Tuesday, June 28, 2011
His ears listen intently at the commotion. Some big-shot must have arrived to the street of beggars. He can hear of much excitement of a man named Jesus. Some are arguing among themselves too. “Anyway, who will even think of this dirt-filled blind man?” he utters to himself frustratingly. Before he can call for alms, he senses a gentle pat on his shoulder. For a long time, he has been untouched in this sort of a way. He can feel love flowing from whoever this person may be.
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind,” Peter asks quietly.
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life,” Jesus answers him.
“Huh?” The blind man scratches his head. “Oh..” Peter nods, trying to readjust his theology.
“As long as it is day, we must do the work 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,” the Messiah adds.
Before the disciples can respond, Jesus bends down and scoops some hard soil onto his hands. He wets it with his saliva and manages to make some mud. He proceeds to break them into half and applies them to the eyes of the blind beggar. The urgency of Jesus has taught the disciples another dimension in serving the plan of God. That ‘night’ for Jesus is indeed coming. In fact, all the disciples will have their ‘night’ coming, soon. Therefore, the light of the world must shine, now!
“Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam,” Jesus orders the blind man.
“Unlike other men who are often harsh and confusing, the voice of Jesus is so soothing yet authoritative. Of course, the rest see my condition as a curse,” the beggar speaks to himself as he gropes along those familiar steps leading to the pool.
The Son of God smiles as he sees this man’s faith and obedience. The blind man steps into the cold water, squats and washes his eyes. He senses ‘something’ being added inside his eyes as if somehow the mud has gone into them. It has been impossible to open those eyelids that were shut since he was born but he feels it is possible now. His head throbs painfully as the sunlight penetrates his eyes. He squints and sees light for the first time. Then he opens them wider and witnesses the colours of the world. Although everything seems so confusing around his new found sight, he still kind of remembers his way home as he has done that every day.
The family shouts in jubilation to the extraordinary miracle on one of its sons. Tears flow freely. They think they will lose him to beg but God begs to differ. He was blind but now he sees! The same day, they offer a toast to his bright future.
“Jesus! It was Jesus! He healed me!” the once-blind man shouts those words everywhere he turns.
The disciples of Jesus marvel at the awesome miracle. In fact, some of them are discussing about the creation of the eyes of this blind man with mud. “Remember, God created Adam from mud,” James adds to the excitement. “And our Master made mud to……”
The man who now can see is determined and desperate to find Jesus. He prays that he can bump into Jesus again and asks this ‘man of God’ about the Messiah that was promised to Israel. "Maybe Jesus is the One," he thinks loudly to himself.
Meanwhile, Jesus thanks the Father for the gift of sight to the blind man, who was extremely happy to receive it. He rejoices that he comes to this world so that the blind can see. Ironically, the Son of God also knows there will be judgment for some who can see, that their eyes would be blinded to the truths of God.
This story is taken from John 9:1-41
Next: The Raising of Lazarus from the dead
Monday, June 20, 2011
“Wow! What a miracle!” Andrew still whispers to himself about the miracle Jesus did as he rows the boat. The disciples couldn’t shake off that afternoon’s astounding multiplication of bread and fishes. “Amen to that. It reminds me of manna from heaven, simply from nowhere,” John speaks excitedly as he overhears the soft utterances of Andrew. “Come on guys, let us go faster a little. I can smell rain already,” Peter warns. Just as he finishes saying that, they hear thunder cracking up above. The wind grows stronger by the minute. Their boat is already swaying left to right as they muster their strength to keep the boat going. To the horror of all the disciples. the waves now have begun to rock the boat in a dangerous way. “I think we are going to sink!” Phillip holds on to the sides. “Don’t tell me we are going to die like this. O..Let's pray!” Peter shouts desperately to everyone onboard.
“Hey, I saw something moving above the water! We are in deep trouble,” John cries out. “Ohhh! It’s a ghost!” Matthew shrieks. “We are doomed! JESUS….!” Andrew yells for his Master to help.
“It is I; don’t be afraid,” the figure walking on the water calls out in a loud voice. Peter falls down on his knees and blurts, “It’s Jesus! It's Jesus! Thank God!” Phillip chips in, “Hey, yes, it is Master! It is Master! And he is walking…”
The voice and the words of Jesus calm everyone down. “It is I,” Jesus walks nearer to the boat. Smiles appear on the disciples’ faces again.* They are actually more relieved in seeing their lives saved than being astonished in seeing a man walking on water. “If Jesus the Son of God can create bread and fish from nowhere, defying gravity should be by no means difficult. But how come we were so afraid just now?” John talks to himself, ashamed.
All Jesus wants is to get on to the other side to serve his Father by all means and that includes walking on water. As he walks on the treacherous water, he knows this miracle itself will teach the disciples to trust God in whatever circumstances they may face. More so, he would leave them one day for heaven, more storms will come into their paths. All followers of Jesus then would have to “walk on water” amidst "storms" to the other side to serve the will of God! But then, another like "Jesus", the Holy Spirit, will walk with them!
This story is taken from John 6:16-21.
*(In Matthew’s version of the story, Peter steps out of the boat and walks a few steps with Jesus before he sinks – Matthew 14:22-33; see also Mark 6:45-52 for another version of the same story).
Next: Healing of the man born blind.