New Sources of Teaching


John 9:30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.


The man who had been blind from birth had accepted his fate. He would never be able to succeed in life and so he took his place begging to survive. Suddenly he finds himself as an illustration to the disciples. They are walking along on the Sabbath asking Jesus questions. Being the skilled teacher that he is he chooses to teach them by performing a miracle. The man born blind from birth was not suffering as a consequence of anyone’s sin, but rather his life was one which God was going to use for glory. 

Jesus’ perspective on the Sabbath day was radically different from that of the Pharisees. Why not teach and glorify God all at the same time? He believed that this fulfilled God’s desire for the Sabbath day, while the Jewish leaders were fixated upon the rules which had been established for very specific behaviors. Instead of healing glorifying God, they had categorized this as work. Therefore, in their minds, Jesus was desecrating the Sabbath day. 

Following up on what had happened the Jewish leaders questioned the man who had been blind from birth. His entire life was transformed for no longer would he be limited by no sight. His entire status within the community would be changed and he was given a future which he could have never imagined. Articulately he responds to the questions of the Pharisees and they are frustrated. Who is this man to be teaching them? His teaching is astounding as he walks them through a logical process of thinking which brings you to a conclusion regarding Jesus. This new source of teaching — a blind beggar who has been healed— is so clever in his teaching that he frustrates the leaders. They don’t want to be challenged in this way and rather than absorb his teaching, they send him on his way. 


Through a life-giving relationship with our holy God we discover the beauty of spiritual growth. Our loving heavenly Father comes to us with eternal truths which can be taught in new, fresh and different ways. The teachers and/or the methodologies need never stay the same, nor static. That’s the beauty of our creative God, who loves to take us by surprise. We must continually submit ourselves to God’s authority and methodologies which are utilized to teach us. 

The stubbornness of the Pharisees meant that they missed out on the beautiful gift that God had for them. When we allow God to open our eyes to the infinite possibilities around us we will discover the energy and excitement in new sources of teaching. Suddenly we will see the beauty of creation when we are out on a walk and we will want to glorify God. We will hear the voice of the new believer who has discovered a truth which we had not even imagined and we will rejoice in new hope. Everywhere we go and all that we do will point us in the direction of God, if only we will be open to these new sources of teaching. 


Lord, may my ears, eyes, heart and mind be opened to all the ways in which you want to teach me.  Amen.


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