Posts Tagged ‘healing’

RoyIt’s the Sabbath. Jesus is walking north on the Dead Sea Road (a main thoroughfare) into Jerusalem with his followers. He’s moving up the valley toward the Fountain Gate and Dung Gate outside the southwestern wall of the Old City of David. Herod’s Temple is at the top of the valley. The road is cobblestone and on his right is the Pool of Siloam. As they pass into the city they pass a beggar, Roy, who was blind from birth.

Peter: Jesus, who sinned, him or his parents, to make him blind?

Jesus: Sin’s not the problem. He’s blind so God can work through him–to make darkness light. He’s going to see me. We have to work in the light. In darkness no one can work (touching Roy’s shoulder). While I’m here, I am the light of the world.

Kneeling, Jesus spits in his palm and mixes some dirt in to make some mud. He puts it on  Roy’s eyes.

Nathaniel: Jesus, that doesn’t look too clean…

Jesus (looking at Nate and rolling his eyes): Roy, go over and wash in pool. Murphy, give him a hand.

Jesus continues up the street. Murphy, the non-disciple, takes Roy by the elbow and leads him the short distance to the pool. Roy washes…color explosion! The first thing he sees is Murph grinning ear to ear with his hand up. Roy looks, then holds his hand up, too. Murph gives him a high five. Roy looks around the pool…

Roy: I can see!!!

Roy runs west a block to his home and shouts until neighbors gather. Murphy follows.

Roy (joyously): Hey, everyone! I can see!!!

Mr. Issacson (to Mr. Jacobson): Hey, isn’t he Roy, the blind beggar?

Jacobson: Looks like Roy, but he’s not blind. Must not be him.

Roy (coming to them):  Mr. Jacobson, it’s me!

Issacson: He does look like Roy. A lot.

Roy (dancing): Mr. Issacson. I. Am. Roy.

Jacobson (scratching his head, turning): If you are, why aren’t you blind?

Issacson: Yeah.

Roy: A guy called Jesus put mud in my eyes and told me to wash and then I could see.

Issacson (frowning): So, where is he?

Roy (emphatically): I don’t know. I WAS BLIND! Guess he left.

Issacson: I thought the Sabbath was for watching football, not healing. We’ll get to the bottom of this.

The neighbors grab Roy and haul him to the local Pharisees.

Pharisees: How did you receive your sight?

Roy (grinning, pointing to his eyes): A guy called Jesus put mud in my eyes, I washed, and now I can see!

Pharisees: What?!

Roy (excitedly): Yes! I can…

Pharisee Leader (angrily): NOT on the Sabbath! This can’t be from God! It’s the Sabbath! There’s football on! Only sinners and NFL players work on the Sabbath.

Roy (surprised): …I can see…

Another Pharisee: Hang on. How can such a miracle come from a sinner? It’s not even halftime.

Pharisees (turning to Roy): What about Jesus? Where did he go? It was your eyes that were opened, right?

Roy (nodding): I. WAS. BLIND. I didn’t see him. I guess he’s a prophet.

Leader (frustrated, stomping his foot): Liar! Get his parents.

The neighbors go and return with the Roy’s parents.

Leader: Is this your son? You say he was born blind? How is it he sees, now?

Parents (afraid the Pharisees were about to kick them out of the synagogue because they hated Jesus): Yes, Rabbi, this is our son, Roy. And we know he was born blind, but we don’t know anything about why he can see. Ask him, he’s legal age, he can speak for himself.

Leader (taking notes): Call the beggar back in.

Roy: Rabbi?

Leader (pointing his finger): Give glory to God and forget this Jesus business. We know he’s a sinner.

Roy (holding up his hands): Whether Jesus is a sinner or not, I can’t say. All I know is, I was blind, now I see.

Leader: What did he do? How did he open your eyes?

Roy (smiling): Hello? Weren’t you listening a moment ago? Aren’t you taking notes? Are you wanting to become Jesus’ disciple, too?!

Leader: Look, smartypants, you’re just a dirty, lying, begging, Sabbath-breaking-fool. What are you doing getting healed on the Sabbath, anyway? You should have been at home listening to football. Don’t sass us! You lousy, no-good, blaspheming, porker!

Other Pharisees (angrily yelling insults): Yeah, clueless idiot! Beggar! Pinhead! Liar! Blind man! Football hater!

Leader (shaking his finger at Roy): Just as I expected. YOU are Jesus’ disciple! But WE are disciples OF MOSES! We KNOW God spoke to Moses–we don’t even know where Jesus came from.

Roy (laughing): Unbelievable! You ‘re worried about where Jesus is from! HE OPENED MY EYES! Are you idiots?! We know God doesn’t listen to sinners, he listens to godly people who do his will. Who has even heard of someone opening the eyes of a person blind from birth! If Jesus weren’t of God, could he do this (pointing to his eyes)?

Leader (indignantly): You are a bucket of sin, blinded at birth! How dare you lecture us!

The Pharisees grab Roy and throw him out of the synagogue. Murphy finds Jesus in the Temple and relates the story. Jesus rounds up his disciples and heads back to Roy. A crowd gathers around Jesus as he approaches Roy.

Jesus: Roy, do you believe in the Son of Man?

Roy: Who is he, sir? Tell me, so I can believe.

Jesus: You’re looking at him, in fact, I AM.

Roy (nodding, looking into Jesus’ eyes): I believe you! Lord, have mercy on me!

Jesus (to the crowd): I have come to make the blind see, and those who see, blind.

Pharisee (whispering): What?! Is he going to blind us?! We’re blind?!

Jesus (hearing them): Roy sees me and SEES God–he has sight. You see me, but don’t SEE me–you are blind–your guilt remains. You are blind guides.

Tr8: See Jesus; see God. Don’t see Jesus; don’t see God. It’s that simple.

Very loosely based on John 9

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July 29, 2011, I nearly killed myself.

I was cleaning our gutters against my dear wife’s passionate warning. She had seen me do this 8 times. Involved an extension ladder and gutters at about 2.5 stories. Each time she said, “PLEASE! Don’t do that!”

The “PLEASE!” and warning went unheeded. See, I’ve been working like this since my dad, brothers, and I did roofs and other construction stuff in Missouri 40 years ago. My body has scars that have grandkids. I’ve worked on every house in which I’ve ever lived.

Why ask someone else to do what (you THINK) you can do yourself? Made imminent sense to me.

Not to her. She knew the job was dangerous.

When I fell, working alone while she was at work, I would have been toast if I hadn’t heeded her warning at all. I heeded about .01%. I stuck my cell phone in my pocket. “Just in case.”

Skip to me waking up some days later in a hospital bed crushed and confused. Life went from good to unbearable in about a second. I remember not flying. I remember being crushed, I remember making the 911 call. I remember being put in the ambulance, and…that’s it.

When I awoke in the hospital, my wife screamed, “I told you so! What an idiot! I was right!”

No.

She’s Wonder Woman without the outfit. She knew “I told you so” is pointless to a person who has already fallen, one who ignored truthful and right warnings and pleas. One with regrets. I don’t even think she had to reflect on this for a single moment. She knew.

It’s so like insiders and outsiders in faith. Warnings don’t work. Wisdom doesn’t stick. Arguments don’t persuade.

After the fall, reprimands, recriminations and perceived “rightness” don’t help a crushed person. Even with regrets, the damage is done.

The only thing that matters is the embrace.

The only thing a fallen world understands is Christ’s embrace. The truth will dawn upon them in due time and they won’t be happy or proud about having ignored it.

I am so blessed. My family and friends rallied around me with their embraces and help. I can’t describe how their gracious actions healed my heart, mind and body during suffering.

4 a fallen world an embrace works — “I told you so” doesn’t. Not now. Not later. Not ever. I’m still more or less crushed — I’m a crushed person. My friends and family reminded me of the Source of Peace in the midst of physical and emotional brokenness and suffering.

Tr8: Embrace the fallen.

The Father-Son-Spirit idea the Disciples embraced had tension — life comes from living in the Spirit, who is Christ, who is the Father, who can be known, who is love.

John tells us over and over Jesus said he and the Father were one. According to John, Jesus said he only did what the Father told him to. Jesus believably lived out God’s character before Jews, Greeks, and Romans for about three years. The first church was watching and taking notes.

After Jesus demonstrated the Father’s love, he stuck around a month or so, then, ascended to the Father. According to most creeds, he’s sitting at the right hand as we speak. He left the Spirit to handle things here.

Jesus and the Father upstairs. Spirit downstairs.

These days, I think the Spirit gets ignored a lot. Everyone’s looking upstairs. Wondering about what’s going on up there–what’s God up to? Is Jesus vacuuming heaven with the angels? Are they watching us?

We can’t see because we’re downstairs.

The Spirit is downstairs. With us.

If we’ll tune into the Spirit maybe some really crazy spiritual things could start happening on earth again.

The 1st Century church understood a lot. They followed Jesus and saw his spirit in action — a spirit focused on the Father — and Jesus trained them to be like himself. They could say, “Oh! See that? THAT is SO Jesus!” They knew how to be SO Jesus, too.

In The Acts of the Apostles, one of the things that stands out (and confuses us) is that the Holy Spirit was observable. Paul and Barnabas come back to Jerusalem and tell the home team, “The Gentiles? They’ve got it.”

Got what?

I’m guessing here, but I think they saw people “doing” Jesus. They saw Christ in someone else. They were so familiar with Jesus’ way, truth, and life (John 14:6) they could spot it anywhere. When believers got really good at doing Jesus, wired into the Father’s love, they started to heal, raising folks from the dead, turn bottled water into Sangria, and spoke in tongues (I don’t know what that means, but I know the Disciples saw Jesus do it).

Don’t see much of this today.

Because we don’t have enough faith? No, because we don’t have enough Spirit. We wouldn’t know Jesus if he thumped us on the noggin. I think it’s because we’re all standing around looking upstairs, trying to imagine Jesus, the Father, streets of gold, etc. When the Spirit is here, in the house.

Tr8: Take the slack out of your relationship with the Spirit.