Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, September 11, 2016
We are focusing on getting to know God from the perspective of John the beloved.
Today’s Scripture Focus: “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,” (John 9:1–6).
As Jesus and His disciples passed by a man who had apparently been born blind, the disciples questioned Jesus. What was the cause of his blindness? Was he being punished because he sinned or because of some sin his parents committed?
Is This All About You?
Jesus’ response was very interesting. He did not say, “How in the world could a man who was born this way be punished for his own sin? He was born blind!” Neither did He say, “Why do you always think everything is about you? Why do you think what people have done or not done is all that matters in the universe?”
Rather, He gave them a lesson that it would be well for all of us to get: “The reason this man was born blind, was so everyone who learns of his experience can see the power of God at work in him.”
The Most High is constantly at work to direct our limited attention heavenward.
Whoa! Now, that’s deep. Jesus had a way of switching the focus from all things earthly to all things holy. The Most High is constantly at work to direct our limited attention heavenward. And, as we behold the light that emanates from the throne room, we are changed! And, we become more useful as we mingle with people.
The Master Teacher and Healer At Work
Jesus continues to engage the minds of His followers. And after He spoke for a few more moments, He got to work. This is the focus of our lesson today. Jesus spat on the ground. Wait. I don’t know about you, but I would have thought this was strange. One minute we are discussing the theology of generational curses, the power of God to impact the cosmos, and the next minute, the Teacher spits on the ground? How rude, or was it?
One thing we all must do, if we are to appreciate the greatness of God, is simply pay attention. When He is working, it would be well for us, to sit tight, and ask Him to help us understand what He is doing.
So, Jesus spat on the ground, mixed the spit with dirt to make clay, and then rubbed this clay on the man’s eyes. If the fact that Jesus spat on the ground at an odd time was a bit jarring, rubbing spit-based clay on the man’s eyes most certainly would have given pause. But, what happened next is a miracle we must not miss.
He instructed the man to go to the pool of Siloam to wash the clay from his eyes. And that man doesn’t stumble or bumble back into Jesus’ presence. The man who was born blind in order to manifest the power of God to all who would hear of his story came back seeing!
Oh The Joy!
Can you imagine the man’s joy? What must it have been like to look up and see the sky for the first time? What must he have thought as he was able to connect images to the sounds of children playing and birds singing their morning carols? How must his heart have leaped as he finally could look into his mother’s eyes and see the care that he aforetime could only feel? He was blind and now he can see! Glory to God!
The story continues with ridiculous exchanges with the spiritual so-called leaders and the young man about whether he was actually born blind or if this was all a masterfully crafted deception. His parents also were subjected to the onslaught. Eventually, the man was able to see his Savior–the One who loved him so much that He would give him sight, so he could experience life to the fullest.
Almost as jarring as Jesus’ choice of how He would perform this miracle is our question for today: Are you of more or less value than spit? Let me ask another way. If Jesus can use spit to change a man’s life forever, and lodge a lesson in the annals of time for all to see, can He use you?
The Master’s Touch In Our Lives
This is a question that all must encounter at some point in our lives. And just as this story begins with the reality that not everything is about us, but rather about the power of God in us, we can begin to answer the question. No matter how low, simple, or basic we consider ourselves to be, when the hands of Jesus molds us, He can use us to do miraculous things.
Yes, little ol’ you and little ol’ me can be used to impact governments for God’s glory. Little ol’ basic you, who may not have a high-school diploma, can be used to teach magistrates and kings about God. Little ol’ me, who may have lived a long life of sin, can be changed into God’s ambassador to those who could never imagine that God would stoop to love them. I love the fact that our Father in Heaven is powerful and loving enough to bend down, lay His caring hands upon me, and fashion me in such a way that others can also be changed.
Yes, little ol’ you can be used to manifest our big ol’ God! Just submit like the clay and watch Him work. Why not ask Him to use you today and share your story with us.