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Bible Pathways - Nov. 4, 2008


November 4

John 9

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Jesus heals a man born blind on the Sabbath (9:14). The man is punished for his testimony (9:25,34). Jesus affirms/asserts His Diety (9:35-41; 10:22-39). The Good Shepherd (10:1-21). Gentiles (10:16; 17:20; Acts 15:7-9; Ephesians 2:11-19)!!

Three times a year, all men of Israel were commanded to appear in Jerusalem to celebrate seven God-given feasts. The first feasts were Passover and Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:5-8) — a reminder of their freedom from Egypt. These were followed the same week by Firstfruits (23:10). A first sheaf of early harvest was waved by the priest in faith that God would give them a bountiful harvest. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) took place fifty days later on their second journey to Jerusalem. On their third journey they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles when water from the Pool of Siloam was poured out by the high priest — looking forward to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The pouring of the water from the golden pitcher took place amid the blowing of the trumpets by the priests and the singing of sacred music by the Levites, while the people chanted the Hallel (Psalms 113-118): Save now, I beseech Thee, O Lord. . . . Blessed be He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. . . . God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light. . . . Thou art my God, and I will praise thee (118:25-28).

It was following all this that the Lord Jesus stood in the Temple appealing: If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink (John 7:37-39). What our Savior said by implication was: "I am the fulfillment of the prophetic Scripture you have just read." Could this carpenter's son be the long-expected Messiah?

The next day, violence once again erupted in the Temple and this time stones were hurled at Jesus by the Jews in response to His claim: Before Abraham was, I am (8:58).

As Jesus eluded the mob and went His way, He passed by a man who was known to be hopelessly blind from birth. This man's affliction became a means of manifesting Jesus as the prophesied Messiah King — the Light of the world (9:5).

There is a spiritual purpose of God's love in much of human suffering, and this man's blindness was the very means of keeping him from being lost for eternity. By faith, he obeyed Jesus' command to wash in the Pool of Siloam. He could have argued: "How could I, a blind man, be expected to find the pool?" But he expressed faith and obeyed and he came seeing (9:7) — in a double sense; for now he saw that Jesus was indeed the prophesied Messiah.

Later Jesus found him and he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him (John 9:38).

Thought for Today:

Christ is the answer to the fervent hope and prayers of many generations. Is He yours?

Word Studies:

10:3 porter =b> doorkeeper; watchman; 10:41 resorted =b> came to Him.

Cross Reference:

For John 10:34: See Psalm 82:6.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Harry James Johnston • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Arnold Alfone • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Sec. Carlos Gutierrez (Dept. of Commerce) and Rep. John Yarmuth (KY) • Country: Mali (10 million) in West Africa • Major languages: French and Bambara • Religious freedom despite Muslim majority • 81% Muslim; 17% animism and spirit worship; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: When you are afraid, have confidence in and rely upon the Lord (Psa. 56:3-4).

Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 14:33

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