GOD'S WORKS MADE MANIFEST ON THE SABBATH, #607
And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. (JOH 9:14).
As our text is held in its context it reveals how Jesus kept the real intent of the Sabbath throughout His whole ministry. The main quarrel that the scribes and Pharisees and the Jews had against Jesus was that He did not keep the Sabbath day according to their commandments of men. They thought He was breaking the Sabbath. It is important that we understand the right meaning or the real intent that God has in the Sabbath.
Look at JOH 9:3. "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." What was the real intent of the Sabbath? It is that we, in a day of repose, see the wonderful works that God has done for His Church, that these works might be made manifest. They might be revealed, and we might see how we are to be delivered from all iniquity and be redeemed. We might understand the true work of grace, and how God wrought salvation when we understand the wonderful works of God. It begins by anointing our eyes to see who we are. To anoint our eyes is to see and understand that we are blind, that we need deliverance.
Among these wonderful works of God, which He performed on the Sabbath day, we find a woman taken in adultery. She was guilty of a capital crime, and we see her set free on the Sabbath day. We need to understand that the Lord has ordained how He will have us to observe His ordinances. The Lord has ordained that it is on the Sabbath day that we have the true jubilee. Do you understand the Old Testament jubilee? We may have sold ourselves to be servants. We may have mortgaged our property. We may have come into debt that we could not pay, but all of this came to an end on that great jubilee. What was that jubilee? The jubilee was the day of resurrection when the Lord Jesus Christ came out of the grave. That great jubilee is a symbol of the true Sabbath. In other words, that we are set free, and this is what happened to this woman who was taken in adultery. She was set free on the Sabbath day.
Now, Jesus asked her: "Woman, where are those thine accusers?
Where is this big debt of sin that was brought before my feet? Where is it? You see, on that great jubilee all of that debt was removed, all of that debt, all of that servitude. We may have bound ourselves to be the servants of Satan and sin, but on that great jubilee, that Sabbath day, that Sabbath of rest, which is fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, is where we find freedom.
Jesus asked her: "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?" as we see in JOH 8:10. In verse 11 she said: "No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." Why was it that no man condemned her? The Lord set her free from the condemnation of the Law. All of her accusers, and all who came to condemn her, had no more stones to throw when they got a glimpse of their own hearts.
This took place on the Sabbath day. The Lord has ordained His own ordinances. I have found in my own life many, many times, as I struggle through the week over a difficulty, as I struggle through the week over a trial, all is made plain when we come into the House of God. Now, why was it that we had to wait until it was the Lords Day? Why is it that we couldnt see through the difficulty merely by reading of the Word and by studying and by meditating? Many, many a time the Lord has set me free from a struggle, from a trial, on the Lords Day. Why? He ordained that the Lords Day was for the manifestation of the works of God.
Now as her accusers were convicted in their own conscience and they left one by one, Jesus told them what was the source of the light they had received. They saw a light that shined into their own hearts, and that light was so bright they didnt have one stone left to throw at a woman who was guilty of a capital crime. What did Jesus do? He freed her on the Sabbath day.
We see here in JOH 8:12: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." These scribes and Pharisees came there for one purpose, and that was to entrap and to ensnare Jesus in His words. After their consciences were convicted, He said, "I am the light." They understood by the very light that had shined in their own hearts that He was the light.
However, the first effect of the light is to reveal the corruption of our own hearts. Rather than finding a pardon and being set free like this woman who was taken in adultery, they left. They walked away. They left the light because the light was accusing them, and they were not willing to depart from their ways of darkness. Jesus said: "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Their eyes were opened on the Sabbath day. Their eyes were opened to look into their own hearts, but they rejected the light.
As I have told you before, the scribes and Pharisees had so perverted the true meaning of the Sabbath by their own commandments of men to mean inaction. They had interpreted it to mean inaction. They thought that the Sabbath was strictly to be a day of inaction. They had no concept of the true meaning of the Sabbath.
They thought that moving any object the weight of a fig was bearing a burden on the Sabbath day and thus desecrating the Sabbath. As they accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, they did so themselves by their own standards. What did they do? They were picking up stones to cast at Him. Do you imagine that these stones were less than half the weight of a fig? They wouldnt have done much damage would they? They were picking up stones that were big enough to kill. So now see how they were breaking the Sabbath.
They had a heart filled with murder, and by their own standards they were picking up stones that were far greater in weight than half the weight of a fig, but they justified it because they were so judgmental of what Jesus had done. His actions did not conform to their own interpretations of the Law. They were so filled with jealousy, and their heart so convicted them. They knew He was right, and to justify their anger and their bitterness against Him for the light that He shined into their hearts, they accused Him of being a sinner.
In JOH 8:59 we read, "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." They were not even able to find Him.
Notwithstanding all the hypocrisy of those blind leaders of the blind, it was Jesus custom to go about doing good on the Sabbath. On the Sabbath day He was healing; He was delivering those who were bound. He was going about doing good, and on the Sabbath day He entered into the temple and proclaimed the gospel of peace.
Now take notice of the message in LUK 4:16. "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read." It was His custom to do good on the Sabbath. In Verse 22 we read, "They all bear him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth." Yet, they were not listening for something to bless their soul. It is an amazing thing.
I have had people ask for one of my tapes so they could listen to a sermon that I preached, and they give it back and say, Well, I couldnt find anything wrong with it. Now think about that. Were they listening for a blessing? No, they were listening with a critical ear to see if they could find a stone to throw. That is how these Jews and Pharisees were listening to Christ. They were not hearing Him even though they bare witness and wondered "at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth" Yet, they were not listening for something to bless their soul, but they were critical. They couldnt find one thing wrong with what He said. What did these Jews and Pharisees find to criticize? "Oh, thats just Joseph's son. (4:22). We know His brothers and His sisters." They had to find fault with Him, and they couldnt find one thing. Therefore, they condemned Him because they knew He was Josephs son.
Now, even after such a powerful witness of the truth in their own hearts, there was no true Sabbath rest in the souls of these Jews. This was on the Sabbath day. He was in the temple. Their hearts were filled with murder even though their own hearts bare witness of the wondrous, gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth.
We have to understand what is a true Sabbath rest. LUK 4:28-29 says, "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong." Their own hearts witnessed the gracious words that He spoke.
In their mind, Sabbath-keeping was merely inaction. Oh, dont move anything that is bigger than half the weight of a fig, and dont do this or that. The dos and the donts, all put together, made up their traditions, their commandments of men. They had hearts filled with criticism, and hearts filled with murder and slander and blasphemy, and they dared to take up stones and throw at the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? He told them who He was; He told them the truth. What they didnt understand was that true Sabbath-keeping is a matter of heart. It is a matter of worship. It is a day set aside for the worship of God and to receive the blessings from the wonderful works of God, that He proclaims to us on the Sabbath day. That is where our Sabbath day should be pulling us.
The Jews had no idea about the right use and employment of the Sabbath because of their perverted view of the Sabbath. They did not understand: "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath," as Jesus said in MAR 2:27. The Lord Jesus reproved them sharply with this.
To understand what Jesus meant by saying: "The sabbath was made for man," we must find the real meaning of the word Sabbath. If we rightly understand what the word Sabbath means, then we understand what "the sabbath was made for man" means. Now, the Sabbath keeping wasnt necessarily in a state of sin in our fallen nature. The "sabbath was made for man" began before the fall. What was it set aside for?
The word Sabbath as it is found 59 times in the New Testament comes from the Greek word sabbaton. So, what does it mean? Sabbaton means "the Sabbath, or day of weekly repose from secular avocations or distraction." In other words, the Lord has set aside one day a week whereby we find repose or a place of refuge from all the distractions of our secular life.
Before the fall, the Lord told Adam that it was his job to be keeper of the garden. Adam wasnt just sitting there watching television. Adam was given specific duties that he must do six days a week, but he was given one day a week that he had a repose or a place where he found rest from all the distractions that kept him from the sole worship of God. Now, the Sabbath is for the worship of God. The Sabbath is a place designated by the Lord, one day a week, where we have a place to escape all the distractions that we have in our secular life, so it can be solely set aside, heart and soul, worshipping God. That is the meaning of the Sabbath.
Now, the word rest as it is found in HEB 4:9 comes from the Greek word sabbatismos. That is a slightly different word, but it is derived from the same root word in the Greek, sabbaton, or Sabbath. It also has a slightly different meaning. Now, watch what we see in HEB 4:9. "There remaineth therefore a rest [That word rest, if you look in the margin of your Bible, you will see that it says "or the keeping of a sabbath." So, there remaineth therefore a keeping of the sabbath] to the people of God."
See the distinction between the people of God and the Pharisees. They went through all of their legalistic maneuvers, and they wouldnt move anything heavier than half the weight of a fig. They were self-righteous, and they were critical of anybody who violated their commandments of men, but they had no rest from their secular ambitions. Their hearts were still filled with criticism and murder. Their hearts were not devoted to the worship of God or worshipping God for the wonderful work He had done. God was making a way open that we might come to that true jubilee and be delivered from the servitude of our old master, Satan and sin.
That trumpet of jubilee was blown on that first day of the week. The great jubilee, when our blessed Saviour arose from the grave and He gained the victory over death and the grave. On the jubilee we could be delivered from a debt we could not pay. They understood nothing of the true meaning of a Sabbath rest.
Now I want you to see that there is a distinction here. A person who is not one of Gods people could come and attend the assembly; they could sit under the preaching and all the while their heart is still filled with the things of this life.
I remember myself, many a time, that I had planned some of the most crafty designs of how to do a job on Monday while I was sitting in the pew on Sunday. Was that Sabbath rest? No. A Sabbath rest is when we have been delivered from the distractions of this life, when our heart is totally devoted to the worship of God.
Is there a New Testament Sabbath? Many people will tell you that the "Sabbath" was abolished in the New Testament. That is not what it says in HEB 4:9: "There is the keeping of a sabbath to the people of God." Why? Those who are not having their eyes anointed to see the need of being delivered and redeemed from all iniquity have no Sabbath rest. They do not have a Sabbath rest even if they have come and sat in the church and sat right with the congregation of the Lord, because their hearts have no rest. There is no deliverance from the distraction of the things of this life. This rest is for the people of God.
So, now, do you understand what is meant by what we read in ISA 57:20-21? "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." You can bring one who is not of Gods people and their heart is still casting up mire and dirt. This is what we see in the scribes and the Pharisees and the Jews. They were in the temple on the Sabbath day. They were going through the motions, but their hearts were still filled with murder. Their hearts were still filled with all the distractions of their self-righteous Phariseeism and of all their hypocrisy. There was no true worship. Their hearts could not rest. They were as waters that cast up mire and dirt.
Now, this Sabbath rest of the people of God (which is a type of heaven) is not troubled by those waters. As I pointed out, that word rest in HEB 4:9 comes from that word sabbatismos and it is derived from the same word sabbath, but this word sabbatismos is translated to mean "the repose of Christianity" and it is as a type of heaven. The Sabbath is to give us a foretaste of what we have in heaven. What is that? When all of these troubled waters are made calm. All this stirring up of all this distraction that keeps us from the worship of God. All these waters will become calm.
The Sabbath rest of the people of God, which is a type of heaven, is not troubled by those waters of secular distraction, which casts up all of this mire and dirt. All of these frustrations, and all this toiling, and all this distraction that we have throughout the week is all set to rest on the Sabbath day. It is a type of heaven.
What do see in REV 15:2-3 when it speaks of heaven? Have you ever seen a lake on a calm day where the water was like a sea of glass? It was just like a mirror, and you could see the mountains and objects reflecting on the surface. That is what there will be in heaven. There will be no distraction. It will be an eternal Sabbath, an eternal day of worship, of singing the songs of praise.
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." REV 15:2-3.
What is the song of Moses? It was a song of deliverance from the things of the world. They were delivered from the Egyptians, which is a type of the world. The song of the Lamb is of the Lamb that is worthy, which was slain. So now we have that precious atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ as the object of our worship. Why? We are on a sea of glass, that true and eternal Sabbath, where there isnt a ripple to cast up mire and dirt that brings unrest. All is put to rest. The Sabbath is to set at rest all our secular labors of the weekdays, and to have a day that is set aside for the Lord.
Our text says in JOH 9:14, "And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes." It was that day set aside for revealing and manifesting the wonderful works of God, and that is what He told His disciples in JOH 9:4-5. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Jesus came to manifest the wonderful works of God, to shine the light of the gospel, and show men the salvation there is in Christ.
As the people of God are gathered together in God's ordained way, not only do they find that those waters of secular distraction which cast up mire and dirt are left behind, but their eyes of faith become fixed upon the blessed rest we have in Christ. Now, Christ becomes our center. We are not primarily worried about, well how am I going to make this work or how is that project going to go. We leave that all behind. Now, our hearts are set upon and fixed upon the blessed rest that we have in Christ. That precious jubilee of the Lord Jesus Christ, that trumpet of the jubilee that was blown, made us free from all secular avocations.
Secular distractions can be more than just work. It can be our field of entertainment. Many people dont want to go to church in the afternoon on a Sunday because they want to stay at home to watch the Super Bowl. Where is their heart? That is desecrating the Sabbath day. If that day that God has set aside as a day of rest from all secular distraction, if that day is observed, thou shalt delight thyself in the Lord. Why? We have done the Lords pleasure, and we receive His pleasure. Now, we see the delight of the Lord, and He will cause us to ride upon the high places of the earth.
We see this admonition in ISA 58:13-14. "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words [in other words, if our delight is in worshipping God] Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." How sure or true is this? The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it!
The Jews never understood the blessed revelation the Prophet Isaiah penned of the true meaning of the Sabbath. The Jews had that prophecy in ISA 58. They had access to it, but just like we see today, people have a religion, their philosophy, and their doctrines. Do you know what is amazing? They dont read anything that contradicts them. That is just as true today as it was then.
I was talking to a man who has worked in a mission field all his life. He has translated the Bible into numbers of different languages for all of the different tribes in New Guinea. Now, you would say, if anybody knew the Bible, that man ought to know the Bible. I brought him to DEU 29:29 and I read him, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever " I asked what the rest of that verse said. He thought that is all there is to it. You see, that last part of that verse, which is the thrust of the whole verse says, " that we may do all the words of this law." He didnt even realize that there was more to that verse. Do you know why? This is how people build on what they believe.
Now, I want you to see how dangerous that is. Here we have the Jews building the commandments of men with such a glaring, clear testimony of the Prophet Isaiah of the true meaning of the Sabbath. They totally ignored pertinent Scripture. That is why it is so important that the Word of God is used for the washing of the water of the Word of everything you think you believe. If it is not in the Word of God, and you cant find it in the Word of God, put it in the round file (the garbage can).
The Jews never understood this blessed revelation that the prophet penned of the true meaning of the Sabbath. Now, I want you to consider LUK 13:11-12. "And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity." This happened on the Sabbath day. On the Sabbath day He delivers His people from their infirmities.
She was set free from "the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt," on the Sabbath day as we read in ISA 57:20.
LUK 13:13-14 continues, "And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation. And he said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day." Do you see why the ruler of the synagogue was indignant? He did not understand ISA 58. He was the ruler of the synagogue, the doctor of the law, the man who was the head of the church. He answered with indignation because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day and set her free from her infirmities. He did not understand that the true meaning of the Sabbath day is to be delivered from all distractions of the flesh.
I want you to see how perverted our understanding can be of the Bible, by means of our interpretations of the Bible, rather than by just reading what it says. If that man, the ruler of the synagogue, had just merely literally read ISA 58, he couldnt have condemned Christ for setting her free of her infirmities on the Sabbath. If he had understood what the word Sabbath meant, he couldnt have condemned Jesus.
Now, our text says, "And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes." Sometimes for our eyes to become opened to see our fellowship in His sufferings, we are going to suffer some reproach or criticism. Sometimes we are going to suffer what Jesus suffered. Sometimes we come on the Sabbath day under the preaching of the gospel when the Holy Spirit will bring the Lord Jesus Christ up before our eyes of faith. Then we will understand why we are being criticized. We will understand why murder is in the heart of those who are jealous.
Look at what we read in HEB 13:13. "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." Our Saviour suffered pain so He could relate to the pain we suffer. Our Saviour suffered hunger so He could relate to the hunger that we suffer. Our Saviour suffered poverty so He could relate to the poverty that we suffer. He can so intimately relate to what we suffer. Did it ever enter your mind that sometimes the Lord is going allow us to suffer what He suffered? Do you know why? It is so we will have a better understanding what He suffered for us. Would you ever have the faintest idea of the reproach that He suffered unless you suffer reproach? It is by you suffering reproach for His Names sake that you start to understand the reproach that He bore for us.
Now, on the Sabbath day, after we have been criticized and slandered, we understand what He is saying in Verse 14. "For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come." Do you see what that does? It loosens us from the ties of the flesh. It loosens us from the ties of the world. All of this secular distraction is removed. Why? When we come on the Sabbath day in His ordained way, into His house of prayer, all is made plain. That is when our eyes are opened to understand and see. It was on the Sabbath day that Jesus made clay and opened the blind mans eyes.
Verses 15-16 continue, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." Multitudes are willing to hear what Jesus has done, but they are not willing to identify with His reproach. They are not willing to identify with Him. Even though the parents of the blind man saw the wonder that Christ had performed for their own son, they loved to hear it, but they would not identify with it.
In JOH 9:18-23 we read, "But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews [They knew how he had received his sight and they knew who did it, but they lied. They would not identify because they didnt want the reproach. Why?]: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. [They didnt want to be put out of the synagogue. They wanted the praise of men.] Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him." They would not identify with His reproach.
Now, even though his parents would not identify with the very salvation of their own son, this man who was born blind made no attempt to flinch from the reproach he received from these same Pharisees. Do you see the difference? This man made no attempt to escape that reproach.
JOH 9:11says, "He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight." He said it just the way it was. He didnt flinch. Now watch this. When this man was brought to the Pharisees they did not, as one would think, praise the Benefactor. When he told what a wonder and what a miracle He had performed, they didnt praise the Benefactor for the wonderful works which He had manifest on the Sabbath day. Instead, they made every effort to discredit Jesus. They couldnt deny the wonder of the miracle. He had said He was the light and He gave light to that man who was in total darkness.
JOH 9:16-18 describes their reaction. "Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?" To some extent they were using right judgment. If a man keeps not the Sabbath, He is not of God. To the people of God there is a Sabbath. To the people of God there is a place of rest, repose from the distractions of this world. The Pharisees said that He didnt keep the Sabbath. They were wrong in the fact that He did keep the Sabbath, but their judgment was on the basis that if a man is a Sabbath-breaker, hes not of God, in that they were right. However, Jesus did not break the Sabbath according to the meaning of the word Sabbath. So, in other words, they were recognizing that He was not a sinner.
It is just like this thing with Roe vs. Wade. Women have a right to privacy. We dont have to argue with that, but where the courts make their error in judgment is, there is a distinction between privacy and a conspiracy in privacy. Have you ever known that most conspiracies take place in private? So, do we have a right to conspire to kill just because we do it in private? That is where the courts err in judgment. A woman has a right to privacy. She should be allowed to talk to her doctor without having it made public, but does that give her a right to conspire to kill-just because she is in private?
This is exactly what we have here. What the Pharisees were saying is, "Well, if He was a sinner, He couldnt do these things. So that proved that He was not a sinner. So, He was not a Sabbath-breaker." They judged, if He was a Sabbath-breaker, He was not of God, and this was true. If He was a sinner, He couldnt have done the miracle. So, now the conclusion is, He was not a sinner, but that they refused to accept. They wanted to be critical of Him and prove Him a sinner.
Now when the man was brought to the Pharisees, instead of glorifying God, they went out to discredit him. This man was listening to the argument between the people. Some are saying, Well, if he was a sinner, He couldnt do this miracle, and others were saying, He broke the Sabbath, He cant be of God. Verse 17says, "They say unto the blind man again [because they were in disagreement among themselves], What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet."
Verse 18 continues, "But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight." So, the insult the Jews had made by taking up stones to stone Jesus for His claim that "before Abraham was, I am" as we saw in JOH 8:58, was followed by this miracle, which the Pharisees could not deny. They couldnt deny that He was the light, that He had given light unto one who was born blind.
Their purpose was to discredit Jesus, therefore they tried to use their strongest reproof and wrest it against Him regardless of logic. Now, I want you to notice that we need to use our logic. They were playing with logic. Well, if He was of God, He couldnt be a sinner. He could not be a Sabbath breaker, because if you are a Sabbath breaker you are not of God. In that they judged rightly. The man was using logic and he put the two together and said, "Hes a prophet." They had to use logic, and regardless of logic, in JOH 9:16, some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day." Their judgment was wrong in the fact that He was not keeping the Sabbath.
Now, our Saviour was fully aware that His actions would offend. You and I have to sometimes follow our Saviours example here. Just because we know that somebody would be offended doesnt mean that we conform to their thinking. He was fully aware that His actions would offend these self-righteous hypocrites, but He was not willing to condone their commandments of men, which were against His law of love.
Now consider MAR 7:2-5. "And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?"
The Lord Jesus did not ask or demand His disciples to conform to these traditions. Do you know why? He used this occasion to reveal their heart and a heart problem. He allowed His disciples to do contrary to their traditions because it was used to reveal their wrong attitudes.
MAR 7:6-7 continues where the Lord Jesus is showing us that He allowed these things that He knew would offend them as occasions to reprove them with the gospel, to reveal their hearts. "He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." He revealed their hypocrisy by doing things He knew would offend them.
Now, may our eyes become fully opened as we find repose from all secular distractions to see the great lesson Jesus left us with here, that is, that we are not to be in bondage to the mandates of religious legislators when their rules are not supported by Scripture. Many will legislate, like these Pharisees were, with their dictates of dos and donts. We are not to conform to them, just to have peace, if they are not supported by Scripture.
Those who are enemies of the truth are not only bold to wrest the true meaning of God's Word, they will use every means God will allow to intimidate those little babes in Christ who boldly confess His name.
Look at JOH 9:30-34. "The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. [He is trying to point out to these that if Christ was not doing the will of God, God would not hear Him.] Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him [See how they tried to intimidate him], Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out." His parents wouldnt identify with the truth, so they could stay in the synagogue, but he was cast out.
This man that was born blind had not only confessed the precious name of Jesus, but had come to fellowship in His reproach. He had obeyed. He had been willing to bare His reproach. Then Jesus Christ did manifest His wonderful works unto him in a saving way on that memorable Sabbath day. This man was glorifying God on that Sabbath day.
Now watch what we see in JOH 9:35-38. "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. [Now, I want you to see the blessed results of those whose eyes are opened on the Sabbath day, on this memorable Sabbath day. What did he see?] And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him." The Lord revealed Himself. He said, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. The Lord revealed Himself to this man who was faithful to his profession, and he worshipped Him.
Now, God was not only glorified in this man's salvation, but also in the witness it bear unto the truth. In JOH 9:39-41 we read, "And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
The Lord is showing us that this man who was born blind was open for the truth. The men who were so proud that they had so much knowledge of the truth were wresting the Word of God. They were twisting the meaning of the Sabbath, and they had found no rest for their own souls. He said that because they said they could see, in other words, they were not open for the truth, they were not willing to hear the truth. Therefore, they would remain blind. It was as if they were told, "You dont love the truth. Youve heard it, you dont want to hear it; you are critical of the truth, and therefore the Lord left them blind."
Our text says in JOH 9:14, "And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes." I want you to see how that the Lord honors His own institutions. The Lord instituted the Sabbath day, and the Lord instituted it for a reason. On the Sabbath day He opened the eyes; it was on the Sabbath day that He made the clay and anointed the blind mans eyes. The Lord honors His own institutions. Amen.
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