A Handful Of Mud

Jesus and His disciples are out and about, and while they are walking they see a man who has been blind all his life, as we can read in John 9:1                                                                             As He (Jesus) went along He saw a man blind from birth.

To Jesus’ disciples, the fact that this man is blind and has always been blind must be because of a sinful condition of either this man himself or of his parents, as we can read in John 9:2      His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

According to them, that is the only logical explanation for this man’s situation.

Blindness to them is a curse, and this man is under a curse because of someone’s sin. They may well have remembered the words in Exodus 20:5b                                                                          ….. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me.

The question is: Will Jesus as a good Jew agree with them? Let’s listen to Jesus' answer in John 9:3-5                                                                                                                                            “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work 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.”

(Blind man) “I used to be a beggar and each day I would sit at the side of the road asking people to take pity on me. Did I want to beg? No, but I had no choice since I was blind (John 9:1)….

But I am no longer blind. I can see!! It all happened the other day when a Man passed by and stopped. He was with a group of men and they began to ask Him questions about me. I could hear everything they said.

They thought I was blind because I had sinned or my parents had sinned (John 9:2). I waited to hear the answer from the Man whom they called “Rabbi”. He told them, that my blindness was not because of my sins or the sins of my parents but to display the work of God in my life (John 9:3).

I was not sure what He meant with these words. But while I was still thinking about them, the Man came close and put some mud on my eyes (John 9:6). It felt quite sticky, of course.

He then told me to go and wash myself in the Pool of Siloam. He spoke these words with such quiet authority that I knew I should obey Him even though I did not understand why I should go there.

I am so glad I obeyed for after I had gone there and washed my eyes, a miracle took place: I could see (John 9:7)!! I am sure if I had not gone to the Pool of Siloam and washed my eyes, I would still be blind and would still have to beg.

I could not wait to show myself to my neighbours to let them know that I could see (John 9:8). However, they did not believe that I was the man who had been blind (John 9:9). Nor did they believe that this Man Jesus had healed me (John 9:10-12).

They then decided to bring me to the Pharisees (John 9:13). I was sure they would believe me since they are the Religious Leaders but they did not believe me either (John 9:15-17).

They then decided to ask my parents if I had been born blind (John 9:18-19). My parents confirmed that I had been born blind but could not say why I could now see (John 9:20-21). They may have been worried that by agreeing with me that this Man Jesus had healed me, they would no longer be allowed to attend  the synagogue (John 9:22-23).

The religious leaders then wanted to see me again and asked me the same questions they had asked me before (John 9:24-26). I wondered if they asked me these questions because they wanted to become disciples of this Man Jesus who had healed me (John 9:27).

But they got very upset with me when I suggested that to them. And when I told them that I believed this Man Jesus had to come from God for, otherwise, He would not have been able to heal me, they got so angry with me they threw me out ((John 9:33-34). This means I am no longer allowed to attend the synagogue.

I was not quite sure what to do next….But then Jesus found me and made Himself known to me… I now know that He is not just a Prophet but is the Son of Man and my Lord.”

We can read this in 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 worshipped Him.”

Jesus, knowing that the man is in need of His support, goes out of His way to find him so that He can minister to him.

And the man, already realising that Jesus is a prophet, now understands that Jesus is not merely a prophet but is in fact the Son of Man who has come to die for the sins of all mankind, including his sins.

He believes and worships Him, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. This man was not only physically blind but spiritually blind and Jesus takes the time to open not just his physical eyes but, more importantly, to open his spiritual eyes.

That shows us that this man matters very much to God even though he is barely known by his neighbours and is certainly not known by the religious leaders. This, despite the fact, that they are supposed to take care of his spiritual well being.

Likewise, you matter to God even though you may not be known to those who are in spiritual authority over you and who are supposed to take care of you.

So, take heart for God knows you and knows your needs. And just as He opened the spiritual eyes of this man so He wants to open your spiritual eyes.

Moreover, just as this man got to know Jesus more and more so you can get to know Jesus more and more as you spend time reading God’s Word and praying.

You may not be able to be physically in the presence of Jesus as this man was. But you can be in the presence of Jesus because, once your spiritual eyes have been opened and you have become a child of God, the Spirit of God will help you understand God’s Word as you read it. And He will help you to pray, as you can read in Romans 8:26                                                      In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Studying God’s Word and praying to God will help you to know God as your heavenly Father. Isn’t that wonderful? 

And He will show you the things that He has for you to do since He has a plan and a purpose for you to be and to do all that He has prepared for you to do, as you can read in Ephesians 2:10                                                                                                                                                        For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us.

Our final story is about a woman who loved Jesus all the way to the cross

He Knew Her By Name