The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Tag Archives: Pharisee

Man Born Blind

In John 9 Jesus walks by a man who has never seen.  This man was born blind.  Image result for man born blind in the bible

I read this section last week and the reactions of the man, his parents, the disciples and the Pharisees all struck me.

After this miracle, even the neighbors are confused whether the man is the same man they had known from childhood (verse 8).  The Pharisees did not believe, they believed this healing was impossible (v 13).  They began investigating what they perceived as trickery (v 18).  The Pharisees say that Jesus is a sinner and from the Old Testament we know that God does not hear sinners. (Jesus did not dispute this claim.) But, the man born blind makes a strong point: “One thing I know, I was blind and not I see!” “You, Pharisees do NOT listen!” (v 24) The Pharisees respond” “We follow Moses but we don’t know this man.”  In the Jewish history, no one had been healed of blindness.

The man born blind presents first hand information to the Pharisees and to their apparent bias to the evidence: “This is amazing! You do not know where he is from yet he opened my eyes. God listens to those who worship him.  Never has anyone opened eyes of the blind.  If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” Pharisees: “Are you trying to teach us?”

Jesus comes to the man and reveals  that he is Messiah, the Son of Man: “I came so that those who do not ‘see’ may ‘see.'” (v 35)  Jesus then turns to the Pharisees and condemns them because they claim sight but are blind and refuse to believe the clear evidence presented to them (v 41).

A man is a most pitiable condition receives physical sight and another amazing revelation.  Not only does he gain sight, which he never had, he sees Jesus for who he truly is: the unique, promised Son of Man.  The Son of Man has special meaning to Jews. Jesus is the most notable son of man of all time.

“The Son of Man” is a messianic title that refers back to the mysterious, human-divine figure of “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7.  That one would rule over all the nations of the earth forever.  This Son of Man was to be “lifted up” by being crucified (John 3:14), will provide divine revelation (John 6:27) and will act with end-time authority (John 5:27 and 9:39).  See ESV Study Bible notes.

What do you know about the son of man?  Have you met him? He still lives in the 21 century.

Related:
Jesus Heals Man Born Blind
Grace to You
Man Born Blind
Blind Man Sees

Finding the Father Heart of God

 

Returning to the Father of the Prodigal Son:

Here is a perfect example of a follower of Jesus who saw the Father’s Heart and then became the Father’s Heart to others. This story so exemplifies what Jesus was depicting in the parable of the Prodigal Son or parable of the Two Lost Sons.

Rembrandt, The Return of the Prodigal Son, 166...

From Tom’s words:
“I wanted fatherless kids or kids from broken homes to know that God is a father. He loves them. He’ll heal them, just like he did for me. I was deep in my sin and the junk that was in my life. I had no hope, and God just healed those places. He said, ‘You can trust Me. I’ll be your father. Even though you’ve never had a father, I will teach you what it is like. God has proved Himself as my father. He has reaffirmed who He is in my life. He has taught me the things I needed to learn when I needed to learn it from a father. He has been faithful. “

Return of the Prodigal Son: Meet the Father


Jason Hildebrand on the father of the prodigal son

According to Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son), this parable of Jesus is less about the sons and all about the character of the father–his infinite compassion, unconditional love, everlasting forgiveness–all divine realities, emanating from a Father who is the creator of the universe.  Yes, the father of the two sons does represent our Father in Heaven.

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Return of the Prodigal Son: Meet the Older Brother


Jason Hildebrand on the older brother

From Henri Nouwen on the older brother:

The more I reflect on the elder son in me, the more I realize how deeply rooted this form of lostness really is and how hard it is to return home from there. Returning home from a lustful escapade seems so much easier than returning home from a cold anger that has rooted itself in the deepest corners of my being. My resentment is not something that can be easily distinguished and dealt with rationally.

It is far more pernicious: something that has attached itself to the underside of my virtue. Isn’t it good to be obedient, dutiful, law-abiding, hardworking, and self-sacrificing? And still it seems that my resentments and complaints are mysteriously tied to such praiseworthy attitudes. . . . Just when I do my utmost to accomplish a task well, I find myself questioning why others do not give themselves as I do. Just when I think I am capable of overcoming my temptations, I feel envy toward those who gave in to theirs. It seems that wherever my virtuous self is, there is the resentful complainer.

Here, I am faced with my own true poverty. I am totally unable to root out my resentments. They are so deeply anchored in the soil of my inner self that pulling them out seems like self-destruction. How to weed out these resentments without uprooting the virtues as well?

http://spitandmud.com/tag/henri-nouwen/

Nouwen’s keen observations into the elder son’s life:

  • As the first born, he wanted to live up to the expectations of his parents and be considered obedient and dutiful.
  • He wanted to please his father.
  • He was obedient, dutiful, law-abiding, and hard working.  But on the inside…
  • When confronted by his father’s joy at the return of his younger brother, a dark power erupts in him and boils to the surface.
  • Returning home from a lustful escapade seems so much easier than returning home from a cold anger that has rooted itself…

Older Son

Woman Caught In Adultery

Read the story here in the New Testament
John (7:53-8:11)

Sharing Jesus–Jesus Style!

Many Christians want to know how to share their faith in Jesus with others.  Despite all the media andLearning Evangelism from Jesus Hollywood/Bollywood exploitation of Christians,  99.9% of Christians never want to offend anyone–even those other consider aggressive.

For these and other reason I have been looking at His encounter with the Rich Young Ruler and the Pharisees.

 18  And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments:  ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.'” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said,  “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said,  “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” 28And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”  Luke 18:18-30

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The Prodigal

Kunsthistorisches Museum

The Prodigal

A son takes his inheritance and leaves his home and loving father only to discover that his idea of freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Watch this retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son.

 

The Prodigal