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Who is Jesus? (The Gospel According to John)

The aim of the book of John is to help us know who Jesus is and before we continue, let us do a quick review of the previous chapters:

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is the …
1 –  word
2 – temple
3 – true Messiah
4 – living water
5 – son of God
6 – bread of life
7 – living water
8 – light of the world

Lesson: John 9:1-41: Jesus Heals the Man Who was Born Blind

Blindness (Darkness)

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth (Jn 9:1)

When brownouts happen in the Philippines, some families stay outside the house where it is cooler, but with the risk of exposure to hungry mosquitoes.
Even though it is dark, they can still slowly move inside their house because they have memorized the arrangement of their things and furniture. And when the electricity comes back, everyone rejoices.

This blind man (given that he was blind since birth) has no idea of the joy and benefit that light brings. He cannot see everyone and everything around him.

Aside from not seeing his friends’ smiles, this blind man might have also lived in fear knowing that he cannot see the obstacles in front of him or the direction where he is going – he was always dependent.

The blind man was physically blind; and if God hasn’t found us yet, we are still spiritually blind. We cannot see Jesus Christ.
Why? 2 Corinthians 4:4 says “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” and Hebrews 3:15 says “As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

When we were not yet Christians, even though we knew what was right from wrong, we still did what we wanted to do. We were like marionettes when Jesus was not yet the one controlling our lives.

John 9:2 ‘His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”’

Usually, people are having difficulties accepting those unfortunate things (at least in the world’s view) that come from God. That is why they (the world) usually attribute these (unfortunate) things to sin. This is what happened to Jesus’ disciples.


-is the belief that the souls of people from the past transfer to a newborn child. This concept (Transmigration) might be what the disciples were referring to; thus, attributing the man’s blindness to either due to his sinfulness or his parents’.

Why does God allow evil to exist? Why doesn’t He stop it?

The question above is one of the reasons why some people don’t accept God. It is difficult for them to understand why God – who is so loving – allows evil to propagate.

“If God is willing to prevent evil but unable to do so – then He is not all-powerful”

or “If God is able to prevent evil but is not willing to do so – then He is not all-loving.”

and “If God is able to prevent evil and is able to do so – then there should be NO suffering.”

Epicurus – Ancient Greek Philosopher (341 – 270 B. C.)

The quotes above are some of the reasons (or logic) as to why other people question Christians. Why do you still go to church? Why do you still believe in God when He allows bad things to happen? How would you answer that?

There was a time when people would wait for the Lord – there was even a group of people (a country) who would literally stop and wait for the Lord’s instruction.
They waited on the Lord. And by God’s grace, man acquired knowledge and became learned. Because man gained more and more knowledge, he now thinks that he can question God – it seems as if God owes man an explanation. And Jesus replied:

John 9:3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

In the first part of the verse above (Neither this man nor his parents sinned), one might ask “… but why just now?”, “what took you so long?”, and Jesus’ response was clear and concise “so that the works of God might be made visible through him”.

This response may be difficult for most people to understand, but for us who believe in God, who has a relationship with Him, we understand what He means.
We know and can testify that when things happen to us that we cannot understand, we know and we have hope that this event will be made beautiful by God. Take for example the lives of Abraham, Job, and Hannah.
They had to make difficult decisions, go through painful loss, and a long wait. God intentionally leaves us clueless on things to check our faith in Him. Will we still hold on to God even if we don’t understand what is going on?

A Victory Calvary Chapel Pastor said, “things do not happen TO us, they happen FOR us.” There is a reason for everything. We may not understand it right now, but we can always say yes to God for He knows what is best for us.


Touch (light)

John 9:6-7 tells us that Jesus made some mud with his saliva and soil and put it in the man’s eyes. The man didn’t resist when the mud was placed in his eyes because he didn’t see how Jesus made it.
Ptra. Noreen encourages us to love this Word because it shows us that while we cannot see, God is doing something for us. And even if we may be in a dark place, let us be hopeful and be excited because God is true to His word.
When we read the Bible, we can find a lot of good things that happened, but it is only God who can create something out of nothing. Transferring us from darkness to light is only God’s work.

What does God Offer?

We may be good people, but we cannot bring ourselves from darkness to light. When we come to church, sing our worship and praise God, let our hearts be filled with thanksgiving because that one thing that only God can do, He did it for you.

The man allowed Jesus to touch him. God is offering salvation to us, but if we do not allow Him to touch our lives, there will be no change in our lives. Allow God to touch your life.

Isaiah 42:6-7 tells us that Jesus came not only to give us freedom but to let the blind man see.

There are healing virtues in everything that belongs to Christ. “Clay made of Christ’s spittle is much more precious than the balm of Gilead.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

When people question why God allows such things to happen, let us be reminded that God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

Decision (to follow and serve Him) John 9:16-17

When you have been taken out of the darkness and allowed Jesus to touch your life, when you decide to follow Jesus, the way you live your life will be changed. And when people notice this, your changes will be questioned.

When the blind man came back after washing in the pool of Siloam and he was able to see, the Pharisees started to question him.

When you received Christ into your life, the people around you will question your decision. Your belief and your faith will be questioned. That is what the Pharisees did to the man who was blind.
People who accepted Jesus and decided to follow Him were questioned. People get persecuted when they decide to follow Jesus. But your weapon against this is your personal encounter with God. When you have this, no one can refute your testimony.

What happens when you have a personal relationship with God?

When you have a personal relationship with God, anything that is not acceptable to God becomes unacceptable to you too. If you truly love Jesus and are changed by Him, your companionship will be questioned.
Your friends will shy away from you. But, if your presence doesn’t affect them and there are no changes to what they usually do even when you are around, they won’t question your companionship with them.
Rather, you have to question yourself regarding your companionship with them. The light of the world should eradicate the darkness in our life. We may experience some ‘brown-outs’, but let us not ignore the cries of our hearts and come back to Jesus.
When Jesus heard that the man was cast out He went to look for him (John 9:35 & 38). To be ‘cast out’ is not simply being ignored. When you confess that you believe in Him, your ties with family, inheritance, and work will be cut off.
To confess your faith will be to give up everything you have in order to follow Jesus. But we need to remember, everyone may leave us, but Jesus will stay. And when Jesus is with us, we can surely reach our destination.
Jesus may not be here physically, but His Spirit is here with us (John 9:4-5). And when we accepted Jesus into our lives, His light shines through us (Matt 5:14).
We came from the darkness, we accepted Jesus and allowed Him to touch our lives, and we have decided to follow Him. Now He is telling us to let this light shine bright in this world full of darkness.
He is counting on us to share this light, to share His Word to the people around us who are still in darkness. Will you accept the call?


What does it Mean to be a Child of God? (The Gospel According to John)

Jesus’ popularity grew as He continued with His public ministry. The people were divided: those who believed in Him and those who didn’t.
The Jewish leaders continued to test Him and tried to find fault in Him so they can send him to prison. They brought a woman caught in the act of adultery and wanted to trap Him through questions that when answered can be used to accuse Him.
Jesus responded by telling them that “… any one of you without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”(John 8:7). But no one did because they knew they were all sinners and one by one they left. Jesus’ last word to the woman was to go and sin no more.
In verse 12, Jesus went on to say “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
His teachings and the way he responded to the questions and accusations of the Jewish leaders made them angry because it seemed that they cannot absorb every truth that Jesus tells them. They became deaf and blind to the truth.
Before we proceed to verses 31 to 47, let us reflect on what mannerism or characteristics we got from our physical parents. Because whether we like it or not our parents have an influence on us, one way or another.
On the spiritual side, let us look into our hearts and ask ourselves:

What does it mean to be a child of God?

Am I really a child of God?

Who is my father?

The Jews claimed that they were the descendants of Abraham and that they had never been enslaved. They were quite proud of being descendants of Abraham and claiming too that the only Father they have is God Himself (v. 41).
But Jesus said otherwise; He said that they were not descendants of Abraham, but their father was the devil. The Jews were appalled by what Jesus said, and the whole conversation in verses 31-47 was one of the most heated conversations of Jesus towards the Jews.

There are three lessons that Ms. Heidi Ann learned and would like to share with us as we study chapter 8. May these lessons bring us to check our hearts, our lifestyles, and choices: Do they reflect God’s influence in our lives? How do we show our love for Jesus?

Having godly ancestors/parents does not guarantee our personal spiritual health.

Growing up in a godly family is something special but it does not guarantee that you will become godly yourself. The Jews claimed that they were the children of Abraham.
And Jesus acknowledged that they are the physical descendants of Abraham, but He also saw their hearts. He knew what was in the mind of the Jewish leaders at that time.
Now, who is Abraham? In Genesis 15, God made a covenant with Abraham, who at that time was already old. God promised them (Abraham and Sarah) a child, their own flesh and blood. He believed in God and this was counted as righteousness.
He believed and obeyed God unlike the Jewish people in John 8. They may be physical descendants of Abraham, but they are not spiritual descendants.

Life Application:

Believing and obeying Jesus is a personal choice. No one else can do that for us but ourselves.

Ms. Heidi Ann grew up in a Christian home but it was not until at the age of 14 that she knew what being a Christian really is.

Challenge: Have we made that decision to follow Jesus? (John 1:12)

A true child of God loves Jesus and responds to His Word. (v. 42, 43, 47)

“The children of God are inherently characterized by a love for His Son (Jesus)” – John McArthur.

You can’t say that you love God but you do not love Jesus. The Jews claim they love the Father and yet they rejected Jesus, the One whom the Father has sent.

Life Application:

We love Jesus.

And we really, really love Jesus.

But, do we love Jesus more than anything else in this world?

How do we gauge our love for Christ?

It is good to check where we are in our relationship with God once in a while.

Another test to see whether a person is a true child of God is how he/she responds to God’s Word.

Think about it like a relationship of a child to their parent/s. Ms. Heidi Ann shares her story about her mom.

Her mom loves her garden. The mother usually asks her children to water the plants every time she goes somewhere.
And since the children love their mom, they obey and follow. Ms. Heidi Ann really wants to please her mom because she loves her mom.

Life Application:

Are we taking the time to read, study and meditate on the Bible?

Does the Word of God speak to us?

Do we respond to what the Bible is teaching us?

 A good gauge that we are responding to the word of God can be seen in our thoughts, actions, and words. Are we actually obeying the Word of God?

From v. 44, the conversation between Jesus and the Jewish people gets really heated up. Jesus said that their (Jewish people) father was the devil, which outraged the Jewish people.

 The devil was described as a murderer, a liar, and the father of lies. Genesis 3 (fall of man) showed that the devil is a liar and in Genesis 4, Cain both murdered and lied. If God is not our father, then we tend to do what the devil does.

In 1 John 3:9-10, a child of God does not make a practice of sinning, for God is in him. In one’s actions, you can tell if they are God’s children or not.
One of the greatest deceptions that the Jews believed in was that they were of God because they were the descendants of Abraham. Sadly though, they are only the physical descendants, not the spiritual descendants of Abraham.

Jesus is the truth and in Him, there is true freedom. (v. 31-36)

When Jesus mentioned the Jews being set free, they reacted by saying that they are the descendants of Abraham (which is true) and have never been enslaved by anyone (which was a complete lie), so they don’t need to be ‘set free.  

Jesus was pointing out to them that they are in bondage of sin, of their deception. Only Jesus can give them the freedom that they need.

Life Application:

Is there something that we keep on doing, maybe secretly or openly, that we know is wrong and we cannot break free from?

Here is the good news: Jesus is inviting us to abide in Him. Come to Jesus.

Examine your hearts. Observe your actions. Be mindful of your words. Do you reflect the one who influences you? Do you live like a child of God? Is God really, really your Father?


Ptra. Noreen shared a story about a video she saw. A boy with a deformed face was born and his parents removed all mirrors in their house so he would not see his face.
And as the boy was growing up, they always told him that he was handsome. By the time that they were able to go out, the people shied away from him because of how he looked.
He then realized that he looked different, his face was deformed. This is how we were before we met Christ. We thought that we looked good and we smelled good.
But when Jesus came into our lives, the deception was removed. We realized our deformities. And when we know the truth, we no longer believe in the lies of the enemy.

Verses to look up on about communion:  1 Cor 11:23-26, 1 Cor 10:16-17, Luke 22:15-18

Communion is for believers only. If you don’t believe in God if you don’t believe in the Bible, God is saying: do not partake. Communion is part of our worship to God.

Why do we do this?

It is to remember what God has done for you. The God whose flesh will be broken and blood will be spilled for our salvation shared this with the disciples.
We may not physically experience this now, but we must remember His sacrifice when we hold the piece of bread and the juice (or wine) as we celebrate communion.
We need to remember that someone died for us; someone took our place on the cross in order for us to be able to face the God of all gods. Let our hearts be filled with fear, with love, and with thanksgiving for what He has done for us.
To declare our common union with Christ. When we do our communion, we are declaring to Christ that nobody is higher than us and nobody is lower than us, we are on the same level. What level is this? We are all sinners.
And the only reason why we can face God is that we were forgiven and purified.

When we hold the juice (or wine), let us remember that it was the blood of Christ that has washed us clean from our infirmities.

It is the anticipation of His promise that we will be together with Him in His Father’s kingdom. As we hold the bread and juice (or wine), let this be an assurance that we are forgiven and we have a very bright future in the kingdom of God.

As we celebrate and partake in the communion, let us remember why we do this. We are not feeding the longing of our physical body, but we are eating the longing of our souls.


Living Water for a Thirsty Soul (The Gospel According to John)

Have you ever felt so thirsty, so parched that it seemed like it cannot be quenched by just 1 or 2 glasses of water, but you need to finish the whole pitcher? Physical thirst can be easily remedied.
What about the longing in your heart – the thirst that cannot be quenched by worldly things? Does your soul feel dry and parched? Inside us, there is a thirst that nothing in this world can satisfy.

 We have been studying the book of John and learning more about Jesus – His ministries and His miracles. He was with God since the beginning of time. He is the Son of God. And He is the reason why it is possible for us to have eternal life in heaven.

Through His miracles, He has proven that our God is limitless (John 6:1-15); He can calm any storm, be it physical or spiritual (John 6:16-21); And He is the bread of life (John 6:35).

Today’s sermon is about a thirst deep inside us that only Jesus can quench. As we study this chapter, may our hearts be focused on Jesus, and may we draw near to Him as He quenches the thirst that only He can satisfy.

The Ministry and Miracles of Jesus

The first few chapters of John show that Jesus was widely accepted. But slowly, Jesus’ public ministry started to challenge the traditional views and ways of the Jews.
The people were divided, and even his own brothers didn’t believe in Him (John 7:5). Some people raised questions about his authenticity as the Messiah; there were also those who believed He was the Messiah.
Others questioned the religious leaders, which made them (religious leaders) want Jesus to be arrested but to no avail.
At this time, The Feast of Tabernacles is being celebrated. During this week-long celebration, Israel remembered the intervention of God during their wandering in the wilderness, as described in the book of Exodus.
As part of this holiday, priests would carry water from the Pool of Siloam to the altar, remembering God’s provision of water for Israel (Exodus 17:1–7). The last day of the feast is the “great day,” when the priests would recite Psalm 118:25 while making seven circuits around the altar.
Jesus also used this time for His claim to be heard. In John 7:37-39 (NKJV) “37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those [a]believing in Him would receive; for the [b] Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”


In these verses, Pastora Noreen would like us to focus on 3 words: Thirst, Drink and Receive. As we learn more, let us allow Jesus to bring life into these words so that we will thirst more and need more of Him.

#1. Thirst


Just as our physical body gets thirsty, so does our soul.  We need to pay attention to our soul and we need to nourish it with the living water that comes (only) from Jesus. If we fill our soul thirst with worldly things, we will never be satisfied. We may become very successful in this world, but if our soul is empty, we might as well be like the living dead. The Bible says in Mark 8:36 “what good is it for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?” What do you do to fill your soul thirst?

Jesus said, “if ANYONE thirsts…” He didn’t say only those who are rich, or poor, or sick. It is an invitation for everyone. No one is too bad that they can’t be saved, nor is anyone too good to not need to be saved. If you feel that your soul is “dry” or “parched”, you will sense the need and when you admit this, all you have to do is to come and drink. Jesus will meet your needs.

On the last and greatest day of the Feast of the Tabernacles, while the priests were performing the rituals and praying for the Messiah to come, Jesus cried out and made Himself equal with God. He is the one they have been praying for. He claimed that He alone can quench the thirst, and for anyone who believes Him, living waters will flow from within them (John 7:38).


#2. Drink

Based on the scriptures, we see that Jesus is the living water. When our soul thirsts for God, we can connect with God. He did not also say that it will just be one river, but He said rivers of living water.
To come and drink is our response to His invitation. Drinking from God is not only a one-time experience. It does not only happen once.
Our God is limitless, and if ever, in your Christian walk of life you feel dry and parched again, you can always come to Jesus and drink. God is and will always be available to us.
But why do we still get frustrated in life? Why do we lose the joy inside us? Is it because when we think we are already satisfied, we put a cap on the water?
And when we thirst again, instead of going straight to the source of life, we try to satisfy ourselves with worldly things.
Let this not be our practice. Allow the living water to continually flow through you. Only Jesus can satisfy you.

When we drink from the living water, it is already proof that we are the children of God. We find the 3 words in one verse: thirst, drink, and believe.

Pastora Noreen says “You can’t believe if you don’t drink.

                                  You can’t drink if you don’t come.

                                  You can’t come if you don’t believe.”

These words should come together. If you are a believer of God, you should be drinking the living water – you should be coming to God. Otherwise, ask yourself ‘why do I feel this way?” maybe you came but didn’t drink, drank but didn’t believe it,  believed, but you didn’t come. Reassess the state of your heart: do you thirst for Jesus? Do you come to His presence? Do you believe that He can provide you with living water? 


#3. Receive

Receiving comes from believing. In our receiving, we were given the assurance. Romans 8:9 mentions both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.
In John 7:37-39 and John 14:16-17 Jesus spoke of the Spirit that they (disciples and believers in that time) were to receive, one whom they know and dwells in them and will soon be with them.
Pastora Noreen explains that the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are one and the same. The one who died, who sacrificed everything, the one who left heaven so that we can have eternal life is the same person who gave us the Spirit that is dwelling in our heart today.
There is no physical temple, there is no church building, but the temple of Christ’s Spirit is in our hearts. Who you are receiving is actually the Spirit of Christ.

In this world where you are offered choices left and right, saying it can quench your spiritual thirst, let us not be swayed and hold on to the truth. Don’t believe the enemy that it is enough that we just take a sip of the living water. Let us drink, let us dive into the rivers of living water. Let us find satisfaction in Jesus Christ alone.