We Can Never Frustrate Jesus

 

John 9:1 (KJV)
(1) “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.”

Note:

These notes are taken from Boice Expositional Commentary. This database is a part of WordSearch’s biblical software, which is located on my laptop.

 

The first and great lesson of John 9 is that man cannot frustrate God. It should be understood that man’s hatred and man’s sin could not frustrate God. God accomplishes his purposes sovereignly. He saves by grace those whom He chooses to call to Himself.

The fact that the religious leaders hated Jesus to the point of stoning Him did not frustrate Jesus. Stoning was a serious action. Yet it did not shake Jesus from His mission. If they had attempted to stone Jesus, it would have caused a great turmoil in the temple precincts. Jesus removed Himself probably just a stone’s throw away from this area. He stopped to fix his eyes on the blind beggar who had been sitting near the temple gate.

Jesus was focused on His mission. We find Jesus calm and self-possessed. He is acting with profound disregard of His enemies and their hatred. Jesus had God’s point of view. Jesus persevered in His ministry to a dying world. He began to elect some to salvation. Note Romans 9:15.

This verse tells us about the God we serve. We should know that nothing would frustrate Him. Jesus said He would build His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. If we make God’s purposes our purposes, we will not be frustrated either. If this is carried out, frustration will disappear and life will receive new meaning. If we are working for the Lord, then our work will bear fruit and Jesus Christ will be glorified.

 

The way Jesus handled this situation should serve as an example for us. We are to rejoice in our tests and trials. James 1:2  We are to handle to handle our enemies like Jesus handles His. He did not allow His enemies deter Him from His divine mission. He stayed focused, and we should too. The next time you are faced with an enemy that seeks to destroy you, remember Jesus.

 

Comparison Between John 8 and John 9

There are verses in the opening chapter of John’s Gospel that provide an outline for the first twelve chapters of this gospel. It is important at this point as our study of this Gospel enters upon a new section. These verses speak of the coming of the Light into the world and say of that Light,

“He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:11-12 The coming of the Light aptly describes the content of the first four chapters of John’s Gospel. That “he came to that which was his own” describes the content of the next four chapters. The chapters we are about to study John 9-12, deal with those who received Jesus’ message. The emphasis is on Jesus calling out a people of His own in the midst of, and in spite of, growing hostility from the authorities of Judaism. This new section differs from the one before it in that in the old section we see Christ being rejected by His own people.

This section Christ, being rejected by His own, calls out to a new people. This is first seen by the blind man receiving his sight. In John 9, Jesus communicates sight. In John 9, He is received and worshipped. In John 8, the Jews are seen stooping down–to pick up stones. In John 9, Christ is seen stooping down–to make anointing clay. In John 8, Christ hides Himself from the Jews; in John 9 He reveals Himself to the blind beggar. In John 8, we have a company in whom the Word has no place. (verse 37); in John 8, Christ, inside the Temple, is called a demoniac (verse 48); In John 9, outside the Temple, He is owned as Lord (verse 36). The central Truth of John 8 is the Light testing human responsibility; in John 9 the central truth is God acting in sovereign grace after human responsibility has failed. [Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1945), 59-60.]

 

Chapters 9-12

The next section of John includes Chapters 9-12, and it is entitled “Those Who Receive Him.”

To him who came to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance

These chapters cover Jesus’ focus on those whom the Father has given Him out of the world, He begins to teach them.

 

Chapter 9

Theme: Light of the World

Heartfelt Prayer

1 Samuel 1:13 (KJV)
(13) “Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.”

 

When was the last time you spoke from your heart when it came to praying to the Father? When was the last time you were so overwhelmed with a problem, that you were speechless? That was where Hannah was. In I Samuel 1:6-8, we read that her adversary, Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, vexed her soul. The reason for her prayer was that she could not give her husband children. Verse five states that the Lord had shut up her womb.

 

Hannah turns to the Lord for help. It is a heartfelt prayer that she offers up to the Lord. The Lord hears her prayer, and she becomes pregnant with her first child. In thanksgiving, she dedicates Samuel to the Lord. Samuel becomes a great man of God.

 

          Hannah is an example to us today that prayer does work. God will answer our heartfelt prayers. He is a faithful God.

 

Lord, help me to turn to you when life throws me a difficult situation. Help me speak from my heart instead of my lips. Let me walk in my faith toward you knowing that you are a prayer answering God.

The Faith of Abraham

http://ref.ly/Jn8.52-56

We are coming to the end of the conversation that took place between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day as recorded in John 8. This is an important part of John’s Gospel.

The early chapters of John 1-4 serve to introduce the Lord Jesus Christ. The reception of Jesus by the people of Jesus’ day is, for the most part, favorable. There is no hostile reaction–yet. In the present section–John 5-8, this initially open reception turns to one of increasing hatred on the part of the leaders. These chapters begin with the controversy over the Sabbath. They end with the conversation, which is recorded in John 8. The conversation centers on the personality and example of Abraham. He is mentioned by the religious leaders and Jesus eleven times in this chapter. Abraham is not mentioned anywhere else. The first time he is mentioned is in verse 33. The leaders claim their ancestry from Abraham. God had promised to bless Abraham and his seed. They were his seed physically. Therefore, they are blessed, and they had nothing to worry about.

Against this kind of deceptive spiritual reasoning, Jesus points out that what matters with God is not physical but spiritual descent. The question that arises from this viewpoint is whether they are walking in the faith of Abraham. Do they believe in Him like Abraham did?

This point is prominent in the verses that are studied now. We have to look at the example Abraham left. What is God impressed with? How did Abraham please God? The following answers this:

1.     Abraham put the calling of God above earthly honors;

2.     Abraham believed God in spite of circumstances;

3.     Abraham placed his ultimate hope in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he rejoiced in His coming.

Notice http://ref.ly/Ge12.1-4.

These religious leaders were out to retain their own honor. Jesus was honored by God. They had honor, but Jesus spoke the truth. They had power, but Jesus causes the blind to see, and the lame to walk. He honored God by knowing and obeying the Father (v. 55).

They wanted to know who Jesus thought He was. It may have been spoken in an insulting way. The religious leaders were implying that He wrongly was making Himself greater than He wrongly was making Abraham.

Jesus responds by saying “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies Me. Though you do not know Him, I know Him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep His word.” (Verses. 54-55). The world honors the successful and the ambitious man. Real honor is the honor which only eternity can reveal; and the verdicts of eternity are not the verdicts of time.

This was the example of Abraham. Read http://ref.ly/He11.8-10

 

Their Real Father

http://ref.ly/Jn8.41-51

Jesus has already revealed what is in their hearts. Now He reveals who their father is from a spiritual perspective. They are performing the deeds of their father who is the devil. This is why they do not know Him. They are not walking in the light as He is in the light. They say they are not illegitimate children. They go so far as to say that they have one Father who is God. Jesus counters by saying that if they had the same father, then they would accept His teachings. They would love Him. They would know that He came from the Father. Because their father is of darkness, they cannot see nor hear the truth.

Jesus speaks plainly. He boldly declares that their father is the devil (verse 44). They are doing the deeds of their father. Satan was a liar from the beginning, and they perform the deeds of their father. Their father never abode in the truth. He is not only the father of lies, but he is a murderer. They do not believe Jesus even though He speaks the truth. Those who are of God hear the truth. Since they are not of God, they cannot hear the words of truth.

The response from these Jews was very insulting. They called Jesus a Samaritan and he had a devil. Calling someone a Samaritan was saying that they were not a full-blooded Jew. Jesus’ response probably made them angrier. He said he did not have a devil. He honors His Father, and they dishonor Him. Once again, Jesus points to the fact that He does not seek glory for Himself. All the glory belongs to the Father. Jesus ends this passage by saying that if a man keeps His words, he will never see death.

 

Abraham’s Seed?

http://ref.ly/Jn8.37-40

This passage of scripture deals with who is the father of the unbelieving Jews. The answer concerning who Jesus was talking to can be found in John 8:31 and 33. These are the unbelieving Jews. This section of John 8 deals with why these Jews do not believe in Jesus. It reveals that they are not the children of Abraham, but of the Satan.

In verse 33, they claim to be the seed of Abraham. This is an important fact because it will serve as the foundation for Jesus’ discussion of who their spiritual father is. Starting with Verse 37, Jesus says that He knows they are Abraham’s seed. He says “…but ye seek to kill me… If they were truly Abraham’s seed, they would recognize who Jesus is, and would readily receive Him. The reason for this being Jesus’ words have no place in them. They are constantly debating with Him. Jesus speaks what He has seen and heard of the true Father. In verse 38, Jesus says that they have a different father. Jesus will bear this out later. They needed a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. This is necessary in order to become a follower of Jesus.

Jesus had been talking to these people concerning spiritual things. Whenever He suggested that there might be a lack in their lives (which He could fill), they reacted violently and defensively. Toward the end of this chapter, they attempt to stone Him.

They claim they have all they need. They did not understand what Jesus was trying to tell them. Their thought their religious traditions were enough. They claimed they were alright because their ancestry reached back to Abraham. God’s promises were made to Abraham and his descendants. http://ref.ly/Ge17.7 and http://ref.ly/Ge22.16-18. They did not possess the faith that Abraham had.

In response to their statement, Jesus made a number of penetrating statements. Such statements were not accepted by these Jews. They thought they were “safe.” There was an inconsistency concerning what they professed to be, and what they actually were. On the one hand, they professed to be religious people. Abraham was a man approved by God because he walked with God. He was a friend of God. They claimed the same facts.