Laymanointing

…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

Receiving Jesus’ miracles in John’s gospel – a simple faith key

Recently, while reading the signs that Jesus performed in John’s gospel, noticed a common simple key.

Also it’s interesting to discover the individuals that Jesus used and ministered to;
… simple everyday folks and kids whom we can personally identify with.
People just like us.  Praise God!

In this post, we’ll explore  Jesus’ signs and miracles in John 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11.
(There’re at least 8 signs that John saw, experienced and recorded in John.)

 The Word
became flesh and blood,

    and moved into the neighborhood.

We saw
the glory with our own eyes
,

    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,

Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.
John 1: 14 (MSG)

We’ll also explore how each sign teach & reveal Jesus.

O Lord, may we grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ 
(Ephesians 3:18 (NIV) )


In John’s gospel, Jesus’ first sign occurred at a wedding celebration, when the host ran out of wine (John 2)

a friend’s home,
an everyday non-religious event,    (a party !? )
… a down-to-earth need   (wine?! ),
Jesus was there!
He moved into our neighborhood  John 1:14 (MSG)

Jesus is here

Isn’t it wonderful to know how down-to-earth &  ‘cool’  … Jesus is ?   🙂

Do we see a joyful Jesus ?
Jesus who amazes us … bringing us a smile ?

After Jesus resurrected, he miraculously provided a huge catch of fish for his disciples,
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”,
and gave them bread and fish (John 21)
He moved into our neighborhood

In John 2, Mary gave a wise instruction to the servants at this wedding celebration,

John 2:5-11 (NASB)
His mother (Mary) said to the servants,

“Whatever He says to you,
do it.”
 

Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.   (80-120 litres each NIVUK) 

7 Jesus said to them,
“Fill the waterpots with water.”
So they filled them up to the brim. 

And He said to them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it to him.
 

When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine,
and did not know where it came from
(but the servants who had drawn the water knew),

the headwaiter called the bridegroom,
10 and said to him,
“Every man serves the good wine first,
and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
 

11 This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee,
and manifested His glory,
and His disciples believed in Him.

In our modern age of continuous messages & clever catchphrases, .. life’s motivations may be expressed as

whatever you want to do, … just do it,
whatever you feel like doing, … just do it,   i’m loving it
whatever makes you feel good, look good … just do it,   you’re worth it
whatever your dreams … just do it

make your dreams happen,  … live your dreams
have it your way

just do it … now!        (buy now, pay later’ .. ‘don’t miss out’, .. instant satisfaction)

think different
Mary said, “Whatever He says .. to you, … do it.” 

At this point in Jesus’ ministry, the people at the Cana wedding only knew Jesus as the visiting carpenter from Nazareth,
they hardly knew who Jesus really is.

Rather than question “why?” … “what for?”…. “huh?”,
the servants faithfully followed Jesus instructions:
** filled 6 huge waterpots with water     (not from a tap, … but, laboriously from a well .. 80-120 litres each, .. 6 times) 
** drew some out, … and gave it to the headwaiter,

knowing full well,  that they had just put plain water into the waterpots,
— a step of faith in Him & His word.

What would the headwaiter taste?
water … or something else?
… as the servants, the disciples, … waited in knife-edge anticipation & expectation, … on the edge of their seats,

(everything suddenly silenced, … & in cinematic slow motion)

the headwaiter received the drink,
examined the color,

thoughtfully  sniffed,
… sipped … ,
carefully swirling it around his mouth,
pondered, …

then,
… joyfully announced in delight,
“you have kept the best wine until now!”  (GNT)

Imagine the joy, .. jubilation, .. high-fives, applause in the team of servants 🙂
… rejoicing that they played a part in the miracle

6 jars full of best wine480 to 720 litres,
wow!
( big party ! … thirsty crowd … another round of drinks )

… and Mary,
as any good mother would wisely say,
‘See, … I told you so!’  🙂  

‘Whatever He says .. to you, … just do it!’ 

Their faith & obedience was rewarded, … the water turned into the best wine!!
Praise God!

Whatever He says to you, … just do it.

As a result,

Jesus manifested His glory,
and His disciples believed in Him.

What’s a sign/miracle of Jesus?

Whenever Jesus manifests His glory,
and people are drawn to believe in Jesus.

ordinary water, … extraordinary wine

God honors his Word, … irrespective of who.
The wedding servants followed exactly what Jesus said,
… and even though, they hardly knew Him, .. a miracle happened!
The wedding guests were abundantly blessed.  (480 to 720 litres !)

In a similar way, when the plaque of hail was released in Egypt (Old Testament)
The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses; Exodus 9:20 (NASB),
these Gentile Egyptians and their livestock were saved, when they acted upon the word of the Lord.

Note:   In this post, the term ‘signs and miracles‘ is not limited only to healings or mountain-moving happenings or life-threatening situations.
Signs and miracles occur in our everyday lives,
whenever God answers prayers
, glorifying His name,
… whenever God steps into our situations to sustain us through each day,
and like this case in John 2, … that night in Cana, … the host ran out of wine at the wedding party,
(
posssible impact:  embarassment to the host),
… 
a simple everyday, down to earth need,
& Jesus came to the rescue.

From his abundance
we have all received one gracious blessing after another.
John 1:16 (NLT)

(No prayer request is too trivial for Him.)


Whatever He says to you do it


How is Jesus revealed in this sign?

In John’s gospel, … there were a few instances when the people referred to Moses in their conversations with Jesus.   Also, John’s gospel was written to an audience with a Jewish background.
Moses first sign to Pharoah in Egypt was turning water to blood in the Nile (Exodus 7:14-25).
The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, …
17 Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord …  (Exodus 7:5, 17 NASB)
 

After leaving Egypt and crossing the Red Sea, Moses struck the rock, and water flowed out to satisfy the thirsty people (Exodus 17:1-7).
 … they tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us, or not?”  (Exodus 17:7 NASB)

Jesus first sign was turning mass quantities of  water to wine in a joyous celebration,
proving that Jesus is the Lord God in our midst.
11 … His signs Jesus …  manifested His glory,
and His disciples believed in Him

Jesus said,
46 
For if you believed Moses,
you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

John 5:46 (NASB)

Jesus is much greater than Moses …
Hebrews 3:3 (WE)


In the next chapter of John, John 3

John 3:1,2, 6, 16 (NASB)
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,

“Rabbi, we know that
You have come from God as a teacher;
for no one can do these signs
that You do unless God is with him.”

Nicodemus acknowledged Jesus came from God, … through the teachings and the signs/miracles Jesus did.

Jesus said to Nicodemus

… ‘You must be born again.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Whatever He says to you, … just do it.

If anyone hasn’t known Jesus personally yet, … one can believe Jesus today,
right now … just do it!
be born again

Jesus said,  “If you abide in My word,
you are My disciples indeed”
John 8:31 (NKJV)



Before exploring the other signs in John’s gospel, its worth to consider,
.. why John included signs and miracles in his gospel?

John 20:30, 31, 21:25 (NASB)
20:30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed
in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;

20:31 but these have been written
so that you may believe

that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;
and that believing you may have life in His name.

21:25 And there are also many other things
which Jesus did,

which if they were written in detail,
I suppose that

even the world itself would not contain the books
that would be written.

Jesus said,

“… for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish
— the very works that I do
testify about Me,
that the Father has sent Me.”
John 5:36 (NASB)

48 So Jesus said to him, 
“Unless you people see signs and wonders,
you simply will not believe.”
John 4:48 (NASB)

The works, signs, miracles Jesus did,
demonstrated that Jesus .. was more than a teacher, .. more than a prophet,
that truly God  “the Father has sent Me”,
He is the Christ, the Son of God

Very quickly, what does Son of God mean?
… Jesus called God his Father,
thereby making himself equal with God.
John 5:18 (NLT)

Thus, through miracles and signs … such as healing, raising the dead, multiplying food, ..
Jesus proved that He is God who came and walked amongst us, and gave His life for us.

Signs/miracles manifest His glory, His power and compassion to anyone in need;
as witnessed by the disciples and others present.

Signs & miracles help lead people to believe in Jesus,
by confirming who Jesus really is — the Christ, the Son of God.
And by believing in Jesus, everyone & anyone may have life in Jesus name.

Whether to the simple, or the hyper-smart, … to the educated or those who have little education,
… answers to prayers, .. or signs and miracles
transcend our intellect, … silently opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word,
.. personally meeting Jesus … in everyday life, anywhere.

When Jesus began His ministry,

  16 … Jesus stood up to read,
17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.
Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me

i.e. He is the Christ, Messiah

    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

what the Christ, Messiah will do

21 He began by saying to them,
“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus is the “Anointed One’, the Christ, Messiah
that Isaiah prophesised long ago
who will & can set people  free

The testimony of Jesus by John the baptist:

29 The next day he (John the baptist) saw Jesus coming to him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world!

34 I myself have seen, and have testified that
this is the Son of God.”
John 1:33, 34 (NASB)

 For Jesus
is sent by God.

He speaks God’s words,

for God gives him
the Spirit without limit.
John 3:34 (NLT)

Amen!

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
Psalm 33:6, 8, 9 (NASB)


Let’s jump to John 4, in Cana, Galilee

John 4:46, 47, 49-53 (NASB)
46 Therefore He came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum.

 47 When he (a royal official) heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee,
he went to Him
and was imploring Him to come down and heal his son;
for he was at the point of death.

The desperate father, .. driven by  love  for his dear  son,
rushed all the way from his home in Capernaum to Cana (about 32-40 km)
to meet Jesus personally, … and pleaded earnestly to Jesus for the life of his son.
As his son weakened with every breath,
his father helplessly pained for his sick child.

49 The royal official said to Jesus,
“Sir, come down before my child dies.”
 

50 Jesus said to him, 

“Go;
your son lives.”
 

The man believed
the word that Jesus spoke to him
and started off.
 

51 As he was now going down,
his slaves met him,
saying that his son was living.
 

52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better.
Then they said to him,
“Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”
 

53 So the father knew
that it was at that hour
in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives”;
and he himself believed and his whole household.

In urgency, the man asked Jesus to rush to his home to heal his son (before its too late), .. an emergency.
However, his home was quite a distance away (Capernaum).

Jesus wasn’t going to reach his home,
Jesus said to him,
“Go;
your son lives.”
 

in an instant, … Jesus spoken word changed everything

Jesus answered the father’s love for his son.

Like the servants at the wedding banquet,
The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him
and started off

God honors his Word,
whosoever, … whether humble servants
… or distinguished royal officials

Upon hearing Jesus’ answer,
the man stopped interceding for Jesus to heal.

“Go”
… he immediately bolted home.

“your son lives”
Without receiving any tangible evidence,
except for Jesus word,
(there were no mobile phones at that time to call home)
the man headed straightaway home.

“Go”.
He went straight home
(no further seeking of other solutions, options, … or other ‘man of God‘)

Jesus said it, .. he believed it, .. that settles it.

Whatever He says to you, … just do it.

he went to Jesus John 4:47 
This man went directly to Jesus,
he heard and received directly from Jesus.

The next day, … while on his way home to Capernaum,
he received the good news that His son was healed exactly at the same time Jesus spoke the word.
What a relief to the father, … what joy in his heart!
Praise God!

As a result, the royal official believed in Jesus and his whole household.

the man:  “come, before my child dies”
Jesus:    “Your son lives”
set free from a life-threatening illness!

How is Jesus revealed in this sign?

From the Old Testament, Psalm 107:19-21 (NIV) aptly describes this story

\19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.

20 He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.

21 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for his unfailing love

    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

Isaiah 59:1 (NIV)
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.

Jesus is the Lord God — He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
no one is too far away from His reach, compassion and power,  Praise God!


Let’s jump to John 5, in Jerusalem

John 5:5-9, 12-15  (NASB)
A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition,

He said to him,
“Do you wish to get well?”
 

The sick man answered Him,
“Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
 

Jesus said to him,
Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”
 

Immediately the man became well,
and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

Later,

12 They asked him,
“Who is the man who said to you,
‘Pick up your pallet and walk’?”
 

13 But the man who was healed
did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.
 

14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him,
“Behold, you have become well;
do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
 

15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

38 years of illness, … as days .. turned into years .. decades,
38 long years of paralysis,
hoping, … hoping for a cure. … one day,

…can we feel for this man?  .. his struggle … his desperation …

Then, one day, … Jesus stepped into this man’s life.

There’s something very interesting about this healing.
At the time when he was healed, this man did not know who Jesus was !

He only personally knew Jesus,  … later.

And when Jesus asked him “Do you wish to get well?”,
he was hoping that Jesus will help put him into the pool when the water is stirred up.
so that he can get well.

However,  Jesus said to him,
Get up, … pick up your pallet … and walk.” 

Immediately the man became well,
.. and picked up his pallet .. and began to walk.

The man wanted desperately to get well.
Upon hearing Jesus’ spoken words,
something supernaturally changed in his physical body,
and he felt it.

He cast aside his past failed attempts to arise, .. his fears and disappointments.
This time will be different!

He chose to Get up!
He willed to ... Get up!     (unaided)

He put Jesus’ word into action,
he got up, picked up his pallet and began to walk

Whatever He says to you, … just do it.

God honors his Word,
whosoever, … whether servants … or royal officials,
and even those who have yet to know Jesus personally.

Unlike the royal official in John 4, … there’s no way, this man could run to Jesus,
… instead, .. Jesus came to  him, … to where he was resting;
he’s not forgotten, forsaken, … he too can receive from Jesus.
Jesus knows him, .. and is mindful of him too …

What an amazing God we serve!
O, how much He loves us!

… even the tiny slow snail …reached Noah’s ark …

Physiologically, muscles that are dis-used for a long time (38 years)  shrink significantly, become limp, with loss of tone and strength (muscle atropy).
When Jesus spoke the word, … immediately, strength and power returned to his muscles … suddenly, his muscles bulged up, bulked up (like in cgi movies 🙂 ) … as the man willed himself to get up, and began to walk for the first time after so many years.

Freedom!
A whole new world of possibilities just opened up for this man.
Praise God!

As a result

The man went,    (walked)
told the Jews that Jesus made him well.    (and shared Jesus to others 🙂 )

ill for thirty-eight years … became well, began to walk
set free!

14 Afterward Jesus found him
in the temple

Jesus met the man and ministered to his need.
Jesus received him, ‘just as I am’
..
  the man received healing from Jesus by grace
Focus on Jesus.

No preaching or ‘sin’ talk.
( his longterm illness was not caused by sin )

The man walked into the temple to give thanks and worship the Lord.
Focus on Jesus.

Later,
the man met and knew Jesus personally,
… Jesus said to him
do not sin anymore”

Now that his health & walk was restored,
Jesus said to him how to keep his healing/health,
do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you — grace, truth & law  (John 1:16, 17)

i.e., follow Jesus and continue to walk in God’s word;
keeping one’s spirit healthy for eternity.

The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

The man shared Jesus with others.

After Jesus was resurrected, the Holy Spirit anointed the followers of Jesus,
… in Acts, we read about Paul,

At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet,
lame from his mother’s womb,
who had never walked.
 

This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, 
10 (Paul) said with a loud voice,
“Stand upright on your feet.” 

And he leaped up
and began to walk.
Acts 14:8-10 (NASB)

Praise the Lord!

So, .. where did Paul get the idea from?
By the same Holy Spirit, .. the man leaped up and began to walk.

How is Jesus revealed in this sign?

In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesised of the day when

Isaiah 35:3-6 (NASB)
Strengthen the weak hands,
And make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are fearful-hearted,

Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert

Jesus is the Lord God who has come to save us, Emmanuel,
Behold, your God will come
the lame shall leap like a deer
the eyes of the blind shall be opened

By the way, in the law of Moses, … no lame or blind priest was allowed to approach the altar to offer offerings to the Lord in the tabernacle (Leviticus 21:18)
Grace — the lame and the blind ordinary folks came to Jesus empty handed,  … met Jesus personally, … and received His healing touch and blessing, … and they worshiped Him.
Praise God!  


(ask the blind man) he saw it all


Let’s jump to John 6,  at Bethsaida

John 6:4-14 (NIV)
The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip,
“Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
 

He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).

11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.
He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say,
“Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
 

In all 4 gospels, this miracle is the only one that’s recorded in all of them;  only John records the little boy.
Lets look at Luke’s account:

Luke 9:14-17 (NASB)
14 But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”

15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down.

16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them.
Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.

17 They all ate and were satisfied,
and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

Jesus got his disciples involved to help Him, even though they had no idea what Jesus was really going to do.  They did what Jesus said, … taking their cue from Him.
One step at a time,
… the disciples organised the people,
… then, they hand delivered the miraculous feast to the multitude.

The disciples followed Jesus instructions, … in faith in Him,
… their eyes on Him.
(mentally knowing that there was only 5 loaves and 2 fishes)
But … after they had given out the first loaves and fishes to the first few, … and returned to Jesus, … there was more,
… again, more, … and again , … much, much more!

Whatever He says to you, … just do it.

They all ate and were satisfied,
.. with an overflowing abundance of leftovers  … to take home 🙂
… to share with their neighbors and friends
the yummy barley bread, … and … Jesus  (of course!)

Imagine the little boy’s glee, .. as he bounced with joy .. clapped with laughter,
at seeing his little gift, … turn into a miraculous feast,
right before his very eyes.
… And forever etched in his memory & heart — Jesus!

Like the overflowing litres of wine in Cana, … 12 generous basketfuls of leftovers in Bethsaida,
Jesus certainly does things in no small measures 🙂

They were utterly astonished, saying,
“He has done  all things  well;
He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Mark 7:37 (NASB)

As a result,

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say,
“Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

5 loaves 2 fishes … a hungry multitude was fed

Why didn’t Jesus just miraculously, instantly send food ?
.. like the huge haul of fish that Peter caught (Matthew 5, John 21).

Instead,
Jesus received a little boy’s generous gift of 2 loaves & 5 fishes, … and with His disciples help, the food was distributed to everyone.

Jesus invites us & gives us the privilege to partner with him, to get involved
in His wondrous plan, .. one step at a time,
as His amazing purposes and blessings .. unfold right before our eyes,
as we step out with Him, .. with our eyes upon Him.

Mark 16:20 (NIV)
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere,
and
the Lord
worked with them
and confirmed his word by the signs
 that accompanied it.

1 Corinthians 3:9 (KJV)
.. we are labourers together with God ..

Back to the story in John.
As word of mouth virally spread through the region,
the next day, the people returned to find Jesus,

John 6:25-29 (NASB)
25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him,
“Rabbi, when did You get here?”

26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you,

you seek Me,
not because you saw signs,
but because you ate
of the loaves and were filled.
 

seek the gifts, blessings … or the Giver ?

27 Do not work for the food which perishes,
but for the food which endures to eternal life,
which
the Son of Man will give to you,
for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
 

seek only the temporal, the now, the blessings, … or seek Jesus ?

28 Therefore they said to Him,
“What shall we do,
so that we may work the works of God?”
 

“We want to perform God’s works, too.
What should we do?” (NLT)

29 Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God,
that you believe in Him whom He has sent.

They asked:
We want to perform God’s works, too.  What should we do?

simply,
… you believe in Him  
 (i.e. Jesus)
whom He has sent”

 

How is Jesus revealed in this sign?

When Moses led the people in the wilderness, God graciously gave daily manna to feed and sustain them.
Through Jesus, 5000 people were miraculously fed with bread and fish, … with abundant leftovers.

35 Jesus said to them,
I am the bread of life;
he who comes to Me will not hunger,
and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
John 6:35 (NASB)

wine for the thirsty,
… bread & fish, … for the hungry
a foretaste of how much Jesus the bread of life
can satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst in each one of us,
… fill the God shaped vacuum in each of us.


Let’s jump to John 9, in Jerusalem,

John 9:1-7 (NASB)
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.

 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”
Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents;
but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day;
night is coming when no one can work.

While I am in the world,
I am the Light of the world.”

After saying this,
he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva,
and put it on the man’s eyes.
 

“Go,” Jesus told him,   (the blind man)
“wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”).

So the man went
and washed,
and came home seeing.

Pause, … imagine … if we never experienced sight in our entire lives.
24 hours, 365 days, … seeing only ..  darkness, … complete darkness, … unable to see where we are going, … unable to read.

One day, Jesus came … and suddenly we see clearly,  in vivid colors,  in 3D,
the wonderful world that He created, .. and the faces of our loved ones.  What would be our reaction?

The life-changing difference between seeing light, … and living in complete darkness.

 

Later in this story,

John 9:35-38 (NASB)
35 Jesus heard that they (the Pharisees) had thrown him  (the man) out  (of the synagogue), and when he found him,
he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 Who is he, sir?” the man asked.
“Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him;
in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,”
and he worshiped him.

Similar to the healed man who walked in John 5.
At the time when the blind man was healed, he did not know who Jesus was !

He only knew Jesus personally,  … after he was healed.
‘I was blind … now I see’ … I see Jesus

“Go,” Jesus told him,
“wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”).

Jesus is very precise and specific,
not just any pool in Jerusalem,
go to the Pool of Siloam.
(in another instance, Naaman received his healing dipping 7 times specifically in the Jordan River as directed by Elisha)

The man believed Jesus words and did so exactly (not knowing who Jesus was!)
So the man went
and washed,
and came home seeing.

The gift of sight.
A whole new world of wonder   burst into sight   for this man.
Praise God!

However, some religious leaders tried to discredit Jesus by attacking His character:
“This man is not from God,
because He does not keep the Sabbath.”

” …. we know that this man is a sinner.”

John 9:16, 24 (NASB)

The man was brought in for questioning.
The man testified persuasively with the religious leaders in a logical and rational way.
(even before he knew who Jesus really is 🙂  )
Like a good evangelist, the man responded

John 9:25-33 (NASB)
25 He then answered,
“Whether He is a sinner, I do not know;

one thing I do know,
that though I was blind, now I see.”

the undeniable verifiable fact   of what happened to him when Jesus met him
(his parents earlier confirmed that he was born blind)

26 So they said to him,
“What did He do to you?
How did He open your eyes?”
 

27 He answered them,
“I told you already
and you did not listen;

why do you want to hear it again?

You do not want to become His disciples too,
do you?”

a humorous twist of wit,
in response to the religious leader’s insistent, persistent question 🙂

The man continued,

31 “We know that God does not hear sinners;
but
if anyone is God-fearing and does His will,

He hears him.

God is holy and hears the righteous

31 Since the beginning of time
it has never been heard
that anyone opened the eyes of a person
born blind.

an undeniable miracle sign,
a factual truth, ..  he was born blind, … now he sees 

32  If this man were not from God,
He could do nothing.”

therefore logically,
only the Righteous One sent by God  would have been able to graciously give this miracle to him, right? 

Malachi 4:2 (NIV)
But for you who revere my name, 
the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. …

No amount of arguments, … no weight of great theories,
… no accusation, … no threat,
… no expulsion, blacklisting,
was going to persuade
or force this man to deny Jesus, who loved him so much, & healed him;
whatever the cost.

His personal evidence-based factual experience says it all,
one thing I do know,
I was blind, … now I see.
(… even though at the time when he reasoned with the religious leaders,
he did not know who Jesus really is! )

The result,

reactions by the some religious leaders on the man’s miracle:

“How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?”
John 9:16 (NASB)

and the response of the man to Jesus,

Jesus asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,”
and he worshiped him.

Indeed, ... the works of God was displayed in and through this man John 9:3
and he worshiped him

Whatever He says to you, … just do it.

ordinary mud, ordinary water … washed, & the blind man saw,
set free!

Recently a dear friend living in a developing country prayed for a 90 year old lady and God healed & restored her leg, … saving her leg from amputation.  Through God’s  healing, she believed in Jesus.  She joyfully went around her village sharing with family & friends about Jesus, and what Jesus did for her.
Though as new believer, like the blind man,
she may not be able to answer everyone’s questions, … she joyfully said,
“One thing I’m certain, … Jesus saved and healed my leg, … Jesus saved me
Praise God!

How is Jesus revealed in this sign of healing the blind man in John 9?

In the Old Testament, during the time of Moses … for 3 days, the land of Egypt was supernaturally struck with darkness, while the land where the children of Israel lived had light (Exodus 10:21-23).  When the children of Israel was in the wilderness they were supernaturally led by a pillar of fire at night to light their way to guide them.

Just before this miracle, Jesus said,

“… I am the Light of the world.”     (for everyone, Jews & Gentiles)
John 9:5 (NASB)

And Jesus’ final words with this man,

39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that

those who do not see
may see,          

the light of the world, the glory of the Lord was seen by this once physically blind man who obeyed Jesus’ word

and that those who see
may become blind.”
 

the physically sighted religious leaders who knew the scriptures   (law, doctrines, etc),
chose to turn a blind eye to Jesus’ miracles & signs (evidence),
while
everyday, ordinary folks who knew little,
rejoiced as they received God’s gracious blessings into their lives,
by believing in Jesus.  They saw the light.

40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him,
“We are not blind too, are we?”
John 9:39, 40 (NASB)

Jesus added on other occasions,

 “I am the Light of the world;

he who follows Me
will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”
John 8:12 (NASB)

I have come as Light into the world,
so that everyone who believes in Me
will not remain in darkness.
John 12:46 (NASB)

John wrote:
The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness did not overcome it.
John 1:5 (NRSV)

What’s living in light or darkness ?

19 And the judgment is based on this fact:

God’s light came into the world,
but people loved the darkness
more than the light, for their actions were evil.
 

21 But those who do what is right
come to the light
so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
John 3:19, 21 (NLT)

Acts 26:18 (NASB)
 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn

from darkness to light and
from the dominion of Satan to God,

that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Do you believe in the Son of Man?
A quick note on the Son of Man,
Jesus said,

13 No one has ascended into heaven,
but
He who descended from heaven:    

the Son of Man.
John 3:13 (NASB)

And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; …
John 1:14 (AMP)

In the gospels, Jesus also referred Himself as the Son of Man.


Let’s jump to John 11, at Bethany,

Lazarus had died 4 days already, … before Jesus arrived at his home, meeting his sisters and friends.

John 11:37-45 (NASB)
38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.

39 Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” 

Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him,
“Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus *said to her,
“Did I not say to you that if you believe,
you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they removed the stone.

Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said,
“Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

42 I knew that You always hear Me;
but because of the people standing around I said it,

so that
they may believe that You sent Me
.

43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come forth.”

44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.
Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary,
and saw what He had done,
believed in Him.

At the tomb, the first thing Jesus requested
“Remove the stone.” 

Martha, reasoned with Jesus
“Lord, by this time there will be a stench,
for he has been dead four days.”

A reasonable fact — best not to move the stone.
(i.e. Lazarus was truly dead.)
At this point, Martha and all of us had no idea what Jesus was going to do next.

Jesus reminded Martha and those present:
“Did I not say to you that

if you believe,
you will see
the glory of God?”

Interestingly,
in the natural, … we see first … then believe.
Jesus said … you believe (first) … then, you will seethe glory of God

Whatever He says to you, … just do it, …. (first)
then,
we’ll see  … the glory of God

Given a choice,
were they going to rely on what they see
or who they believe ?

Encouraged by Jesus’ word,
they obeyed
So they removed the stone.

 

Interestingly,
… why Jesus didn’t command the stone to be rolled away?

Instead,
he inspired faith in the people to believe Him,
he invited everyone to participate,
to believe together with Him
… to physically roll away the stone that was shutting the entrance of the tomb.

In love, … they did the best they could do in the natural,
believing
in God’s love, …  Jesus will do His very best in the supernatural,
His way, … in His time.

 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews were saying,
“See how He loved him!”
John 11 5, 35 (NASB) 

They had to  … believe Jesus’ word,
and put their faith into action;
then they will see
the glory of God  John 11:40 
 

Whatever He says to you, … just do it.

In unity together, … they removed the stone,
then Jesus commanded
“Lazarus, come forth.”

Lazarus was miraculously resurrected!
As a result, many of the Jews saw what Jesus had done,
believed in Him

Amen!  Hallelujah!

Let’s have a quick look at Abraham,

Romans 8:17, 18 (NIV)
17 the God who gives life to the dead
and calls into being things that were not.

18 Against all hope,

Abraham in hope
believed
and so became the father of many nations

18 Even when there was no reason for hope,

Abraham kept hoping
believing
that he would become the father of many nations.  (NLT)

Abraham kept hoping, .. believing in God’s promise to him, .. in the God who gives life to the dead, … inspite of the fact that he was past the time when he could have children. At that time Abraham was about 100 years old. He also realized that Sarah was too old to have children. (Romans 4:19 (NIRV))

25 years of hoping, believing,  … then suddenly in a moment,
God gave Abraham his first child, Isaac.
Praise God!

Abraham and Sarah still had to naturally cooperate with God by faith to conceive Isaac.

Back to Lazarus,
.. later,  (in the next chapter, in John 12)

The large crowd of the Jews
then learned that Jesus was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only,
but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.
 

10 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; 
11 because on account of him
many of the Jews were going away
and were believing in Jesus.

John 12:9-11 (NASB)

As a result of Lazarus’ miraculous resurrection,
news virally spread like wildfire through word of mouth,
many more were believing in Jesus,
alarming the religious leaders, shaking their status quo.

On a side note, Lazarus was bound hand and foot with wrappings,
it’s also a miracle that Lazarus was able to physically move from his supine (lying down) position,  bound up with wrappings, etc
and  come forth unaided !

Death, … resurrection!
Set free!

How is Jesus revealed in this sign?

When Jesus first arrived at the home of Lazarus  (before going to the tomb),

John 11:25-27 (NASB)
25 Jesus said to her   (Martha, Lazarus’ sister), 
I am the resurrection and the life

The one who believes in me will live,
even though they die;
 

26 and whoever lives by believing in me
will never die. 

Do you believe this?

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied,
I believe that you are
the Messiah,  
the Son of God,
who is to come into the world.”


Conclusion

Jesus miraculously met physical needs — food, beverage, healing incurable illness, … even raising the dead,
and ultimately by His own resurrection
proved that He truly is the Christ, the Son of God;
so that they may believe that You sent Me.”

Jesus saves
they will not hunger,
will never thirst
will not walk in the darkness,
will live even if he dies

they will have the Light of life
the bread of life
the resurrection and the life

the way, the truth and the life
the good shepherd, the true vine
the gate/door, the Messiah, Christ,
the Son of God, .. the living One, alive forever,

Jesus, the great I am
the Lord God who saves us

Thus, .. perhaps .. John was led to masterfully highlight these signs because they vividly and memorably paint the glorious portrait of Jesus in all His glory, .. through the lens of the everyday needs and challenges of ordinary folks whom Jesus met.
Expressing spiritual realities … through the miracles that Jesus wondrously satisfy … the natural longings of the common ordinary person, … thereby awakening us to our eternal spiritual longings & needs, … and lifting our spirits with a glimpse,  .. a foretaste .. of the glory of the kingdom of God, and the Lord Jesus in all His glory!

And God’s gift  is freely available to anyone from the  least  to the mighty,
.. no one is forgotten, …
and no one
 …  is too far away from the Lord’s love and compassion,
.. faith, ..  as tiny as a mustard seed, … opens the door to God’s glory, Jesus.

Jesus said, “Follow me
‘ Whatever He says to you, … just do it! ‘

Praise God!

For a further sharing on word pictures in John’s gospel, click here

In summary, on each occassion, when a miracle sign happened in John:
** The focus in these miracle signs in John’s gospel was totally on Jesus, … His compassion, mercy & grace, …  not on anyone’s ‘great faith‘, … and not on anyone’s ‘powerful prayers’.   No playbook or textbook formulas/recipes.

** Jesus is magnificently creative in each miracle sign in John – each time was different.   Walking with Jesus is never dull or boring.
** Jesus invites us to partner together with Him, … even children.
** Miracles happen, … even to folks who have very little or no knowledge of Him.  No one is forgotten.   .. There’s hope for all of us 🙂
** The people simply obeyed and did what Jesus said, … even though it wasn’t clear what would happen next.
** Some actions were fast to complete, … others took longer.

** In these signs, Jesus said little, (there’s no preaching), … however, the domino impact upon countless lives was life changing.  Jesus simply and compassionately  met the immediate needs of the people He met;   He cared.
John’s gospel has many conversations Jesus had with people.

** Jesus steps into the impossible situations, … as well as, everyday needs like food & drink.  No need is too hard, or too small to depend on Jesus.
** God’s word is powerful !

Praise God!
O Lord, may we grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ 
(Ephesians 3:18 (NIV) )

In simple words,
what’s believing faith, .. trusting in Jesus Christ?

Mary’s famous 7 words:
“Whatever He says to you, … do it.”

Mary’s key word also refers to our daily walk with the Lord.

Jesus said,
“All who love me

will do 
what I say.

My Father will love them,
and we will come and make our home with each of them.
John 14:23 (NLT)

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
and do not do
what I say?

Luke 6:46 (NASB)

How do we find out what Jesus is saying to us ?

In the accounts in John, for each one who believed and received from Jesus
— they met Jesus personally.
Today, anyone can believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;
and that believing you may have life in His name.

We can personally hear and know what Jesus is saying
— through God’s Word (the Bible) and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

7:17 Sanctify them in the truth;
Your word is truth.

 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes,
He will guide you into all the truth
John 17:17, 16:13 (NASB)

1 Samuel 3:10 (HCSB)
.. Samuel said,

“Speak, Lord.

I am your servant,
and
I am listening.

Finally,
let’s jump to the beginning of the Gospel story, … the Christmas story,
when the angel appeared to Mary to announce that she’ll give birth to Jesus,

The angel said to Mary

Luke 2:37, 38 (NASB)
37 
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

her response was:

 38 And Mary said, “Behold,

the bondslave of the Lord;

may it be done to me
according to your word.” 

Mary obeyed the word of the Lord;
a willing servant of the Lord,   i.e.

“may it be done to me
according to your word”

“Speak, Lord.

I am your servant,
and
I am listening.”

The signs Jesus performed:
turning large quantities to water to good wine, a sick man walk, a man born blind see, 5000 fed, … and Lazarus raised from the dead …
truly prove, For nothing will be impossible with God
when we believe His Word, and do what He says
… when God is in it, … there’s no limit!

Jesus is Lord!

Whatever He says .. to you, … just do it!


 

Be it unto me
According to Your Word
I give myself to Thee
Just a servant to You Lord
Though I don’t understand
Your purpose or Your plan
Still I say
Be it unto me
—  Geron Davis & Regi Stone



Mary is absolutely right,
“whatever He tells you, .. do it”
humbly submitting in obedience Jesus,
in believing faith in God’s Word
is a key into receiving from the Lord,
even the miraculous,
and see the glory of the Lord!

… God gives you his Spirit and works miracles among you because
you heard the message about Jesus
and believed it.

Galatians 3:5 (ERV)


Footnote:

Just for completeness sake.
In John 9:35:   “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
Most translations have Son of Man.
However there are a number that translate as Son of God.  (here’s a list of translations of this verse)
Either way, it doesn’t really change the intent of the question that Jesus asked.


Healing |Faith & Prayer

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
June 16, 2017
laymanointing.wordpress.com

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2017 – All Rights Reserved,
Creative Commons License


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This entry was posted on June 16, 2017 by in Daily Rice, Faith & Prayer, Healing, Ministering Spirit & Truth.

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