to accuse him But Iesous stooped down and with his finger wrote on the ground as though he heard them not[1] 7: So when they continued asking him he lifted up himself and said to them any who are without sin among you let them first cast a stone at her[2] 8: And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground[3] 9: And they which heard it being convicted by their own conscience went out one by one beginning with the elders even to the least and Iesous was left alone and the woman standing before him[4] 10: When Iesous had lifted up himself and saw none but the woman he said to her Madam where are those thine accusers has any condemned you 11: She said No one Lord and Iesous said to her Neither do I condemn you go and sin no more[5] 12: Then spoke Iesous again to them saying I am the light of the world they who follow me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life 13: The Pharisees therefore said to him You bear record of yourself your record is not true 14: Iesous answered and said to them Though I bear record of myself yet my record is true for I know from where I came and to where I go but you cannot tell from where I come or to where I go 15: You judge after the flesh I judge no one 16: And yet if I judge my judgment is true for I am not alone but I and the Father that sent me 17: It is also written in your law that the testimony of two individuals is true 18: I am one that bear witness of myself and the Father that sent me bears witness of me 19: Then said they to him Where is your Father Iesous answered You neither know me nor my Father if you had known me you should have known my Father also 20: These words spoke Iesous in the treasury as he taught in the temple and no one laid hands on him for his hour was not yet come 21: Then said Iesous again to them I go my way and you shall seek me and shall die in your sins where I go you cannot come 22: Then said the Jews Will he kill himself because he said Where I go you cannot come 23: And he said to them You are from beneath I am from above You are of this world I am not of this world 24: I said therefore to you that you shall die in your sins for if you believe not that I AM you shall die in your sins 25: Then said they to him Who are you And Iesous said to them Even the same that I said to you from the beginning 26: I have many things to say and to judge of you but he that sent me is true and I speak to the world those things which I have heard from him 27: They understood not that he spoke to them of the Father 28: Then said Iesous to them When you have lifted up [crucified] the Son of Audawm then shall you know that I AM and that I do nothing of myself but as my Father hath taught me I speak these things 29: And he that sent me is with me the Father has not left me alone for I do always those things that please him 30: As he spoke these words many believed on him 31: Then said Iesous to those Jews which believed on him If you continue in my word then are you my disciples indeed 32: And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free 33: They answered him We be Abraham's seed and were never in bondage to any how say you You shall be made free 34: Iesous answered them Amen, amen I say to you Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin 35: And the servant abides not in the house throughout ever but the Son remains here forever 36: If the Son therefore shall make you free you shall be free indeed 37: I know that you are Abraham's seed but you seek to kill me because my word has no place in you 38: I speak that which I have seen with my Father and you do that which you have seen with your father 39: They answered and said to him Abraham is our father Jesus said to them If you were Abraham's children you would do the works of Abraham 40: But now you seek to kill me a man who has told you the truth which I have heard of ho Theos this did not Abraham 41: You do the deeds of your father Then said they to him We be not born of fornication[6] we have one Father ho Theos 42: Iesous said to them If ho Theos were your Father you would love me for I proceeded forth and came from ho Theos neither came I of myself but he sent me 43: [This is] Why you do not understand [what I am saying to you][7] it is because you [have] no power [to] comprehend my words 44: You are of your father the devil and the desire of your father you will do He was a murderer from the beginning and stood fast not in the truth because there is no truth in him When he speaks a lie he speaks of his own for he is a liar and the father of it 45: And because I tell you the truth you believe me not 46: Which of you convicts me of sin And if I say the truth why do you not believe me 47: They that are from ho Theos hear ho Theos words you therefore hear them not because you are not from ho Theos 48: Then answered the Jews and said to him Say we not well that you are a Samaritan[8] and have a devil 49: Iesous answered I have not a devil but I honor my Father and you do dishonor me 50: And I seek not my own glory [but] there is one that seeks [glory] and judges 51: Amen, amen I say to you If any keep my sayings they shall never see death 52: Then said the Jews to him Now we know that you have a devil Abraham is dead and the prophets and you say If any keep my sayings they shall never taste of death 53: Are you greater than our father Abraham who is dead and the prophets [who] are dead whom make you yourself [one of] 54: Iesous answered If I glorify myself my glory is nothing it is my Father who glorifies me of whom you say that he is your Theos 55: Yet you have not known him but I know him and if I should say I know him not I shall be like you a liar but I know him and keep his sayings 56: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he sees it and is glad 57: Then said the Jews to him you are not yet fifty years old and have you seen Abraham 58: Iesous said to them Amen, amen I say to you Before Abraham was I AM 59: Then took they up stones to cast at him but Iesous hid himself and went out of the temple going through the midst of them and so passed by

[1] Was Jesus writing, Leviticus 20:10, And the man that commits adultery with another man's wife even he that commits adultery with his neighbor's wife [both] the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death…? Where was the man?
[2] Jesus was not condoning the woman’s sin in defending her. He was, rather, confronting the greater sin of using the Word of God with self-serving motives and by only partially applying it to the situation. Those who had brought this woman before him, had neglected to bring the other guilty party—the man—who had also been caught in the very act with her. This un-identified man had apparently been paid off and released. This was a cruel political ploy—in which a woman’s life was held in total disregard—aimed at ridding themselves of, by publicly discrediting, the wildly popular teacher from Nazareth. 
[3] Was Jesus writing, Hosea 6:6, For I desired mercy and not sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings?
[4] Jesus and the woman were not completely alone. Only her accusers had left. Remember, Jesus was on the Temple grounds teaching the people when they were all interrupted by the Pharisees dragging in this woman—who the scriptures say had been set up in a sting operation just to test and discredit Jesus publicly. This had been strategically timed for maximum exposure, so there was likely a very large crowd present. We cannot know the exact size of the crowd that witnessed the episode, from beginning to end, and then remained (after the woman’s accusers had all left) to witness Jesus exonerating the woman.
[5] Some claim that the story of The Woman Caught in Adultery is not a true account, but rather an interpolation (inserted [after the 1st Century] into the text of John’s Gospel). There is little authority for this, but the evidence that this story was indeed penned by the apostle—and is true—is overwhelming. 1.) The passage is contained in over 5000 extant (existing) manuscripts, so there is no doubt that this episode did happen exactly as the text relates it. 2.) It would be curious indeed if this account was fabricated and added into the text later, as it is well-documented that ancient peoples were all misogynistic in the extreme. Even the early Christian Church—that began as egalitarian—soon fell back into the misogyny from which it had so recently been set free. So, for an unknown scribe to imagine and manufacture a story where a woman commits adultery against her husband (her lord) and can go unpunished—in a time when all women were considered little more than property—is near impossible for any thinking person to believe. Even more difficult to accept, is that such a fabrication would become so popular and widely accepted that it was then copied into over 5000 extant Greek Texts (and into how many thousands more that are no longer extant?). The story of The Woman Caught in Adultery is true. It has as much textual evidence to support it as does the story of Nikodemos’ secret visit to Jesus (recorded in John chapter three) where Jesus told Nikodemos that he “…must be born again.”
[6] Nasty put-down, referring to the fact that his mother was pregnant before she married Joseph
[7] English translations pose this as a rhetorical question, but Jesus was not seeking for an answer, he was about to give one.
[8] Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth was in the province of Galilee, which was north of Samaria but bordered it and was populated largely by gentiles. The Jews of Jerusalem would have seen little difference between a Samaritan and a Galilean, and calling a Jew a Samaritan was as bad an insult as there was in those days. This insult against his hometown, followed closely after the personal attack against the circumstances of his conception and birth.  

Additional commentary pending for this chapter. Questions and comments are welcome.