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Are you blind?

Israel and Syria were at war.  Elisha frequently warned the king of Israel about Syria’s plans.

Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.”And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.  (2 Kings 6:8-10)

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Did Jesus claim to be God?

There is disagreement as to whether Jesus was God.  Some who deny his deity say that he never claimed to be God.  The fact is Jesus said several times in the gospels that he was God.

If you begin reading the gospels, beginning with Matthew, you will come to a section known as the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7.  He stated three times in this sermon that he was God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)

He equated being persecuted for the sake of righteousness with being persecuted for his sake.  Only God, the source of all righteousness, could make such a claim. Read the rest of this entry

If God spoke to us audibly

There is disagreement about how God wants us to live.  If God would just speak to everyone in an audible voice that would eliminate all questions about God and enable us to serve him without any doubts or disagreements.

Or perhaps it wouldn’t.  The Bible records a time when a crowd of people did hear God speak.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

 John 12:27-28

Everyone present heard the sound of the voice but not everyone understood it. Read the rest of this entry

Are you blind?

Are you blind?  If you were asked this question I think all of you would answer “No”.  After all, you are reading this page right now so that proves you can see.  But the Bible has some things to say about blindness that might make you change your mind.

God revealed to Elisha the plans of the king of Syria and Elisha in turn warned the king of Israel.

Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.”  But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.”  And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.

2 Kings 6:8-10

The king of Syria learned that Elisha was responsible for his failure to defeat Israel so he decided to capture him. Read the rest of this entry

The faith of Bartimaeus

On his final trip to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped to heal a blind man named Bartimaeus.

And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.”

And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”

And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
Mark 10:46-52

Bartimaeus was healed because of his faith.  One act demonstrates his faith.  He was in such a hurry that he dropped his cloak to keep it from showing him down.  For a sighted person to do this wouldn’t be remarkable; he could always go back later to get his cloak.  But Bartimaeus was blind.  If Jesus failed to restore his sight he might not ever find his cloak again.  By this act he demonstrated his faith that he would be able to see again.

Bar-Jesus

When Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel in Cyprus they encountered opposition from a false prophet name Bar-Jesus.

When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
Acts 13:6-8 Read the rest of this entry

The country of the blind

There is a well known saying, “In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.”  But is it true?  What if there were a country where all the people were blind but had learned to cope with their condition and considered it normal?  How would they respond if someone who could see came into their community and told them what it was like to see?  Would they believe what he said or consider him a madman?

H. G. Wells wrote a story called “The Country of the Blind” which describes this situation.  Here is Wikipedia’s summary of the plot.

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