04 August 2014

Encountering Jesus ~ THEN Jesus...


"...If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 
(said the healed blind man).

To this [the Pharisees] replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; 
how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, 
and when he found him, he said, 
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 
(John 9.33-35)

We're back to the previously physically blind man who now sees physically, and although he isn't seeing clearly on a spiritual plane, his vision is a lot better than those Pharisees threatened by a man they can't understand (Jesus) and who can see nothing more than a man hopelessly condemned already. Just by nature of the fact that he had been born blind, this man was unworthy of God's attention. He was a man haunted by his past, a past in which his stain of blindness was not his fault. All he did was be born... and to dare to do so without eyesight. Then finally? A miracle. A Man he did not know but Who clearly had power healed him. The temple and the path to God might finally be open for him. Others notice. He's questioned. Yet when he tells the truth and not some story to tickle the ears of those who've rejected him all along, those Pharisees essentially confirm that he's a hopeless case: he'll never enter the temple to worship or sacrifice, never be declared righteous, never see Paradise... now all because he was born blind and because he wouldn't defame or implicate the only One Who'd cared, the only One Who'd offered him hope, the One Who'd healed him.

THEN Jesus...

The omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God in the form of Jesus? He heard (somewhere, somehow) that the Pharisees had banished him from God's official and allowed presence. I wonder... was it a simple but menacing "Leave this place!" which still allowed him to walk away with a tiny measure of dignity? Or was he physically removed as a police would remove a criminal from the scene of the crime? Either is possible. And either way, I'm guessing his feelings were this odd oxymoron of joy in his sight and sorrow in the shunning and ostracism.


Isn't that an amazing thought? I find it overwhelmingly beautiful! That word translated "heard" means to hear, to listen, to hear reported... to comprehend by hearing. And comprehend means to understand... to "get" what this once blind man was living, was feeling, was suffering. Jesus knows and He cares.


And implies that it wasn't the end of the story. And is a conjunction, a connecting word of equivalence. What was to come is every bit as important and every bit as key. Jesus doesn't just hear and understand... then turn His back and leave up to mere men to figure it out on our own. Jesus always had a plan and this man's ostracism was not ever planned to be "The End." And indicates there is more to come. Are you waiting with baited breath?


Common synonyms for the English word "when," in this context include: just after... at the same time... immediately upon... The previously blind man had waited long enough. Through many years of blindness. Through the haranguing of the Pharisees and the betrayal of his parents who feared men more than they loved him. Through the hopelessness of thinking that even now that he could see, he'd never see God because his path to him, through the temple, now seemed even more inaccessible now than before thanks to the taint of blindness. Then Jesus heard and He was about to act.


This find (unlike the "finding" of Phillip) implies locating especially after having been searching. Anyone else out there find it amazing that Jesus, fully man but also fully omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God, went through the trouble of searching for this man? Jesus could literally just have appeared there because He has always been omnipresent. Yet He moved limited by time and space. Jesus could literally just have known where without searching because He has always been omniscient. Yet He limited Himself and then took time and made the effort to discover. Jesus could literally just have revealed Himself to the previously blind man without ever standing before those seeing eyes because He has always been omnipotent. Yet He restrained His power and gifted the man born blind with the sight of God Himself.


It's the question Jesus asks every single one of us. He always asks. He always gives the opportunity to choose.

But sometimes I forget the first part of that sentence, and all of the love, effort, sacrifice, grace and mercy, gift... that it is that we have a Jesus Who will stoop to do such things to give us hope... after He's given us sight.

this week's gratitude list

(#'s 4712 - 4735)
great appointment with the oral surgeon... got two kiddos with wisdom teeth coming out... soon... but NOT on the same day, thankfully!

enjoying Conrad

Rebekah got to feed a real live bald eagle

Cauliflower pizza crust... FOR REALS!!! and it was amazing!

Eating peas and zucchini from our garden, thanks to the help of a friend

looking at old pictures

organizing all the old scrapbooking stuff to start back at it once again

a "Birds of Prey" education program

wandering around Hartwick Pines with the fam last weekend

a couple of hours to catch up on fb friends and see what all folks have been up to this summer

thinking about buying clunker cars since we've got three drivers-in-training

dreaming about houses and the future... and wondering if I'll ever have a place on this planet to call mine... and realizing that I'm really okay if I don't, even though there are those seasons of great longing

Conrad nibbles

watching Bren get his first taste of working with raptors on this side of the water

90 year old men who refuse to become couch potatoes and keep on learning new things and challenging themselves

wishing my favorite should've been 91 this year old man was still around in this life to hug

a great deal on pre-marinated chicken barbecue (you know... a manager's special) at half price meaning enough chicken to grill for this gang for only $6!

homemade Texas toast made into French toast (I know... there's something just so WRONG about that phrase) and drizzled with homemade blueberry syrup for a Saturday morning

Tim getting to teach Sunday School because the regular teacher was on vacation... enjoy hearing what he learns as he's preparing to teach

more great partnership development meetings

really cool vet who stopped by the house - campaigning for a potential politician - but a really sweet man and lots of fun to visit with for a bit

drives through the beautiful Michigan countryside on a Saturday afternoon

homemade clothespin dolls

the most amazing field covered in Queen Anne's lace and some purplish wildflower that just goes on and on and on... and on - and I get to drive by it every time I take the kids up to volunteer

  Ten most recent posts in this series: 
Click here for all of the titles and their corresponding links in the Encountering Jesus series.

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