Monday, March 16, 2015

wash away the mud

Recently, my sister-in-law recommended I read a book by Erwin Raphael McManus called The Artisan Soul. She said in this book, Erwin argues that everyone is created to create and thought I would really enjoy it since I believe the same thing. I haven't read it yet, but I watched two sermons by Erwin and they gave me a lot to think about. This will be my attempt to share my thoughts on what Erwin talked about.

I've been spending a lot of time reading the gospel of John, trying to learn more about the character of Jesus. I try to always be reading a gospel alongside another book in the Bible at all times. If I want to know more about Jesus and be like Jesus, I should always be studying His life always. In the two sermons I watched, Erwin used John chapter 9 in what he had to say about what it means to be created in the image of a creator.

First, this chapter is close to my heart. It's a story about healing, giving a blind man his sight back and for a while I was blind and desperately needed Jesus to help me see again. When I was 15 years old, I started developing back pain which soon became chronic body pain, over the years growing worse. When I was 20 years old, a close friend of mine called me and told me he was frustrated for me. That he couldn't understand why this was happening to me. But then he read John chapter 9:

      As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Now, I wasn't born with this pain, and no one really knows why the pain occurs. My close friend said he believes that this has happened to me so that the works of God may (if I respond, if I'm obedient) be displayed in me. 

Erwin broke down this passage from another perspective and I loved it. The way Jesus heals shows His creativity. Jesus, being God and God being a creator, must be a creative person. The way Jesus healed this man was interesting because, since I believe Jesus is God, he could have just healed Him by thought or saying so. He did this sometimes for other people but not for this man. Instead, Jesus spit in the dirt to make mud. He rubbed the mud into the blind man's eyes and instructed him to walk over to the Pool of Siloam and wash himself.

Here is Jesus, who can choose how to heal a man any way He wants, and He chooses spit and dirt. Erwin suggested the man standing there blind, listening to Jesus spit over and over into the dirt to make mud to smear into his eyes, may have felt embarrassed. He may have even felt humiliated. Jesus put mud on his eyes and instructed him to wash himself. If someone put mud in my eyes now, it would be nice for that person to help me out by walking me over to water at least. But Jesus said Go. Wash yourself. He took something that may be thought as ugly, like mud, and did something beautiful with it. He created sight from something that obstructs, something you can't see through. I can't help but wonder why He didn't just give the man his sight back with a simple thought. And I can't help but agree with Erwin that Jesus chose this because creativity is in the essence of who Jesus is. 

 I remember going to Jesus for healing with my pain and nothing happened. I was frustrated for years wondering why Jesus would heal so many people but not me. Why not me? I was losing hope in getting better, I was losing hope in Jesus. I was so angry with Him. Later on I thought, maybe Jesus put mud on my eyes when I came to Him for healing. Maybe I became blind to how He was going to heal me because when He said go, I felt humiliated by Jesus. Maybe Jesus put mud on my eyes and told me to go wash myself because He wanted me to respond to Him, to be obedient.

Some people came to Jesus and were healed instantly. This blind man had to walk over to the pool and wash himself to be healed. Some may be like Paul, and cry out three times to only get the response "My grace is sufficient for you." Paul wasn't physically healed but God gave him the strength to endure his sufferings - for when I am weak, He is strong. Maybe we receive all three and it's just we don't recognize how He's healed us because we're walking around with mud on our eyes because we aren't listening to Him when He says to wash. Jesus has restored my hope in Him. He corrected how I saw my pain - I realized I am not my ailment.

My obedience to Jesus will lead to healing, just like the blind man in John chapter 9. I believe your obedience can lead to healing as well. Whether it's physically healing, giving you sight where you are blind, or the realization that His grace is sufficient.

in His grip,


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