THE SHAPING POWER OF CONVERSATIONS

Lessons from John 9

Conversations are a part of everyday life. The conversations we have every day have a way of shaping and molding us; our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and perspective of the world we live. They can bring direction, create momentum, and give clarity. Conversations are an important way in which we can exchange part of ourselves with others, and in the process, become better as individuals and members of groups.

Conversations

In John 9, there are six conversations. Let’s take a look at 4 and what we can learn from each encounter.

Conversation 1: // Jesus and His Disciples (John 9:1-5)  

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.””

Jesus sees people differently. The verse tells us “he saw” a man born blind “so that the works of God might be displayed” v.3. Jesus saw purpose. No one in John 9 saw this beggar the same as Jesus; not the neighbors, the disciples, the Pharisees, or even his parents. Preconceived ideas and judgment will limit how we see them and you may be the one that God wants to use to touch them. We have to look past the surface, beyond disabilities, beyond present circumstances, and beyond limiting pasts. Everyone has purpose which ultimately brings Glory to God, how can we bring it out in others? Ask God to lead you when these types of conversations take place.

Conversation 2: // Beggar and His Neighbors (John 9:8-12)

His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” “Where is this man?” they asked him.”

The first encounter after the beggar was healed, was with his past and disbelief. Confrontation seeks to deny, discredit, and cause the progression of faith to be hindered or stopped. The neighbors chose rather than rejoicing in sight being restored, to disbelieve and see the man as he once was; a blind beggar. As the conversation progresses, we see the start of a wonderful progression of faith and recognition of Jesus. Here the beggar who was healed, when asked how answers with “The man they call Jesus…”. Don’t let doubt or your past rob you of the miracles in your life. God is at work and has a purpose for you. Others will seek to limit you and look at your through your past. Honor and recognize the work of Jesus in your life. Don’t be afraid to say:”This man Jesus…”.

 Conversation 3: // Beggar and the Pharisees (John 9:16-17) 

“Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.””

These religious leaders were more concerned about policy and practice than the miracle itself and the life change that has occurred in this mans life. Who cares when it happened? It happened! Again, another group of people who did not rejoice at the miracle before them.

Jesus had been labeled “not from God” and “a sinner.” These are labels that were meant to diminish His credibility and take the focus of His work. People are afraid of what they don’t understand. Pharisees could not comprehend their perception of Jesus and the reality of Jesus. We see this later in the chapter in a second conversation between the Pharisees and this man. Don’t allow others to label you and limit your faith because of their lack of understanding. In this conversation, the beggar receives more revelation of who Jesus is. He states in this exchange that “He is a prophet.”

Conversation 4: // Beggar and Jesus (John 9:35-38)

“Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.”

This beggar was touched by Jesus and healed of blindness that had been from birth. Jesus shows us the value of seeing others differently and with no preconceived judgment. Jesus saw him beyond his past and his current circumstances. Through conversations in this chapter, the revelation of Jesus to this man changed from Jesus being a man to the declaration of “Lord, I believe.”

Takeaways

  • Your knowledge of God doesn’t limit His work in your life
  • Faith is a progression
  • Others may not understand how it happened to you and that is OK. It’s for His Glory!
  • The law can’t comprehend faith
  • Look past the surface, beyond disabilities, beyond present circumstances, and beyond limiting pasts in both ourselves and others

Final Thought

What kind of conversations are you going to have?

Some of the content in this post was both taken from and inspired by a sermon at Rockharbor Church.