I Will Say Nothing More

An interesting thought, for those patient enough to think it through.

“Not once did the disciples say, “Lord, have compassion on this blind beggar who is on the side of the road.” Do they say, “Lord, heal and restore this blind beggar on the side of the road?” “Do they reach out in any tangible way to this blind beggar on the side of the road?

“No, they simply ask an esoteric theological question, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?””

Ruth Harms Calkin

“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?”

(All of John chapter 9).

Father of Mercies, forgive us. Help us to care, love and be full of the mercy of Jesus. We fall woefully short. It really seems we are the blind ones. We need to be those who wrap your arms around the needy. We need to be your hands and your feet. Forgive us of our heartless religion that helps no one.

Amen.

Led Aside by Jesus, [Consideration]

“He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

–Mark 8:23, NIV

Here I can imagine the gentleness and the kindness of Jesus–we see Him leading this man out of town to a quieter place. Showmanship?  Not on your life.  Jesus has made the decision to avoid the theatrics of a blind man given sight, and ducked the paparazzi for a moment to touch this man.

In a way, we are all like this blind man.  We stumble around and try to make our way.  But it is raucous confusion– the fields of philosophy, religion, psychology, politics and art are not much more than a blind men tapping with his cane, trying to find their way into the light.  This may be rather simplistic, but I believe it’s more true then we care to admit.  The entire social history of humans is based on confusion and conflict.

We grope in the gloom, and there is none to take our hand and lead us out of the darkness.  We stumble and fall, and come no closer to understanding then when we first started.  It is hopeless.  Our striving borders on madness and insanity.

The blind man in Mark 8 entrusted himself to Jesus’ care.  He willingly went with Jesus, following down the path and out of the village.  Jesus carefully leads him by the hand, which is quite remarkable.  (I guess I’m envious.)  Jesus would have led this man past every obstacle.

Each of us have to encounter Jesus for ourselves.

We are born blind, having no awareness (zero, zilch, nada) of spiritual truth.  We must be taught to see.  At the airport in Salt Lake City recently, I saw a young blind man being led through large crowd.  I was fascinated by his trust in his guide as people jostled to try to make their connections.  There was a quiet composure in him.  (In his place, I would be terrified.)

We must trust Jesus, with that same composure and grace.  When we cannot see, we must trust.

“I do not try to see my way,
Before, behind, or left, or right;
I cannot tell what dangers gray
Do haunt my steps, nor at what height
Above the sea my path doth wind:
For I am blind. 

“Yet not without a guide I wend
My unseen way, by day, by night;
Close by my side there walks a Friend,——
Strong, tender, true: I trust His sight;
He sees my way before, behind,
Though I am blind.”

by an Unknown Author

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The Gift of Sight, [Our Blindness]

“Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”

Mark 8:23

What an amazing and gentle thing for Jesus to do.  He offers his hand in order to guide this one to a better environment for that which he is about to do.  Jesus really is quite considerate, and very aware of the “circus” he causes in the town.

In many ways, we are so like this blind man.  We have no spiritual sight, we stumble and bumble through life.  We are doomed to live this way, blind to anything of significance.  But along comes Jesus, he takes us by our hand.  We walk through the streets, with him leading us.  Little do we know, that in just a moment we are going to see.

This blind man is being led by a stranger, who is leading him down dusty streets to an undisclosed location.  Yet, for some reason, he trusts Jesus, and allows himself to be led.  As he walked holding the hand of Jesus, his faith grows.  By the time they arrive at the spot outside the walls, we just know what is going to happen next.

Jesus spits!  Right into each eye. He puts his thumbs into them and brings a complete reconstruction of each eye.  Jesus is standing right in front of him. He asks, “Now can you see?”  I can see him blinking, and rolling his eyes, squinting and trying very hard to see.  And he does– but only limitedly.  Things are still blurry.

Jesus doesn’t berate the man, or belittle him for not getting a complete healing.  He just repeats this process, and within a minute the blind man now sees the world that before he only staggered through a moment ago..

If you must know, I am that blind man, I walked in spiritual darkness.  Things have not ever been easy.  I have stumbled and tripped through life.  I have been the butt of schoolboy pranks, and I have begged for crusts.  I have gone hungry a lot of the time.

But this man, Jesus found me.  He healed me. And my ugly, pathetic life was changed.  I am now a witness to what he can do–and does!  I added nothing to my healing, it was a miracle. I just opened my eyes.

“Of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful.”

–Helen Keller

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The Ransom Note

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“We collapse in the dust,
    lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us!
    Ransom us because of your unfailing love.”

Psalm 44:25-26, NLT

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45

“God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.”

1 Peter 1:20

I think that God has more or less ransacked the human language in His effort to get through to us the critical nature of what exactly has been done just for us. When it comes to our salvation and what that means to the universe, the word, “ransom” is used.

The connection for us, as we consider the implications, has mainly a connection with the crime of “kidnapping.” This is when someone is captured by other men, and held in captivity until certain terms are met. When the kidnapper feels his needs are fully met, then the hostage is released.

In the Bible sense, we should work through several verses. There are at least three Hebrew words. In the N.T. Greek just a single word to explain “ransom” is seen. And yet we can say, each word is linked back to the idea of being “helpless.” And helpless is far more than a definition, rather it is a description of a “state of being.”

We come to understand that helplessness is the natural state of human beings. We each have been captured, taken away and are being held, until terms are met for our release. I suppose that some see this helplessness easier than others. (And I’m sure a few will never acknowledge it at all). But nevertheless, it is real and it describes every single person that has ever lived.

Being completely helpless is hardly a situation we would ever choose. Having ransom demands being made to set us free is mostly awkward. And it’s an affront. Perhaps, we feel we are worth more? But the issues here are eternal, and currency concepts are never the consideration.

But there is a present need, to purchase back those who are being held as captives. The absolute clear position is that the Lord Jesus Christ, died in our place. Choosing to die for us, he was essentially tortured before his cruel death. In this decision, he himself paid my ransom. In doing this, I was set free and fully able to return home.

There are many who have been free. But there is a thing called “the Stockholm Syndrome.” This refers to those in captivity who somehow “connect” with their kidnappers through a prolonged captivity. This is to the point where they begin to act less than the victims, and more like the captor. It is confusing. They seem to go out of their way to act “pro-kidnapper”. This can get very disturbing.

We must look to our children, and closest family and our friends. They are toiling for Satan, the captor of our souls (past-tense). Many different tactics are being used– depression, addictions, lust, greed, anger, gluttony, pride, guilt and many other deceitful things. They are being held, until faith (the key) “springs” them out of their prison.

Thank you Jesus, for coming to free us. Thank you for forgiving us. We have been released, and now walk away free. You died, so we might live. We desperately want to see the others we love set free.

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ybic, Bryan

 

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