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, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. John 9:1-7, 38 KJV --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/pastor-lucy-paynter/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/pastor-lucy-paynter/support
<span;> Good morning and welcome this is Pastor Lucy Paynter with your Daily Insights. We are activating faith because faith without works is dead.
<span;> if you we're born blind. It has been years, perhaps decades, since you accepted your situation. You have learned how to live with it. You have learned how to navigate around your house, how to get to work and how to do things for yourself albeit with some difficulties. Then one day, you’re out and about going on with your life as you have been all along and you meet some people who, upon seeing you, start discussing your condition and what went wrong to have you born so. One of them spits on the ground and goes ahead to mix the spit with dirt and then comes and smears it over your eyes and tells you to go wash your face in the river. For most of us, a fight would start right there and then. He would have to explain who he thinks he is to do something like that. He would have a lot to hear from you on how insulting that is, on how you did not ask for his help and how your disability doesn’t call for disrespect. It would be chaos!
<span;> The book of John chapter nine narrates the story of a man such as you have just imagined. Verses 1-7 says that as Jesus 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. As long as it is day, we must do the works 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.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
<span;> It’s important to understand that this man had not asked for help. And being that he was blind, he had not seen the face of the man who had put mud on his eyes. He had heard the men that were with that man discuss him in not so favorable words. But upon being told to go wash the mud off his eyes by the very person who had put it there, he just turned and went to the river. He did not question the man’s intention, he did not fight back for the seemingly unjust treatment. He simply obeyed and went away to wash his face as he had been commanded. This is a man who was the perfect embodiment of misery. A man who for so long had been part of the background. A man that many would have preferred to pass by as people often do beggars. This is a man for whom there seemed to be no hope of restoration. But that day, in the strangest of ways, he met Jesus.
<span;> Had this man not had faith that there would come a day when his eyes would be opened, he would have questioned the entire process of mud smearing and going to wash his face in the river. The obvious speculations and questions in the minds of people regarding the origin of his blindness did not cloud his belief in Jesus. He had a faith so strong that when the very first chance that his sight could be restored came up, he did not try to rationalize things, he acted in absolute obedience and faith. He went ahead and put his faith into action.
<span;> We know that the Pharisees were always on the lookout for anything that Jesus did that went against their laws. But seeing that they did not question Jesus’ use of spittle, it is possible that the people of the day believed in its medicinal value. I think it would even be safe to assume that this had already been tried on him or someone else and it did not work. And so for him to believe that getting his eyes smeared with mud made of spittle and going to wash in the river would get him healing, he had to have had faith, active faith, and trust in the person who commanded him to do so.
<span;> Even with the conviction and prejudice directed towards him after his healing, the man’s faith and opinion of Jesus remained unshaken. He knew well the Pharisees’ opinion of Jesus. He knew the possibility of being barred from the synagogue or excommunication for anyone who sided with him but he still stood his ground and declared without hesitation that he believed Jesus was a prophet. Even when his parents, out of fear of the Pharisees, could not testify on his behalf about his healing and instead let him answer to the Pharisees on his own, he remained steadfast in his faith. The Bible says that when the argument he presented them with did not sit well with them, they resorted to abusing and accusing him of having been born in sin. But even this was not enough to dampen his faith.
<span;> It was after the man had been thrown out by the Pharisees that Jesus went and found him and revealed to him who he really was, the Son of Man. Verse 38 of John says that the man, on learning this, then said “Lord, I believe” and he worshiped Jesus. Isn’t this kind of faith just powerful! The kind of faith that made this man believe in the power and intentions of the man who had healed him before he knew his true identity. The kind of faith that made him obey a man he could not see when he told him to go wash his face in the river. The kind of faith that made him declare his loyalty and stand by the person who had healed him in the face of such atrocities.
<span;> This is the kind of faith that we call active faith. A faith that you are ready to put to action. A faith that responds to the unseen God and His promises. A faith that does not shy away from taking bold actions. A faith that acts in obedience to the Word of God.