Emboldened

This beggar amazes me.

The Gospel of John: John 9.28-41

Read and meditate on John 9.28-30.
The more the Pharisees interrogated him, the bolder the man whose eyes were opened became, as he exposed the folly of their hostility toward Jesus.

28Then they reviled him, and they said, “You are
His follower; we follow Moses, 29for
we know God spoke to Moses. But this Man,
we do not know where He is from.” 30The man
replied to them, “This is a marvel! You
know not where He is from, yet He could do
this work of opening my eyes!”

- John 9.28-30

Reflect
1.  The Pharisees decided to play the Moses trump card. It didn’t work with Jesus, but, hey, this guy was a beggar. Surely, they must have thought, this will shut him up! Do unbelievers today hold any “trump cards” they like to play to try to silence our witness? Complete this prayer: Lord, no trump card exists that can silence the Gospel, so give me boldness when…

2.  I find I have to keep reminding myself this man was a beggar. He hadn’t been to school. He had neither job nor skills. He’d never read a book, or anything for that matter. And yet, even he can see the folly of the Pharisees’ hostility toward Jesus. How could this be? Lord, I don’t see how I could be so quick-witted, much less this beggar. His boldness and keen insight make me believe that…

3.  The Pharisees kept resorting to spurious arguments designed to support their presumed authority over all things religious. The man kept returning to his experience. They tried to dismiss Jesus because of His obscure background – unlike, of course, their own. He kept pointing to what Jesus had done. Whose side of this argument appears the stronger to you? Why? What lesson is there in this for us? Lord, I know unbelievers have many “reasons” why they will not accept the Gospel. But I have…

4.  The man whose sight had been restored pressed harder on the Pharisees, suggesting that, if they were the great religious authorities of the land, then how is it they didn’t know about Jesus – Who opens blind men’s eyes? He stuck a pin into these windbags and their posturing. What authorities do people resort to in our day to resist the Gospel? How might you stick a pin in one of these? Lord, I wonder if the unbelievers in my Personal Mission Field have even considered Jesus, and all He did. Use me to help them…

5.  This man knew what was coming (v. 34), but he would not recant his story, and he determined to turn the tables and turn up the heat on his interlocutors. I’m truly amazed at him, and I’m chagrined when I think of how timid most Christians are when presented with opportunities to bear witness for the Lord. How can we help one another be more like this man? Bring together into one the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

Summary
“He brings in the miracle everywhere as evidence because they could not invalidate it. And he draws his own inferences from it too. First, he says, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know.’ He has no doubt that Jesus was not a sinner. And so, when he has an opportunity, he turns their own words against them and defends Jesus: ‘Now we know that God does not listen to sinners.’” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

Will you pray that God will make you as bold and ready a witness as this humble beggar?

Closing Prayer
LORD, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
There is no help for him in God.”
Selah
But You, O LORD, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the LORD with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.
Selah
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O LORD;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongs to the LORD.
Your blessing is upon Your people.

Psalm 3

Psalm 3 (Eventide: Abide with Me)
Lord, all around my foes are multiplied,
Rising against me, like a ‘whelming tide;
Many are saying of my weary soul,
“Not even God can save and make him whole!”

You are a mercy shield about me, Lord,
Raising me by Your glory and Your Word.
Prayers fraught with tears stream from me like a fount,
Yet God will answer from His holy mount.

Waking and sleeping, guarded by Your grace,
When foes by thousands stand before my face,
When constant dangers ‘round me are arrayed,
I will not fear, I will not be afraid!

Rise up, O Lord, rise up and rescue me!
Let all my foes destroyed and routed be!
Grace and salvation, Lord, are Yours alone;
Help and protect all those You call Your own.

T. M. Moore

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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Moses

The Law is the way into the promises.

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