Keith Hunt - Bible Story, NT - Chapter Twenty-three: Continuation on the Last Great Feast Day   Restitution of All Things
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New Testament Bible
Story

Chapter Twenty-three:

Continuation on Last Great Feast Day



TRUE SONS OF ABRAHAM

     To those Jews who now believed in Jesus He said, "If you
continue and endure in following my word, then you will truly be
my disciples, and the truth you shall know, and what is more the
truth will make you FREE!"
     Many other Jews were standing and listening to Him, and when
they hear these words about being "free" they answered with some
disgust in their voices, "We are Abraham's offspring, and were
never in bondage to any man: why then do you say, 'You shall be
made free'?"
     Jesus answered them saying, "It is the truth I'm saying unto
you. Whoever practices a life of sin, just flowing along with it,
is the slave and servant of sin. And the servant does not abide
in his master's house forever, but the Son of the master does
abide there forever. If the Son therefore shall make you free,
you shall be free indeed."
     Jesus was talking about Himself as the atoning sacrifice for
our sins. With faith in His death, shed blood on the cross, and
His risen immortal life, we can have freedom from being a slave
to sin. The Jews were once more not getting it, and were
horrified to think He was telling them that they were slaves.
They had a large amount of self-righteous "religious" canopy over
them as a people who had been chosen by God as "His special
favored people" of all the peoples on the earth. Mentally, they
never thought they were in bondage to anyone or anything.

     Jesus continued: "I know that you are Abraham's offspring;
but I also know many of you seek to KILL me, because you cannot
understand my word, it's just going in one ear and out the other
ear. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you speak
what you have seen with your father."
     "You are talking ridiculously, how can we have been speaking
with Abraham who has been dead for centuries, as he is our
father," the Jews retorted again.
     "If you really were Abraham's children in attitude of mind
and spiritual maturity, you would be living and doing the works
of Abraham," Jesus replied to them. "But now many of you seek to
kill me, a man who has told what the truth is, which I received
from God. Abraham did not do what I've done. But you indeed do
the deeds of your father, the one who is not Abraham."
     Oh, these words from Jesus really got them as mad as a wild
snorting bull ready to charge. They knew there was some question
about His birth, and that Mary His mother was "with child" before
she was married to Joseph, so using this "crept out knowledge"
from ones who knew Mary and Joseph before they were married, they
flung back these words at Jesus, "Well...we are not born from
fornication (sexual relations before marriage). We have ONE
father, even God."
     Now, they changed from claiming Abraham as their father to
what they certainly felt was an answer that Jesus would not be
able to penetrate - that the one Almighty God was their father.

     But Jesus answered them, "If God was really in your heart
and mind your Father, you would love me; for I have come from
God; and I did not come of my own will and mind, but God Himself
sent me. You do not understand my words, because you cannot
comprehend in your mind what they are saying to you."

     Then, looking straight at them with piercing eyes, Jesus
spoke words that must have cut them like a sharp two-edged knife,
right between the ribs and into the heart. They were the plainest
words He ever spoke to any of His enemies up to this point in
time, "You are of YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your
father you keep doing. He was a murderer from the beginning, and
abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he
speaks a lie, he speaks from what he is, for he is a liar, and
he is the father and originator of lies. And because I tell you
the truth, you do not like to hear it, and so do not believe me.
Tell me if you can, which one of you convinces me of sin? None of
you, for it is the other way around, it is I that tells you the
truth, and convinces you of sin. So why then do you not believe
me? I will tell you. He that has a heart and mind that God loves
and can communicate with, they can hear and understand God's
word. But you hear not and do not understand because you are not
of the same mindset as God. You are not His children!"

     Many Jews had in the past openly thought, said, and taught
others, that this Jesus Christ man was from the Devil, doing all
He did by the power given to Him from the Devil himself. Jesus
had now laid it down also openly and plainly, that He taught it
was THEY not Him who was from the Devil. Once more they shouted
back to Jesus and all within hearing range, their old theme about
Him, "We have said well and correctly, that you are from the
Samaritan sect and that you have a demon in you."

     The Samaritans were a Jewish sect just to the north of
Judea. In going to Galilee from Jerusalem, as Jesus and His
disciples often did, they would frequently have passed through
this area called Samaria (not the land area of the Old Testament
Samaria, but only a small portion of land, see a Bible Atlas on
the four Gospel period). The Samaritans were hated by the Jews of
Judea because they had their own "temple" and "Jewish
worship system" apart from and separate from, the Jews of the
rest of Palestine. To say that you were a Samaritan and had a
demon possessing you, was about the lowest, and dirtiest language
of the time, that a Jew could rail at anyone.
     Jesus was not about to back down this time around, "I have
not a demon; but I honor my Father, and you, by your words and
mental attitude, dishonor me. I do not seek my own glory. There
is ONE that seeks and judges, He knows my heart and your hearts.
I'm telling you the truth, if any person will obey my saying,
live by what I teach, he shall not die."
     "Oh, now we know for sure, " the Jews replied, "now we know
you have a demon in you. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and
you stand here and tell us that if anyone keeps your words, they
shall not taste of death. Are you greater than our father
Abraham, who is dead? Are you greater than the prophets, who are
dead also? Who do you think you are? What are you saying about
yourself?"

     Jesus was not saying to them that people who lived by His
words would never taste of physical death, but somehow keep right
on living. He was saying (as we have seen before in other
chapters) that people who follow Him, would have eternal life
within them, and would one day inherit the Kingdom of God. They
would not die forever, but be raised to immortal life in a
resurrection. In some translations from the Greek, it is
rendered this way, as Jesus actually saying, "If a man keep my
sayings he shall not die forever."
     But, the Jews took it to mean Jesus was teaching that those
who followed Him would never die in this physical life. They knew
that great men of God like Abraham, was not still alive. They
knew such men did not have an immortal soul that kept on
thinking, and talking, and walking around, in some "other world"
- be it heaven or wherever. So they naturally wanted to know who
He thought He was that could have followers who would live and
never die.
     Jesus was not about to loose the opportunity to now be
pretty plain and frank about who He was and that He had lived in
the ages past.

     "If I honor myself, my honor is then nothing, just ones
man's talk and idea. It is my Father that honors me; of whom you
are claiming He is your God, and that you are His children. Yet,
you do not know Him, you just think you do. But I know Him, if I
should say that I did not, I would simply be a liar, and so be
like all of you. But I do know Him, and I keep His word and
teachings. Your father Abraham rejoiced TO SEE MY DAY, and he
did SEE IT, and was overjoyed."

     The Jews knew exactly what Jesus was meaning by these last
words especially. They were not blinded at all to what Jesus was
now telling them. He was telling them that He lived in the days
of Abraham. They knew He was saying this for with amazement they
replied to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, no where near
that age, and you are telling us that you lived when Abraham
lived and that you saw Abraham when he lived on this
earth. Is not that what you are telling us?"
     With truth at His side, Jesus replied to them, "It is true,
very true, I'm saying to you that before Abraham was ever born, 
the I AM was me."

     The letters "I AM" in the English translations as found in
the book of Exodus. The God that talked to Moses at the burning
bush, the God who told Moses to tell the people, if they asked
who had sent him to them, to tell them His name was I AM. It
means "Eternal, self-existent one." All religious Jews of
Christ's time knew very well that the "I AM" of the Old Testament
was none other than God Almighty. They did not know there were
two person in the one God or Godhead, and that both had the same
names, just as it sometimes is with a father and son who have the
same names (but with us we usually call the son, John Junior, and
the father as just John). They did not know that fact, and to
them it would not have mattered anyway. All they knew for sure
was that this Jesus man, was now clearly claiming to be their
God, the I AM, the eternal one of Moses' time.

     For anyone to claim such a title, to claim they were God,
was, in Jewish eyes complete and utter blasphemy! Such blasphemy
of sin  was punishable by death. They knew Roman law forbade them
to put anyone to death without consent from the Roman
authorities, but they were so filled with outrage at what they
now knew Jesus was saying about Himself, that they forgot about
any Roman law and immediately picked up stones to throw at Him
and to kill Him on the spot. But Jesus walked through the midst
of them. It was not yet His time to be put to death (John 8:
31-59).
      
HEALING THE MAN BORN BLIND

     Jesus leaves the Temple and as He is walking along He sees a
blind man, and it is known by the disciples that this man was
born blind. They asked Him, "Master, tell us, who was it that
sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
     Before we see how Jesus answered them, we need to note that
in this question we find that there are physical sins we or
others can commit, and in so doing there could very well be a
physical penalty to carry with us for the rest of our lives. The
disciples knew this truth and so asked their question to Jesus.
     He replied, "It was not this man that sinned, nor was it his
parents that sinned, but it was so ordained that he be born blind
so the works of God could be manifested in him by his healing."
This answer may at first seem somewhat harsh. Why would God
ordain that a person be born blind and have to wait many years
before God would heal him of that blindness? All I can give you
for the answer to that question is to read Romans 9: 14-23 in a
modern translation.

     Jesus continued to answer them, "I must work the works of
Him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man
can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the LIGHT of the
world."
     Jesus was relatively soon going to be arrested and finally
put to death on the cross. In that sense it would be night. Then
He was going to be resurrected and return to the Father in
heaven. So, now He was in the world in person, and now it was day
and light and time to work the works of God.

     After He had spoken these words, He spat on the ground and
made some clay of the spittle. He then anointed the eyes of the
blind man with the clay, and said to him, "Go and wash your face
in the pool of Siloam (which word means - Sent). He did as Jesus
commanded and washed, and he was healed from his blindness and
came among the people seeing clearly.
     Why did Jesus make clay from spittle and anoint the blind
man's eyes with it, and tell him to go and wash? Why not just say
"the word" and heal him? Possibly the answer is that sometimes in
being healed from our sicknesses and afflictions, we must do our
part in doing whatever needs to be done on the physical side, a
"getting in harmony with nature" some like to call it. Our body
is a very intricate machine and we must keep all parts in balance
and good working order to have and maintain good health. The
physical laws of food, water, sleep, exercise, proper mental and
emotional health, must all be kept in balance and correct
function within God's physical laws, to be healthy.
     Then again, Jesus making clay and anointing his eyes might
just have been an example to us that God heals in different ways,
at different times, with different people.

     As the man went among the people now being healed, many who
had known that he was born blind began to talk among themselves.
"Is this not the man that we know was born blind and sat and
begged?" some asked with amazement. "Yes, it is indeed
him!" replied others, but then some said, "No, I do not think so,
it is someone who just looks like him." But the man himself, on
hearing all this, spoke up and said, "It is I, I am the man who
was born blind, but now I can see like the rest of you."
     "Well, this is fantastic," some shouted out, "so please tell
us who performed this miracle on you?"
     "A man they call Jesus. He made some clay, anointed my eyes
with it, and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Shiloam and wash,' so
I did, and I received sight in my eyes," replied the man with
great happiness and excitement in his voice.
     "Where is this man,?" they asked him.
     "Well...he is...hummm, I don't know," he answered them.

     Some individuals brought the man to the Pharisees. John the
apostle tells us, as it is in the original Greek, "it was Sabbath
when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes." Yes, it was the
same day as Jesus was teaching in the Temple earlier, which was
the day AFTER the seven day Feast of Tabernacles. It was the
EIGHTH day (as Leviticus chapter 23 calls it). It was a Sabbath,
not THE SABBATH, which is used in the Gospels to indicate the
SEVENTH DAY Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The word "THE" is
not in the Greek. The Greek reads, "It was Sabbath...."  And the
context makes it clear that it was Sabbath of the EIGHTH DAY
FEAST.....the LAST GREAT FEAST of God's festivals as outlined in
Leviticus 23.
     Some knew the Pharisees would be very interested in this man
and who had healed him ON a Sabbath day. They would deem it as
breaking the Sabbath, especially when going to the work of making
clay. Such was their interpretations and man made rules of "not
working on a Sabbath" as we saw earlier, and as we can find in
written history by orthodox Jews even to this day.
     Now it was the turn of the Pharisees to ask the man how he
received his sight. He answered them as he did the people  before
who asked the same question.
     Sure enough, when the Pharisees heard the man's reply as to
how he was healed, some said, "The man who did this healing is
not of God, because he has broken the law of Sabbath keeping."
But to this some replied, "How can such a man you claim is a
sinner, do such mighty miracles?" So once again there was
division among them concerning Jesus.
     They then turned to the man himself who had been healed and
said, "Well, what do you think about this man that opened your
eyes so you can now see? Do you think he is from God?"
     "I think he must be a prophet from God, yes, I think he must
be," the man answered them.
     Now, the Pharisees, began to doubt that the man had ever
been born blind in the first place. They decided they wanted to
hear from his parents if such was really true. They called for
the parents to be found and to coming to them, they asked, "Is
this your son, who you say was born blind? If so, then how do you
suppose he can now see?"
     "Yes, he certainly is our son, and yes, he was indeed born
blind, this we know being his parents. But we have no clue as to
the means by which his eyes were opened to be able to see. He is
an adult, he can speak for himself. Ask him," responded the
man's parents.
     The apostle John tells us that the reply by these parents
was precipitated because they feared the Pharisees and their
supporters, as they had agreed among themselves to put out of the
synagogue's fellowship, anyone who confessed that Jesus was the
Christ. So the parents turned it back to their son to answer this
question of how he was healed from blindness.

     The man who could now see was called again to appear before
the Jewish leaders. They confronted him with, "You should give
God all the praise, for we know the man who did this to you is a
great sinner."
     "If he be a sinner or not a sinner, I do not know. I only
know this one thing, whereas I was blind, I can now see,"
answered the man.
     "Very well, but what did he do to you, how did he go about
healing you and restoring your sight?" asked the leaders.
     "I've already told you, I've answered you before on this
question. Why are you asking me again the same question, is it
because you want to be his disciples?" the man replied with some
sarcasm in his voice, knowing they had no such intention in being
disciples of Jesus.
     Did this reply ever make them upset, and with anger they
told him, "We are Moses' disciples, but we bet that you are a
disciple of this man Jesus. We know God spoke to Moses face to
face, but as to this fellow who healed you from blindness, we
don't know where he is from or who has sent him."
     With a gasp of amazement the man answered, "Well, this is
surely quite something, what a marvel, you do not know even from
where he comes, yet he opened my eyes. We know it is a fact that
God does not hear gross sinners, and we also know that if someone
be a worshipper of God in sincerity and truth, and obeys Him,
then God will hear that person.  Then, it is also a fact that
since the world began, no one has ever heard of anyone opening
the eyes of a person born blind. If this man Jesus is not from
God, he could not do anything like this miracle."
     Getting even hotter under the collar, the leaders screamed
back, "You were born in sins, you are from the gutter of society,
and are you trying to teach us?" Then they cast him out and away
from their company.

     It was reported to Jesus that the man had been cast out  by
the Jewish leaders, and He went searching for him. Finding him
Jesus said, "Do you believe on the Son of God?"
     "Who is He, Lord, that I might believe?" the man asked.
     "You have seen Him, and He is the person now talking to
you," Jesus answered.
     "Oh yes, Lord, I do believe," the man replied with praise in
his voice, and he fell down and worshipped Him.
     Jesus said, "For judgment I am come into this world, that
they which see not might see; and they which see might be made
blind."
     Some of the Pharisees standing nearby and hearing these
words, said, "Are we blind also?" They knew what Jesus was
meaning, and they knew the truth of what had being going on this
whole day. They knew the truth as to what Jesus was saying and
the miracles He was performing, that it was all from God. Deep in
their hearts they knew the
truth.
     Jesus knew they knew and so responded to their question with
these words, "If you were blind, you should have no sin; but now
you admit, 'We see'; therefore your sin remains."
     When you are ignorantly blind there can be a good reason to
say "we have no sin" for you do not know or understand that you
have sin, but when you know better, and say "Are we also blind?"
meaning that you are not blind to the truth, then you are in a
position to repent of sin. These Pharisees knew the truth, but
would not repent, hence their sins still remained on the books so
to speak, and could not be blotted out by mercy through believing
in Christ.

     The giving of sight to the man born blind was done on a
Sabbath day, the one after the last day of the Feast of
Tabernacles, the eighth day, the last great Feast Day of the
religious festivals outlined in Leviticus 23. The Feast of
Tabernacles pictures the 1,000 years reign of Christ on the
earth, the millennium as it is commonly called today
(see Zechariah 14). The Last Great Feast Day pictures the second
judgment resurrection, when millions who were spiritually blinded
in their physical life, who died in that blindness, will be
raised to physical life once more, and will be given the book of
life and a chance to have that spiritual blindness removed. They
will be given an opportunity to be healed from sin, and to accept
Jesus as Savior, as the Son of God, and to worship Him, just as
the man born blind was given his physical sight and an
opportunity to know who the Son of God was, and to worship Him.
     It was and is a wonderful example of what is to happen in
the future when this Last Great Feast Day becomes a reality, as
the plan of God for the salvation of all who have ever lived, is
unfolded for all to see. For most they will accept sight, but for
some, their sins will remain, and sadly they may reject knowing
the very Son of God (John 9: 1 - 41). 

MORE LAST FEAST DAY TRUTH

     Jesus taught more fitting truths on this Sabbath Feast Day,
saying:

     "Truly, truly, I say to you, he that enters not by the door
into the sheep-fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a
thief and a robber. But he that enters in through the door is the
shepherd of the sheep. And to him the gatekeeper opens; and the
sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and
leads them out. And when he leads out his own sheep he goes
before them leading the way, and the sheep follow him: for they
know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but will
actually flee from him; for they do not know the voice of
strangers."
     Again, most of the people did not understand what Jesus was
talking about. They could not gather that He was talking about
Himself being THE shepherd and only through Him could you enter
the Kingdom of God. Salvation could not be obtained by being a
"good" ....whatever....Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, Communist, native
in some tribe in dark Africa or anything else, WITHOUT Christ as
your Lord and Savior. Jesus is the ONLY door, the only shepherd
of the sheep (Acts 4: 12). Those that are His sheep will know
Him and know His voice. This is why there needs to be a day, an
age, when millions who have never known the only shepherd and
door to the Kingdom, will be raised to life again, so they can
have blindness removed and the book of life opened to them
(Rev.20: 11-15).

     Jesus continued and explained, "Truly, it is very true, that
I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are
thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them. I am the
door; by me if any person enters in, they shall be saved, and
shall go in and out and find pasture."

     Yes, all other forms of religion, or self-help, or "new age"
philosophy or whatever else is out there to teach people they can
find eternal life through belief in them, are simply thieves and
robbers. They just do not cut the mustard as we might say.

     Jesus went on talking about the thief and Himself as the
good shepherd:

     "The thief comes, but only to steel, and to kill, and to
destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that people
might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. But he that is
only hired as a stand in for the shepherd, is not the shepherd,
and the sheep do not belong to him. When he sees the wolf coming,
he doesn't care about the sheep, and runs off. The wolf then
breaks in, catches some, and scatters the rest of the sheep. The
hired hand flees, because he is only a hired hand, and doesn't
really have personal concern for the sheep. I am the good
shepherd, and I know my sheep, and they know me.
     As the Father knows me, even so I know the Father: and I lay
down my life for the sheep. And there are other sheep I have
which are not of this fold of Judah: them I must also bring into
the my sheep-fold, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall
be ONE fold, and ONE shepherd. Therefore my Father loves me,
because I will lay down my life, that I might take it up again.
No man takes it from me, but I willingly will lay it down. I
have the authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take
it again. This commandment I have received from my Father."

     Jesus' life was "in his own hands" we would say. It was the
Father's wish, directive, that He lay it down for the sheep, and
in so doing He had the knowledge that it would be taken up again.
His life would be resurrected from the dead. Jesus was a willing
sacrifice for the sheep, and so the Father loved Him greatly.
Also the sheep-fold of Jesus was more than just the people of
Judea, even more than all the people of Israel. It would
include people from all nations of the world eventually, as we
shall see when we come to the Bible Story in the book of Acts.
But being made up of many from all nations it would still be ONE
sheep-fold, belonging to Christ, and He would still be the only
shepherd of that fold, the only door for the sheep to enter to
obtain eternal life.
     After Jesus ended this teaching, there was once more
disagreement and division among the Jews about Him for all that
He taught. Some again said He had a demon, that He was mad, and
not to listen to Him. Others said, "No, these are not the words
of him that has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
(John 10: 1-21).

                  .........................

Written October 2002 


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