Joseph Prince - Break Every Bad Habit With Christ
You ready for the Word? Praise God. Last Sunday, we saw the story of the woman caught in adultery. Don't forget, that story is only told us in the Gospel of John, all right? In the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) there's no mention of that story, all right? Some stories are mentioned in all the synoptic Gospels, but in John's Gospel only, you find the woman caught in adultery. Because it starts off by telling you that Jesus is the word made flesh. "In the beginning, was the Word. The word made flesh came and dwelt among us". And the miracles that he did in John are called signs. Everyone say "signs". Signs point to something, all right, that is a reality, okay? Sign itself is nothing. But it's what it points to.
So, all the miracles in the Gospel of John, even though the woman caught in adultery is not exactly a miracle, in the strictest sense of the word, it's not opening the eyes of the blind, or cleansing the leper, which Jesus does also, but in fact it's a miracle when someone's life is transformed. And Jesus is able to look at the Jewish people who are holding rocks in their hands and one by one they drop their rocks and left that woman alone. Jesus saved her. And yet, Jesus did not do it by compromising the law. He upheld the law, amen? He was the only one. He says that he that's without sin, cast the first stone. And the only one without sin was our Lord Jesus. But he refused to cast a stone. And everyone left. They all slunk away, one by one, they left, leaving Jesus and the woman. And don't forget what Jesus told the woman: "Neither do I condemn you. Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more".
So don't forget the order. The order is very important. The reason why we wanna free people from no condemnation is because of this order. When people are free from condemnation, the sin fall off. The addictions fall off. Are you listening? And don't forget because it is a sign, that woman is a picture of Israel when Jesus came. Israel was found in adultery. Her heart is no more for God, all right? In this case, the Pharisees, their heart was for money, amen? They have abused their position. It's no more for Jesus. And Jesus typified the whole thing by this woman being forgiven, and they missed it. They missed it. So towards the end, you all know what happened, all right? Jesus says, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad". And I believe this was when Abraham was offering his son, all right, on Mount Moriah, Abraham turned around, saw the ram, but he saw more than the ram. He saw a vision of Jesus dying on the same mountain. Because Calvary is the same range on Mount Moriah. In fact, Calvary is higher than the Temple Mount, but same range. And Jesus says, "Abraham rejoiced to see My day. Then the Jews said to Him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?'"
You see, they missed the point. In their minds, Abraham is so great. Jesus is so little. Jesus did not say, "I saw Abraham's day". Jesus said, "Abraham saw my day". They said, "Have you seen Abraham"? Now, the question is not, "Have you seen Abraham? Abraham saw me". Then he answered this. "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.'" I eternally am. One other time he used this word and, in fact, there are a few places where he used this word, was when they came to capture him in the Garden. And Jesus stepped forward. Men with swords, with spears, with torches, more than one man, a band of soldiers, and Jesus says, "Whom do you seek"? "We seek Jesus of Nazareth". He stepped forward and, in your English Bible, it says, "I am he". "He" is in italics. Whenever we find a word in italics, it's not there in the original. So it's just, "He stepped forward and says, 'I am.'" Bang, they all fell. All the men, all the soldiers, fell to the ground. The captive became the captivator, waited for them to get up to arrest him.
That's why Jesus wasn't murdered. The Bible says he laid down his life, amen? If he didn't want to lay down his life, no one can capture him. In fact, we have the example of this. Next verse. Next verse. "Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple". It's obvious what they... if you don't understand what "I Am" means, the Jews understand. They took up stones. They knew what Jesus meant when he says, "I Am". He's claiming to be God. So at the end of the verse in 59, "Jesus went through the midst of them, and so passed by". I love that one, all right, "the midst of them".
You see, when Jesus says, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst," do you know he's in our midst today? Everywhere that's watching this, he's in the midst. And if you're watching this at home or in your cell or in your hotel room, whatever it is, Jesus is there and he wants to meet you at the point of your need. In your hopelessness, he is your hope. In your helplessness, he's a very present help. And he loves you. Call on him. Call on him. Don't wait till it's too late, amen? So Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst". And he's in the midst.
So this chapter opens with the Pharisees putting the woman in the midst. Verse 3, they put her in the midst. They caught her in adultery and then they put her in the center. So, religious people like to put sin in the center. God loves Jesus to be in the center, the forgiver of sins, the liberty-bringer, the joy-giver. God loves to put him in the center, amen? At the end of the chapter, he's in the center. So he passed by. Look at what happened: "And passed by". This is the last verse of chapter 8. In chapter 9, verse 1: "Now as Jesus passed by," so it's one continuous stream, okay, these two chapters, 8 and 9, is one continuous stream. "As Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth".
You know, even when he passed by the Pharisees, all right, they missed out. They could have been healed, they could have been touched. He passed by. His grace is such he cannot pass by a blind man. You know, he will pass by self-righteousness. He said, "I don't need you". He'll pass you by. But when there's a need and they can't even see that he has a need, and you're blind, you can't even see you're blind, he cannot pass you by. He knows you need him. He saw a man blind from his birth. That's a sad story, isn't it? Never saw a flower. Blind from his birth. "Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'"
Notice that, just like the Pharisees, sometimes the disciples tend to, like, put sin in the center. "Who sinned? We wanna know who sinned"? And Jesus answered. He says, "Look, if there is a need, God wants to meet that need". What a view, what a perspective on life. Jesus says, all right, "Neither this man or his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him". In other words, if he's blind, I am the light of the world. And he's about to say that, okay? Right at the bottom, you can see him saying that. "I'm the light, if you are sick, I am your healer. If you are broke, I am your provider. If you are depressed, I am your peace. If you're in darkness, I am your light," amen? Stop saying, "Why are you in darkness, hah? Is it because you didn't do this, you didn't do that"? Don't ever let anyone bring you to that place, amen?
So Jesus says, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work". Jesus says, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world". You know, when I read this, it's as if he's saying, I love it, "As long as I'm in the world, I'm the light of the world". It's as if he's saying, "As long as there is darkness, I cannot but be the light". "As long as there is sin, love cannot rest," he's saying that. As long as there is darkness, light cannot rest. As long as there's sorrow, love cannot rest. I love it, amen. Next verse. "When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay". So he spat on the ground and he made clay and anointed the eyes of the blind man. Strange action, you might say, all right? But full of significance. "And He said to the blind man, 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam' (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing". Blind from birth, came back seeing.
Now, why did Jesus do that? Why'd he put the clay on the blind man's eyes? To demonstrate to all those around, all right, that seeing Jesus in the flesh is not the answer to blindness. Now, of course, he's referring to spiritual blindness as well. Looking at Jesus in the flesh is not the answer. You must see him as the Sent One. He said, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam," and the Holy Spirit purposely put a bracket there: the word "Siloam" in Hebrew means the Sent One. It's from the Greek word "apostello," where we get our English word "apostle," the Sent One. You must see Jesus not just humbling himself in human flesh, but he's sent by the Father in love for you. When you see that, your spiritual scales fall off your eyes and you see, amen. So this man came back seeing. And when he came back seeing, the Bible says his neighbors and the Jews that recognized him because he was a beggar, he was a blind man and a beggar. In other words, not only was he sick, he was broke.
So they ask him, the neighbors and friends who recognized him, "Who made you see"? "A man called Jesus, all right? He put clay, told me to wash my eyes. I came back seeing". They had no answer, so they brought him to the Pharisees, and the Pharisees who hate Jesus. They brought this man to the Pharisees. Now, let's follow the story, all right? "Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked the blind man again how he had received his sight. He said to them, 'He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.'" Next verse: "Therefore some of the Pharisees said, 'This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.' Others said, 'How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?' And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, 'What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?' He said, 'He is a prophet.'" All right, so they said, "Call his mother here. We don't believe that he was blind. Call his father here".
So the parents came, all right? The parents came. Say, "Is this your son"? They say, "Yes". "Was he born blind"? They say, "Yes". "How come now he is seeing"? They say that "he's of age. Ask him". And the reason they said that is because, drop down: "His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that Jesus was the Messiah, was the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, 'He's of age; ask him.'" Smart answer. "He's old enough; ask him". So the Pharisees asked the man again. "So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, 'Give God the glory! We know that this Man,'" referring to Jesus, "'is a sinner.'" The guy who was healed said, "He answered and said, 'Whether He is a sinner or not I don't know. One thing I know: I was blind, now I see.'" Okay, next verse: "Then they said to him again, 'What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?' He answered them, 'I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?'"
And I'll tell you something about new converts, okay, when they just got saved. It's amazing the wisdom that you see in them before we spoil them with our unbelief. It's amazing, you know, the light they have of Jesus, they are just so in love with Jesus. You tell 'em about grace, it's "Of course". They do not know about all the theological jargons and all that. They just know that they love Jesus, before some Christians spoil them. They just say, "No". And it's amazing how the light becomes clearer and clearer the more they confess. Notice this guy just got healed, but the more he confessed Jesus, he got more and more wisdom. All right, they said, "He asked them, 'Do you also want to become His disciples?' They answered him. They reviled him," that means they dillify him. They use strong words, "and they said, 'You are His disciples, we are Moses' disciples.'" We are people of the law, which was given to Moses. "'You are Jesus's disciple. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.'"
By the way, notice it is in italics. Whenever a word is in italics, the word "fellow" is in italics, that means in the original, this word doesn't... is not there. It was added by the translators. In other words, we do not know what they say of Jesus. "This," whatever. It's not recorded. Maybe they say, "This, this, this", they can't express it. "We don't know where he's from". And it's a lie. They know where he's from. He's from Bethlehem. And Prophet Micah in the Old Testament prophesied, "Out of Bethlehem will come the Ruler". Okay, drop down. "The man answered and said to them, 'Why, this is a marvelous thing, you do not know where He's from; yet He opened my eyes!'" And then he started to preach to them.
Now, he's preaching, this guy who was a beggar not too long ago, and was blind, now he's preaching to the theologians. He says, "Now, we know that God does not hear sinners," right? "But if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind". He's preaching to them. Can you believe it? Let's look at their response. Did they repent? Then he said, "'If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.' They answered and said to him, 'You were completely born in sins, and yet you are teaching us?' And they cast him out". See, self-righteous people who are not open to God's grace, the moment they cannot refute what you say, they throw your name out. They throw you out. They cast him out. They excommunicate him. They say, "Out"! But "out" is the place of blessing in this case because "out" was where he found Jesus, amen?
"Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, Jesus said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of God?'" Do you know that there are not many people that Jesus asked this question and reveals himself as the Son of God? What a privilege this man had because he testified of him. And notice the progression of spiritual intelligence in this man who was healed. First of all, early on he called Jesus what? "A man," all right? Early on: "A Man called Jesus". When his neighbors ask him, "Who made you see"? "A Man called Jesus made clay". He calls Jesus a man. Later on, they brought him to the Pharisees. The Pharisee says, "Who do you say this man is"? He said what? Drop down. "He is a prophet". So from a man to a prophet.
And finally, Jesus met him where we are now, right? "Jesus says, 'Do you believe in the Son of God?'" Look at his response. "He answered and said, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?'" He calls Jesus now, "Lord". Just like that woman caught in adultery, Jesus asked her, "Where are those, then, accusers? Has no one condemned you"? She looks around. Says, "No one, Lord". She was saved then and there, all right? "And Jesus said to him, 'You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.'" What a revelation. "Then he said, 'Lord, I believe!' And he worshiped Jesus," amen? From a man to a prophet to Lord to the Son of God. His light became greater and greater. Look at this. And he worshiped Jesus. Jesus saw a man, all right, in his darkness, in his blindness, and he brought him to the light. He brought this man from begging to worshiping.
That's what Jesus does with us. He brings us from the guttermost and save us to the uttermost, to bring us to the uppermost, hallelujah. Have you been blessed? Then Jesus said these words. Right after, you know, he worshiped Jesus, the chapter ends like this: "And Jesus said, 'For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may be made blind.' Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, 'Are we blind also?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would have no sin.'" An amazing statement. "If you were blind," in other words, God will not count your sin against you. "But now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains". And that's how the whole chapter ends.
Do you understand now? God can look at people, all right, if they are blind, okay? They know they are blind. They say, "Lord, I do not know everything I need to know, Lord". And God says, "It's okay, I'll help you. I'll be your light". But you say, "No, no, I see, I see. I know very clearly," and God says, "Your sin remains. You're still blind". Amazing, amazing. The cross. If only we have eyes to see. The greatest knowledge you can receive, it's not from universities. It's not from study of many books. It's from Jesus Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. At the end of the day, why are we living our life? "Well, to make one more million". Yeah, that's what J. Paul Getty said, and the next year he died. What's gonna happen then?
This life is just temporal, folks. There's a life to come, amen? But meanwhile, we are here and Jesus promised, "I come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly". Jesus didn't come to restrict you; he came to magnify your joy, amen? He didn't come to bind you; he came to set you free. "But I'm a free thinker". No, you're not free to think. Some of you think of naked bodies all the time. Some of you think of evil negative thoughts all the time. Some of you think of the bad things about people all the time. You're not free to think. You think you are free to think and you call yourself a free thinker but you're not free to think. Your thinking has you, but Jesus said, "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed". Give him the praise, amen, hallelujah.