Coffee break

Coffee with the King is going on a short mid-winter coffee break. It will return on Monday July 13 with a series in Acts.

In the meantime, there are plenty of archives to keep you company – you can search by Bible book under “Previous Series” to the right (or at the bottom if you’re reading on a mobile browser). Or you could read one of the books suggested below, available in hardcopy or instantly as ebooks:

Tom Wright, Simply Good News – is your view of the Gospel too narrow? ($14.68 on Kindle)

Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet – how do we interpret the Bible for today? ($3.86 on Kindle)

A man born blind — John 9 (part five)

This week we’re looking at the story of the man who was born blind, found in John 9. Specifically, we’re looking at the three responses made to Jesus in this story. You might want to start with Monday’s post to catch up, or quickly read the first 15 verses of John 9. So far, we’ve seen that some people (like the Jewish leaders) are prejudiced against Jesus from the beginning. Others are initially interested, but competing concerns – such as the approval of others – end up winning out (just like the blind man’s parents.) Today, we encounter another kind of response: that of the man himself.

Some will pursue their initial interest, and come to saving faith

And his response is quite different. It’s the exact opposite, in fact, of the lame man we read about last week in John 5. Although it starts similarly enough. Both are healed by Jesus (both on a sabbath), and both initially have no idea of the identity of the one who healed them. Have a look at how the recently-not-blind man reacts first:

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A man born blind — John 9 (part four)

This week we’re looking at the story of the man who was born blind, found in John 9. Specifically, we’re looking at the three responses made to Jesus in this story. You might want to start with Monday’s post to catch up, or quickly read the first 15 verses of John 9. So far, we’ve seen that some people (like the Jewish leaders) are prejudiced against Jesus from the beginning. Others are initially interested, but competing concerns – such as the approval of others – end up winning out (just like the blind man’s parents.) But before we look at the final response, we need to take a quick detour – back to last week’s story in chapter 5. Because John seems to be deliberately contrasting the responses of the two men.

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A man born blind — John 9 (part three)

This week we’re looking at the story of the man who was born blind, found in John 9. Specifically, we’re looking at the three responses made to Jesus in this story. You might want to start with Monday’s post to catch up, or quickly read the first 15 verses of John 9. Yesterday, we saw that some people (like the Jewish leaders) are prejudiced against Jesus from the beginning. Today, we encounter another kind of response.

Some will be interested, but competing concerns will win out

Because others, will show some interest. At least initially. But as we see in John chapter 9, competing concerns end up winning out. We see this implied in the division between Jewish leaders. Some were prejudiced against Jesus:

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A man born blind — John 9 (part two)

This week we’re looking at the story of the man who was born blind, found in John 9. Specifically, we’re looking at the three responses made to Jesus in this story. You might want to start with yesterday’s post to catch up, or quickly read the first 15 verses of John 9.

Some will be prejudiced against Jesus from the beginning

And the first type of response Jesus encountered is no different from many of the responses we get today: some people will be prejudiced against Jesus from the beginning. Like much of the Jerusalem elite, they won’t give him a fair hearing. Why is that?

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A man born blind — John 9 (part one)

This year we’ve looked at two encounters with Jesus as recorded in John’s Gospel: the Samaritan woman in John 4 (in May) and the lame man by the pool in John 5 (last week). We’re about to read yet another encounter, that of the man born blind (John 9). It seems this is intended to be read as a parallel story to last week’s, in which we are invited to compare the responses of the two men who were healed by Jesus—both to be challenged about how we have responded to Jesus, and also in how we journey together with others who are checking Jesus out.

The story

Let’s go through the story now:

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Jesus on Trial — John 5:41-47

This week we’ve been looking at Jesus on trial in John chapter 5. Jesus gets himself into trouble by healing a lame man on the Sabbath, and then telling him to pick up and carry his mat – both of which were prohibited on the day of rest. In his defence, he says “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” This gets him into more hot water, adding the even more serious charge of blasphemy. Jesus firstly outlines his defence: he’s not setting himself up as a rival god. On the contrary, he’s learned alongside the Father like a son learning the family business, and has come as his authorised representative to do his work. He then musters an impressive array of witnesses to back up this claim: John the Baptist, the miracles he was performing, and even the Father himself through the Hebrew Scriptures.

All that’s left to do is file the counter-charge.

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Jesus on Trial — John 5:31-40

This week we’ve been looking at Jesus on trial in John chapter 5. Jesus gets himself into trouble by healing a lame man on the Sabbath, and then telling him to pick up and carry his mat – both of which were prohibited on the day of rest. In his defence, he says “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” This gets him into more hot water, adding the even more serious charge of blasphemy. Yesterday, we saw Jesus outline his defence: he’s not setting himself up as a rival god. On the contrary, he’s learned alongside the Father like a son learning the family business, and has come as his authorised representative to do his work.

Now this is a big claim Jesus makes, but can he prove it? This is what today’s part of the trial is all about.

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Jesus on Trial — John 5:19-30

This week we’ve been looking at Jesus on trial in John chapter 5. Jesus gets himself into trouble by healing a lame man on the Sabbath, and then telling him to pick up and carry his mat – both of which were prohibited on the day of rest. In his defence, he says this:

5:17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

This only served to get him in more hot water, as the Jewish leaders understood this to be blasphemy:

5:18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Without wanting to evoke too many overtones of Batman, how will our hero escape this predicament? Read on.

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