Posts Tagged With: blind

Saul, the Man Who Had It (And Lost It) All

You talk about a rising rockstar.

You are about to meet him in this PODCAST, up close and personal: Saul of Tarsus. Disciple of the renowned Rabbi Gamaliel. One of the Jerusalem-based Pharisees. Soon to become a voting-member of Israel’s Supreme Court—the Sanhedrin.

This was a guy whose career-path was rocketing skyward in an ever-ascending trajectory to greatness.

In terms of his religious tradition, passed on to him by his Pharisee-father, Saul was a guy who had it all—

  • A rapidly-increasing influence.
  • A growing respect among his peers.
  • Certainly the pride of his parents.
  • The possibility of fortune to go along with his ever-expanding fame.
  • And, of course, to his way of thinking, the super-abundant approval of God, along with all of God’s bountiful blessings that Saul though he deserved, and that allowed Saul to justify to himself his murderous rage.

Indeed, Saul had it all.

And consequently, Saul had it all to lose.

And lose it, he did. In the blink of an eye, literally.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“I Want to See.”

99222_origMeet Blind Bartimaeus, a man who seems at first blush to be nothing more than a bit player in this most dramatic and poignant moment.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, this wasn’t the first time that Jesus healed a blind man. Nor is this the first time we have talked about Jesus healing a blind man. Last November, Podcast 141, comes to mind. So I would totally understand if you were tempted to bring to this story a sense of “been there, done that,” Déjà vu all over again. Like, if you’ve seen one blind-man-healing, you’ve seen them all, right? WRONG!

As I said just a moment ago, this story is both dramatic and poignant.

The implications of this story, both for the Jews of Jesus’ day, and for the entire world in our day, cannot be overstated. This story is indeed dramatic, dramatic in the extreme.

Nor can we overstate the emotional state Jesus must have been in at this most significant moment of His ministry, as the final chapter of His life is about to unfold. Emotions that infuse this story with feeling from start to finish. A story poignant to a palpable degree.

To be perfectly honest, there is so much going on here that I’m really in a quandary as to where to start. So let me start with this: In the Middle East, both in Jesus’ day, and in our own day, Symbolism = Substance.

Symbolism = Substance. IOW, as I’ve said so often, the Bible is God’s picture book. The biblical writers were painters. The visual means something. Symbolism = Substance.

In this story about yes, yet another blind man being healed by Jesus, it really is all about the optics. The symbolism. The connections that the original readers would have made in their minds as they read Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s account of this miracle

The symbolism of What happened (the healing of Blind Bartimaeus), When it happened (c. AD 30, just days before Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem), and Where happened (Jericho).

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“From That Time On…”

Plan-to-Kill-JesusJohn 11:53 (NLT) is a most remarkable statement. It reads,

“So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death.”

As you’ll hear in this PODCAST, I’ll tell you exactly to what John referred with the phrase, “From that time on…” Again, this is most remarkable.

But before we get to that, consider this: It is, in my humble estimation, the Single.Most.Misunderstood parable in the entire New Testament. No exaggeration.

The parable to which I refer is most commonly entitled, “The Rich Man and Lazarus,” and it is found in Luke 16.

Now, you might be wondering, What does this parable in Luke 16 have to do with John 11 wherein the religious leaders “from that time on… began to plot Jesus’ death?”

Honestly, it has everything to do with John 11.

So much so, that if you don’t understand this parable — the meaning of it, and just as importantly, the timing of it — you won’t understand John 11. You won’t understand the motivations of those who began to plot Jesus’ death.

In terms of how hard a person’s heart can become, this is nothing short of breathtaking. Breathtaking.

Now, I’ve got to tell you here at the outset, I am so excited about this discussion for a number of reasons.

  • First, we are going to learn together how properly to interpret a parable, along with what never to do when trying to understand a parable.
  • Second, we are going to see in real time the lengths to which Jesus went to reach out to these murderous religious leaders, all an expression of His love undying love for them.
  • Third, we are going to lay the foundation for all that is to follow, both the why and the how of the coming events that inexorably lead to the crucifixion of Jesus.

To once-more-quote that telling phrase from John 11, “From that time on…” Jesus days are numbered. And that now of days will now rapidly grow smaller.

The curtain is now coming down fast and furious on Jesus’ life.

This here in John 11 truly is a watershed moment.

What I need you to understand is this: In the chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry, the plot to kill Jesus in John 11 is linked directly to the parable Luke 16.

Let me read to you the parable, and then we will talk about.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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A Man Born Blind (A 1st-Person Rendition)

blindHumanly speaking, he didn’t have a chance on this earth.

Until Jesus came along…

In this PODCAST, you will meet a man whose deck was decidedly stacked against him.

Until Jesus came along…

PLEASE do not be tempted to think that because you (thank God!) were not born blind, this story has nothing to say to you today. Truth be told, I cannot think of a more appropriate passage for us to consider together, especially in light of recent events, than this one.

Jesus, the master-artist, painted for His hearers (and for US!) a picture worth far more than the proverbial “thousand words.”

Welcome to an encounter with God’s Son that you will never ever forget.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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Amazing Love, How Can It Be?

jesus_heals_blind_man2Well, I’ve got good news for you. Great news, at least as far as Jesus and His disciples were concerned. Just in case you were worried about this.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, Jesus finally got a break in the action.

Finally, mercifully, after His enormously long and draining and tiring day — in which He taught a series of seven parables, sailed to the other side of the sea, stilled a raging storm, sent two thousand or more demons to flight, healed a bleeding woman, raised a dead girl, all of which we have discussed in minute detail over the past (if you can believe it) 4 months — this one singularly momentous day has now finally come to an end.

Then, after an indefinite period of time, Jesus and His disciples once again took to the road.

No sooner did Jesus get out the door, He was met by two blind men, begging Him to heal them.

It is most intriguing to me that of the three Gospel-writers — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — who gave us the record of Jesus’ so-called longest day, it is only Matthew who recorded this encounter with the two blind men.

I have got to ask the reason why. Why did Matthew, and only Matthew include this story? Especially given the fact that we have seen Jesus heal the blind before. This was old news.

Or was it?

Trust me when I suggest that after hearing about this singularly significant story, you may never view God’s love for you the same way again.

Yes, THIS story is THAT significant.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING, and God bless you as you listen.

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