There was a man in Jerusalem who was born blind. One Sabbath Jesus stopped as he was passing by. While his followers argued over why the man was blind, Jesus made mud from his own saliva and the dust on the ground, put it on the blind man’s eyelids, and told him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (John 9:7 NET). The blind man made his way there, washed the mud off his eyes, and came back seeing. He had been healed!
His neighbors could tell there was something different about him. Some weren’t sure if it was really him, but the man kept insisting that it really was. That led to the obvious question: “How then were you made to see?” (John 9:10). The man then told his neighbors what had happened. They wanted to meet Jesus for themselves, but the formerly blind man did not know where he had gone (after all, he had been blind and had gone to wash off the mud). Continue reading “Seeing as clearly as a blind man”
People today are divided in their consideration of who Jesus is. Some believe that he was a good teacher, but that is as far as they are willing to consider him. Others believe he was an imposter. Some even believe that he never existed. Still others maintain that he is who he said he was: the Messiah and the son of God.
That people are divided in their view of Jesus today should not surprise us when we realize that even when Jesus lived on the earth people were divided over who he was. Continue reading “Who was he?”
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” (John 18:11)
We often consider the unfair treatment Jesus suffered. He was mocked, beaten, ridiculed, spat upon, struck, blindfolded, stripped, beaten, humiliated (Isaiah 53:1-12; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 2:19-23). All this, before he was nailed to a cross and hung up to die.
He who created man and placed him in a Garden of paradise and showered him with blessings, found himself in a Garden of sorrow, showered with bloody sweat. Continue reading “He knew it all along”
“You would have no power over me at all unless it were not given you from above” (John 19:11)
Imagine having power to create a universe with billions of galaxies, and more billions of stars within, planets around those stars, and – at least in essence – the power to duplicate even your own self.
This is the awesome power of God (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:6); His strength is unlimited (Job 36:22). Continue reading “The God who does nothing”
Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46)
Jesus was unconventional in so many ways, but never more than in his claim to be sinless. It is audacious. It is something the gospel writers would not have chosen if they were merely inventing Jesus. It was an unnecessary risk. Continue reading “Who will cast a stone at Jesus?”
If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me (John 13:8)
I was adopted when I was about 18 months old. Was I worthy of that? How could I be? How could I have earned such an act?
Peter felt unworthy to have Jesus wash his feet. It was completely out of order for Jesus to stoop down and wash Peter’s feet. Peter was unworthy.
Jesus did it anyway. He even warned Peter not to refuse him. Continue reading “Unworthy, but worth it”
There’s nothing worse than being alone. Spiritually, being alone means barrenness.
When Jesus spoke about his death, about himself, what he said also applies to his followers. Continue reading “The good death”
A person’s greatest possession is eternal life, exactly because it is more than a possession, but very existence. More than quantity, more than longevity, it is by nature the essence of Being.
Eternal life consists of knowing the true God and his Son Jesus Christ. “Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent” Jn 17.3. Continue reading “The ultimate goal: Eternal life”
One day John was standing with two of his disciples. They saw Jesus walk past, and John said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-36 NET). This incident took place after John immersed Jesus and after Jesus’ time of temptation in the wilderness. The previous day John had seen Jesus and identified him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” and “the Chosen One of God” (John 1:29, 34). If these two disciples had not been with John the previous day it seems that they had at least heard what he had said.
“When John’s two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus” (John 1:37). These were disciples of John. They had been travelling around with John as John preached and baptised. They would have been aware that John had identified himself as “the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord’” (John 1:23). He was the one to prepare the way for the Messiah. And now he had identified to them who the Messiah was. No wonder they were willing to leave John and begin to follow Jesus. Continue reading “Speak a good word for Jesus”
We read the biblical passage straight through, without pause, as if the dialogue were a race, without feeling the dynamic between two strangers, a man and a woman, a Jew and a Samaritan, he on the road and she taking care of home responsibilities.
If the Hebrew word “Selah” means “pause,” and if John had the habit of inserting this word of Jewish poetry in a text of prose, I imagine he would have used it in this narrative about Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Especially, right before this phrase of hers. Continue reading “The life-changing pause”