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Step-by-Step: Discipleship in John 9

• Jim Martin

Posted in Discipleship, Sanctification, Sermons

As a church, we are working through the gospel of John in our Sunday morning expository teaching series. A couple weeks ago we looked at the ninth chapter – a story of how Jesus healed a man blind since birth. The chapter begins…

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7 ESV

Preaching at a pace where you take entire chapters up at a time, there are important, excellent sub-plots to the story that simply cannot be stressed within the confines of a sermon. Important truths to live by that are better mined in personal Bible study. This text contains a few important reminders about the nature of Christian discipleship.

Point #1: Disciples follow the One they want to be like.

“As he passed by…” (v.1). Jesus was on a journey (toward the Cross), and those He chose followed Him. The story of Jesus’ ministry is marked by the abiding presence of the Twelve Disciples who traveled with him daily. Their proximity and daily familiarity with Jesus caused them to often ask Him questions…on virtually any topic. In response, Jesus took the time to answer their questions and teach them as they went.

Friends, if you and I are Jesus’ disciples, then it’s reasonable to ask ourselves if we too are daily following Him? Does our proximity and familiarity with Jesus in our devotions cause us to ask Him questions…on virtually any topic? Do we stop to listen to His answers and how He continues to teach us through His Word?

Point #2 – Discipleship has a clear purpose.

The purpose for anything Jesus did in His earthly ministry is summed up clearly in verse 4, “We must work the works of him who sent me…” Everything Jesus did flows from the purpose of completing the work His Father sent Him to perform. No distraction could deter Him from His designated course.

Do you know that we Christians have the identical purpose today? God has established good works in advance for us to complete…and when we do, He gets the glory! The question we must ask is, do we live daily for such a laser-focused purpose? Are we confident of the works God has for us to perform and are we willing to push aside any distraction that stands in our path?

Point #3 – Discipleship carries a sense of urgency.

Verses 4-5 indicate that there is only so much time allotted for a disciple to complete the work he/she has been given – work while it is light, for when the darkness comes no one can work. Unpacking the truth of this warning is complex, but at a minimum it teaches us that we must not presume upon the time we’ve been given.

We labor now, while it is day, not taking tomorrow for granted. The question I ask myself is this: do I see today as the day of the Lord’s salvation? Will I seize this day to complete the work my Father in Heaven has appointed, or do I simply presume there will be time for that later?

Consider these points and how they might help sharpen you in your walk with Christ!


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