Back in April I had the opportunity to preach on John 9, the account of when Jesus heals the man born blind. Although I don’t preach often, this was by far the easiest, helped largely by the fact that the main points were downloaded by Holy Spirit in about 20 minutes. Whilst confident that this was for our church at the time, I’ve increasingly felt that there were a couple of points that God wants others to hear as well. I’ve tried to abridge what I said below – I hope that you find it helpful and challenging.
There were many reasons that one could be considered cursed in the 1st Century. One at or near the top of the list was blindness. If you were blind you would have been ostracized, considered unclean and unaccepted by society. If you were blind, you would have been mocked, talked about as people walked by.
Consider that for a moment. Imagine you were the man, sitting at the side of the road. You would probably be begging, hoping that someone would take pity on you and throw you a coin. What would have been far more common though is the sound of someone spitting. Jesus walks along, stops and as far as the man is concerned everything is normal. Right down to the sound of spitting. Perhaps the most unusual thing that happened is that the spittle didn’t make contact.
From the ordinary and expected, the unexpected came.
If we wait for the perfect opportunity, if we only expect God to move during a church service, after 2hrs worship, we will miss what God is doing in the everyday. Sometimes God wants to start something supernatural in the natural. May I encourage you to be looking out for what He is doing as you go about your daily life.
The second thing to notice about this story is sometimes God will ask us to do something so completely out of the box that it verges on the crazy. I work in a hospital, and we often get specimens from eyes. Infection has taken hold, usually because some dirt has got into the eye. In this story, Jesus takes a mud pie and rubs it in the man’s eye. Modern medicine will tell you that not only will this not help, it is certain to make matters worse. I’m not suggesting that if you come across a blind man that you spit on the ground and rub the mud in their eyes, but I am curious. If God asked you to do something irrational, and just to trust Him to sort out the details, would you? Are you listening for the small voice in your head that suggests doing something that isn’t logical?
It’s all about listening. And expecting. I read a quote a while ago –“God wants full custody, not just weekend visits.” We need to take our faith outside the church service, and into the world. Do we expect God to speak to us? Do we recognise His voice? Will we be Jesus to those around us every day? In the normal, everyday? When we do, He will begin to trust us with the more bizarre.
I can’t promise that it will be easy. What I can promise is that it will be amazing (and sometimes surprising.)