What Jesus Did! 'Beyond Appearances' — John 9:8-12

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Some people had seen this man begging before. These people and the man's neighbors said, "Look! Is this the same man that always sits and begs?" Some people said, "Yes! He is the one." But other people said, "No, he is not the same man. He only looks like him." So the man himself said, "I am the man {that was blind before}." The people asked, "What happened? How did you get your sight?" The man answered, "The man that people call Jesus made some mud. He put the mud on my eyes. Then Jesus told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went to Siloam and washed. And then I could see." The people asked the man, "Where is this man (Jesus)?" The man answered, "I don't know."
— John 9:8-12
Illustration of John 9:8-12 — "I don't know."

Key Thought

How often have you judged someone simply based upon his or her appearance? The folks who were supposed to be the neighbors of this man Jesus healed knew him only as a label. That label was based upon his physical blindness and his need to beg. They never spent enough time to move beyond the label to the man. They didn't know him, only his label. They didn't bother to befriend him because he was a blind beggar. Before we get too self-righteous, let's ask how different we are! We all need to ask ourselves: Do I make unfair assumptions about people based on external appearances? Do I use labels to push people away so that I do not have to deal with them in everyday life?

Today's Prayer

Father, please forgive me. I confess that many times I do not view people like you do. I find myself too easily dismissing them based on external appearances so I don't have to involve myself in their lives. Father, I don't want to waste my time worrying with folks that are chronically dependent and don't want to change. However, dear Father, I don't want to neglect blessing anyone who needs to experience your grace that you send my way. Please give me the wisdom to know how to balance the two responses so that I do what you would have me do in the life of anyone I meet. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

While Jesus was walking, he saw a blind man. This man had been blind since the time he was born. Jesus' followers asked him, "Teacher, this man was born blind. But whose sin made him be born blind? His own sin, or his parents' sin?" Jesus answered, "It is not this man's sin or his parents' sin that made him be blind. This man was born blind so that God could use him to show what great things God can do. While it is daytime, we must continue doing the work of the One that sent me. The night is coming. And no person can work at night. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." After Jesus said this, Jesus spit on the dirt and made some mud with it. Jesus put the mud on the man's eyes. Jesus told the man, "Go and wash in the pool Siloam." (Siloam means "Sent.") So the man went to the pool. He washed and came back. Now he was able to see. Some people had seen this man begging before. These people and the man's neighbors said, "Look! Is this the same man that always sits and begs?" Some people said, "Yes! He is the one." But other people said, "No, he is not the same man. He only looks like him." So the man himself said, "I am the man {that was blind before}." The people asked, "What happened? How did you get your sight?" The man answered, "The man that people call Jesus made some mud. He put the mud on my eyes. Then Jesus told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went to Siloam and washed. And then I could see." The people asked the man, "Where is this man (Jesus)?" The man answered, "I don't know."

John 9:1-12

Related Scripture Readings

This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters {in Christ}. Suppose a believer is rich enough to have all the things he needs. He sees his brother {in Christ} who is poor and does not have the things he needs. What if the believer who has things does not help the poor brother? Then the believer who has the things he needs does not have God's love in his heart.

1 John 3:16-17

You will be judged by the law that makes people free. You should remember this in everything you say and do. Yes, you must show mercy to other people. If you do not show mercy, then God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear when he is judged.

James 2:12-13

But the man wanted to show that the way he was living was right. So he said to Jesus, "But who are these other people I must love?" To answer this question, Jesus said, "A man was going down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Some robbers surrounded him. They tore off his clothes and beat him. Then the robbers left the man lying there on the ground. He was almost dead. It happened that a Jewish priest was going down that road. When the priest saw the man, he did not stop to help him; he walked away. Next, a Levite came near. The Levite saw the hurt man, but he went around him. He would not stop to help him either; he just walked away. Then a Samaritan man traveled down that road. He came to the place where the hurt man was lying. The Samaritan saw the man. He felt very sorry for the hurt man. The Samaritan went to him and poured olive oil and wine on his wounds. Then he covered the man's wounds with cloth. The Samaritan had a donkey. He put the hurt man on his donkey, and he took him to an inn. At the inn, the Samaritan cared for him. The next day, the Samaritan brought out two silver coins and gave them to the man that worked at the inn. The Samaritan said, 'Take care of this hurt man. If you spend more money on him, I will pay it back to you when I come again.'" Then Jesus said, "Which one of these three men (the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan) do you think showed love to the man that was hurt by the robbers?" The teacher of the law answered, "The one that helped him." Jesus said to him, "Then you go and do the same {for other people}!"

Luke 10:29-37

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.