Its not about the Why....but the What.
It's not about the Why....but the What.
John chapter 8 didn't end well. Jesus had been at the open temple court 'discussing' things with the Pharisees. He was bold in His teaching, saying things that the religious leaders didn't agree with so...they decided to stone Him: "At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds." (John 8:20)
In other words..... Poof....He gone. His time had not come yet and He would not allow man to take Him so He just slipped away from the crowd and disappeared.
Now, take a look at the next verses - John chapter 9, verses 1-3:
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."
So, Jesus, being the God that He is, 'hid Himself' (chapter 8:20) and then reappeared, casually walking with His disciples down the road. While walking, He noticed a blind man who had never known sight. The man didn't call out to them but the disciples noticed and asked Jesus -- why is the man blind? It had to be either his parent who sinned to cause this or the man himself?
Being a bit judgmental, they were going to cast blame on someone for the calamity that had fallen upon the man.
Now stop and think......Have you ever thought that? Something happened in your own life or the life of someone you know and you quietly thought - what goes around comes around, they must have done something to deserve such a fate.
I have to admit that I have done that to myself - and at times I still struggle with the thought - what did I do to deserve the life that I led for so long...I must have done something that displeased God. Or something happens now and in a split second it runs through my mind.....what am I doing that is angering God?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Let's go on. Jesus then spit onto the ground, made a mud pie and placed it on the blind man's eyes -physically touching the man. He then told the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam and he would be healed.
He did and he was.
Jesus used his own saliva (as He had 2 other times in the book of Mark) to bring healing. The culture of the time, highly valued the use of spittle for medicinal purposes, and He mixed it with the dust of the earth to create a mudpie of sorts to bring forth the creation of a new man, healing his physical (and spiritual) blindness. He was the first man ever recorded in the Bible as being healed from congenital blindness and Jesus mimicked a method His father God used in the book of Genesis by forming a new man from the dust of the earth.
A miracle mudpie.
But following the words of Jesus from verse 3, Charles Spurgeon said it best when he said: don't look for how or why the calamity came upon a person - look at it as an occasion for the display of the goodness of God.
Think about that.
Don't look at Why but What. What can God do with the situation that I'm facing? When the disciples asked the question of why it happened Jesus quickly answered and moved on. Moved on to tell them that the challenging issue will be used to display God's glory.
Do you have a mudpie-event in your life now? A challenging situation - physical or emotional illness, marital or family issues, job loss, addiction or loss of a loved one?
Are you experiencing a trial that calls for a miracle that only Jesus can bring. A situation that needs the healing touch of Jesus.
But, like the disciples, have you ever looked to place blame or feel guilty yourself for the trial? Has the thought of why me ever crossed your mind? Looking at others who seemingly have it better than you -- wondering what did I do to deserve this pain?
I've spent years wondering why most of my life was wasted in a horrible marriage, challenging home life and never experiencing having children of my own. I spent years wondering what I did wrong to anger God while others were blessed. Many years of guilt.
But Jesus said - don't focus on the Why but move forward with the What.
The blind man remained blind until he obeyed and washed the mudpie from his eyes in the pool of Siloam - he never even saw his healer. But....through his obedience and the touch of Jesus, he received both his physical sight and spiritual sight. God revealed Himself to the man and he believed. He began to boldly profess before those who would listen - even testifing to the Pharisees, who eventually excommunicated him from the synagogue because of their anger.
But what God did was use him.
The blind man was transparent about his testimony and bold in allowing God to display His glory through the trial he faced. He expressed No blame and No guilt. There was No focus on Why it happened....only on What God could do with the miracle.
Let God use your trial for His glory. Be bold in your testimony of what God is doing in your life. Don't wonder how you will do it -- just tell what you are experiencing -- being quick to give glory to God. He is in charge of making it work.
As for the blindman? I believe that there are many in heaven today because of the blindman's boldness and what he allowed God to do with his testimony of the mudpie.
How can you allow God to use the hardships you face for His purpose and glory?
My prayer today:
Father God, sometimes things happen to us and/or our loved ones that seem unfair. It's certainly not the way you designed things from the beginning but sin entered and tainted a perfect world. But rather than being judgemental and focusing on why things happened - help me to focus on what God can do through it. Jesus healed the blind man to teach a powerful lesson. A new believer in Jesus was born through the use of the mudpie. What a powerful testimony the blindman had and was not afraid to boldly proclaim the truth.
Don't waste the mudpie event of our lives.
Show the glory of God through our trials.
And give us the courage to be bold with our testimony.
We love you. Amen.