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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day 169: John 9 - How Can We Faithfully Testify to the Work of Jesus in our Lives?

Today's Reading: John 9

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How Can We Faithfully Testify to the Work of Jesus in our Lives?

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. - John 9:24-25, ESV

Do you have people in your life who do not know Jesus? Have you struggled to have meaningful conversations with them about who Jesus is and what He has done for you? Witnessing to friends, colleagues, family members, etc. can be very intimidating. We can be unsure of what we should say or how we should say it or of how we should respond to objections.

Today's passage in John 9 focuses on the healing of man who had been born blind and even more on the testimony he bears before the Pharisees who ruled the synagogue in this man's town. Much of John's Gospel focuses on the key themes of witnessing and testimony, and this man is a model for us as believers. We can learn from him how to share out personal testimony of the work of Jesus in our lives with others:

1. Do not be afraid to tell others what Jesus has done for you. Now, you probably were not born physically blind, but we were all born spiritually blind, unable to see the kingdom of God and unable to perceive spiritual truth, blind to the truth of Jesus. We should not be afraid to tell people that God has opened out eyes so that we have come to know Him through Jesus Christ. 

2. Do not pretend to know more than you do. Sometimes we can be tempted to "oversell" our testimony or to act like we know more than we do. This blind man never pretended to know or understand more than he did. He kept his testimony simple and clear.

3. Do engage in faithful reasoning based on what you do know. Learning how to reason well and to lovingly challenge the faulty reasoning of others is an important skill that we can all develop. While the blind man did not pretend to know more than he did, he was willing to engage in back-and-forth reasoning with the Pharisees. While he did not know for sure whether Jesus was a sinner or not, he did speak boldly based on what he did know: "We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” - vv. 31-33 

4. Keep the focus on Jesus. The blind man's testimony did not get derailed by side issues of politics or minor points of theology. He kept his focus on what Jesus had done for him and what that told him about who Jesus was. 

5. Don't quit when you run into opposition. The blind man was not rude or obnoxious, but he didn't wither away in his testimony at the first sign of conflict or disagreement. He maintained the clarity and strength of his testimony, even in the face of much opposition. 

May the Lord strengthen us by His Holy Spirit to be witnesses like the blind man of John 9. Today's prayer, instead of being focused on a Psalm, is based on this chapter in John. 

Prayer Based on John 9:

Heavenly Father, give us a holy boldness and a Spirit-led clearness in our testimony to others about who Jesus is and what He has done for us. We are your children by grace. You have saved us. Your work in us is something we should be eager to tell others, simply and clearly. Give us opportunities to do so. Lord. Grant us favor with those who need to know You. Use us as Your ambassadors to take the message of Your saving grace to those trapped in sin and dead in unbelief. May You save them by Your grace, even as You have saved us. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

2 comments:

  1. I always find vs 27 amusing. The Jewish leaders are grilling him, trying to prove that Jesus is not the Christ, and the blind man answers "do you also want to become his disciples?"

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    1. Yes! His cheerful relentlessness even in the face of their opposition is funny and inspiring!

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