Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #9-Where Are You Being Sent?

         Where Is Jesus Sending You?


Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?" 
Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light."
He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man's eyes, and said, "Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam" (Siloam means "Sent"). The man went and washed--and saw.
(John Chapter 9 ) The Message

Can you picture the scene? Jesus and his disciples simply walking down a dusty street holding a conversation when Jesus spots a man blind from birth. The disciples immediately want to know where to lay blame for his blindness. After all, in their opinion, someone must be at fault for this man being born blind! But Jesus turns the tables on the disciples, pointing out to them that looking for someone to blame is wrong thinking. Looking for what God can do is right thinking. He then creates a paste of his spit and dirt, rubs it on the blind man's eyes and tells him to go wash it off. But Jesus doesn't tell the man to just go wash off the mud anywhere. No, he sends the man to a special place...the Pool of Siloam. And the scripture tells us that the very word "Siloam" means sent. So....Jesus sent the man to the be sent on a whole different mission.....Because, you see, the miracle didn't just stop at the Pool of Siloam after the man had washed his eyes and was able to see. Oh no...there is much more to come in Chapter 9 of the book of John. 

Remember, that Jesus told his disciples not to look for blame...but to look for what "God can do." And God certainly used this miracle of healing for so much more than just restoring this man's vision! You see, the chapter goes on to say that very soon afterward, folks in town got to talking. Even the man's relatives were trying to figure out how this miracle had happened. Some relatives decided he wasn't even the same man who had been blind! After years of seeing this blind man begging along the roadside, there was no way he could now see! Of course these doubters had to get the Pharisees involved and that began a series of grilling both the man and his parents as to whether or not he was indeed the blind man, and how this healing could have happened. They wanted to know where Jesus was located and who the blind man thought Jesus was. They didn't like any of his answers and, eventually, ended up throwing the poor man out into the street! Think about the upheaval in this man's life! He had already struggled his entire life due to blindness. He literally begged on the street for help. And then, when this miracle of miracles happens, and his sight is restored.....he is sent forth only to have his identity doubted and his words twisted by the Pharisees ending in being physically assaulted! 

There is so much to this particular scripture, that it is hard to know which direction to go with for a devotional. We could talk about the human penchant for trying to lay blame for events that happen, or the wonderful miracle of healing that God brought about for this man, or the inability of people to believe when something good happens, or the way people's words can be twisted when being questioned and the questioners don't like what they are hearing. But, I am choosing to focus, today,  on the idea that this man was "sent" by Jesus. You know, Jesus could have just touched him and healed him right there on the road. My goodness, remember the woman who simply touched the hem of His garment and was healed? And Jesus could have chosen to simply make the paste for the man's eyes and leave it there. But no....Jesus chose to send the man to the pool. And from there, the man went forth and spoke to others about Jesus. 

Now granted, it wasn't easy for this man. He was doubted and treated unkindly. But, through it all, he stayed true to the truth of what had happened to him. He gave Jesus the credit for the healing saying, "All I know is that I was blind, but now I see." And at the end of Chapter 9, Jesus uses this man's story to illustrate that blindness can come in many forms...including being blind to the truth when it is right in front of us. Here are Jesus' words:

"I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind."

As I read this scripture, I find myself dwelling on the idea of "being sent" by Jesus. Granted, I don't want to end up being interrogated and abused by the Pharisees. But, I hope that in whatever situation I am sent, I can take the lesson that Jesus speaks of in these scriptures. That I can see the clear distinctions of God's word clearly in the light of day. And, most of all, that I can ask the right question...What can God do in this situation? 

Where is Jesus sending you today? And what can God do as you go there? 



Sharon said...

Thank you for starting my Saturday morning with words I will think about and consider all day.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Sharon, for reading and responding! Have a great Saturday!

Lay said...

I love your Saturday devotionals and find myself eagerly anticipating them! Thank you, Debbie, for grounding me in God's word and real life application that are so true in my life.

Karen said...

It's so natural for us to wonder who is to blame or what happened when we see our own or other's misfortune. I like the theme here of looking for what God can do in a given situation instead. How can we see Him at work and realize that should be our focus. We give ourselves too much credit and power that only belongs to God.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Laura, for reading these devotionals. It touches my heart that you eagerly anticipate them! Have a blessed Sunday!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Karen, for reading and commenting. I hope the theme of looking for what God can do in situations is helpful to you. Your words touch my heart. Have a great week ahead!

Marge said...

I love all the angles you present for this scripture. The Bible is so amazing in that respect that there is so much to think about and reading the same verses at different times in our life speaks different truths. God always meets us where we are. Thanks for sharing. You are a blessing.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks so much, Marge, for reading and commenting on my post. You are right, there are so many angles to this scripture. How wonderful that God meets us where we are and is able to bring to light whatever needs we have through scriptures!! You are a blessing to me, as well.