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The Lenten Journey 2016 – Conflicts and Testimonies

CollinsJohn 9:13-34 NIV

These verses in John 9:13-34 provides us with a situation faced by the previously blind man. Jesus has performed a miracle on the Sabbath and the man now has sight (John 9:6-7). There are four important points to remember as we discuss this passage. First, no one had ever been healed of blindness. This miracle was the first recording. Secondly, Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath (v.14). Healing plus the method used was against the law. Next, If anyone confessed that Jesus was the Messiah then they would be thrown out of the Temple and excommunicated from the church (v.22). Finally, despite knowing the consequences the man never changed his testimony that Jesus healed him. In fact he called Jesus a prophet! (v.17)

This gentleman understood and experienced conflict (v.16-17), the hostility of unbelief (v24, 28,34) and the lack of support from his parents (v20). The Pharisees really weren’t interested in how this man gained his sight. Instead, they were more interested in condemning Jesus for breaking the Law of the Sabbath. Jesus used saliva, which was considered medicinal, to give the man sight. No one was supposed to provide medicinal care on the Sabbath. Providing care was considered work and work on the Sabbath was strictly prohibited. However, who else but someone of GOD could provide a miraculous cure using dirt and saliva? (v16).

Hostility comes after conflict. The man was accused of lying (v24) and they “hurled insults at him” (v24). The man did not change his testimony that Jesus gave him sight. Unfortunately conflict and hostility will keep us from seeing or believing in the beauty of GOD’s creation and miracles that are around us every day. Hostility and conflict will foster unbelief because of preconceived notions of how things can or should be done. When we are so focused on who GOD uses to perform the miracle instead of focusing on GOD and the miracle then we miss an opportunity for spiritual growth. Our focus on the person being used by GOD or being blessed by GOD will interfere with us seeing GOD’s miraculous power in the current situation. Check your focus. Take the opportunity today to appreciate miracles large and small.

Remember what you witness so that the next time you are faced with hostility, conflict, and unbelief then you will be able to stand your ground and hold firm to your testimony that “Jesus is Real”.

Prayer:
Father we thank you for the miracles in our lives. We thank you for opening our eyes to seeing conflict and hostility as an opportunity to exemplify your love through acts of kindness. Provide us with the strength and conviction to not alter or deny our testimony. Amen

Ouida Collins, MD
Payne Chapel AME Church, Nashville

BELOVED
No matter how busy a weekend can be, please don’t just try to fit God into your schedule. Pray and ask the Lord for guidance so you’ll fit into God’s schedule! Encourage our guest bloggers in the comment section. Be sure to share the daily Lenten devotions in your social network. Keep up at www.twitter.com/vashtimckenzie.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie



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