Jesus, our Savior, part of the Trinity of God, the Son of God, came to us as a human baby to teach us of God’s love, forgiveness, and justice. He healed the blind so they could see. He died so we could live eternally with God in Heaven, paying the cost for our human sins, so that we may stand pure in the sight of God. What an amazing sacrifice for us. For me. For you. He did this, the GOD of the Universe did this, for you and for me personally. He took every sin you ever committed and sacrificed his body, his blood for you. Had you been the only one on earth to accept Him, he still would have died for You! That’s deep. That’s harsh. That’s divine love, justice, and mercy.
Last week I was stricken and blind. See I suffer from retinopathy caused by diabetes. This means my eyes bleed internally. I’ve had several operations to laser the bleeds, to cauterize them, but they kept coming back. I had been congested and in a coughing fit, my right eye had a major bleed. I saw the bleed, the blood oozing into the eye, and then I could see nothing, just a thick moving haze of blood. I wore a patch over the eye for the next few days, and relied on my left eye to see. I was scared, because I knew that my left eye was vulnerable and if a major bleed occurred I’d be left blind. My retina specialist had scheduled another laser treatment for both eyes, and I hoped I could make it to those days, just a week away. Last Saturday morning I was sitting on the couch watching tv, when I coughed and the major bleed I was hoping wouldn’t happen, did.
I was left blind in both eyes. I could barely make out the hazy image of my hands held up in front of my face, I could no longer see the tv, read, or even see the faces of my beloved family. I was lost.
See, for me, everything I enjoy in this world is sight related. I love reading, studying, the internet, games, driving, sports…and in a cough, one quick second, it was all gone from me.
I immediately began to depend on my wife and children for everything. They had to help me get around the house, fix my meals, give me my insulin shots, etc. I was helpless and didn’t know what to do. I had to wait until Monday to see the Doctor, and time passes very slowly when you have nothing to entertain yourself with. I went with Tracey and Kevin to clean the local park for the Cub Scouts, though I didn’t help. I just tried to follow the little red jacket in the hazy distance and not trip on anything. I had a walking stick, but still managed to stumble quite a bit. Sunday came and Tracey took me to church. I stared hard at the cross, just wanting to see it and could occasionally make out its shape, but I was lost in my blindness.
Monday I went to the eye Doctor, and he told me it was time to do an invasive surgery where they go into the eye, take out the vitreous jelly with all the bad blood, replace it with a saline gel, and cauterize the back of the eye to prevent future bleeding. The surgery was scheduled for the following Thursday. Over the next few days my left eye improved some, but I still had to peer through a misty fog to see anything, and my right eye remained totally blind.
That was my state of physical blindness, but what about spiritual blindness? John 5:3 states that as Jesus and his disciples entered Jersusalem they passed a well that was supposed to have healing properties. Many people came here to await the stirring of the water to heal them. In five small areas “lay many invalids- blind, lame, and paralyzed.” The invalids are those that are unable to live according to the law, blind to the grace of God, living a life of simple survival, with little more hope than a well of water that they hoped might regenerate them physically and spiritually.
The blind “may represent men a state of nature, who are ignorant of, and blind to everything that is spiritual; as to the true knowledge of God in Christ, the way of salvation by him, the plague of their own hearts, and the exceeding sinfulness of sin; to the Spirit of God, and his work upon the soul; and to the truths of the Gospel, in the power of them” (Gil’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).
The “lame” may represent those who are unsure of the holy or spiritual things. They are hesistant and caught between two conflicting arguments, perhaps the Law vs Grace of God.
The paralyzed could do nothing, neither accept or seek. They simply waited, hoping that someone would assist them.
The waters did not heal. But Jesus did. He found a sick man, who was lame spiritually, and paralyzed hoping that someone would take pity on him and help him into the pool of water when the time came as he could not find his way. He needed someone, but no one was there for him, except for Jesus. Jesus, the Rebel, healed the man on the Sabbath breaking the Hebraic laws of the time.
Many people today believe they can do life on their own terms. That God is unnecessary. They are blind, and worse, they may lead others to such a belief. For the love of Christ is universal and with it comes peace and understanding, as well as a changed heart, and with Christian action, a changed world. What is worse is when people falsely teach the Gospel for their own gain or deliberately mislead, divide, or attack rather than showing the love and grace of Christ. Matthew 15 verses 12 to 20 shows Christ’s thoughts about living such a blind life. The disciples asked if Jesus realized the Pharisees had taken offense at his open challenge to them and the laws. Christ answered them, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will e uprooted. Let them alone, they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” Peter asked for him to explain this parable. Jesus said, “Are you still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But, what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”
Living blind spiritually is much worse than living blind physically. Such a life defiles the goodness of God’s creation and keeps us from truly understanding the GRACE of God. When I look back on my life, and the years I spent not following my Savior, I realize just how lost I was. The blindness left my life in a haze, and I was defiled in my own humanness and weakness. If you had visited with me then, I had all the arguments down and may have led others to be blind as well. I said things like, “I can worship God at home, and do not need a church or organized religion. Christians are nothing more than hypocrites and the Church is nothing more than a money making scheme for the televangelists.” Yes, I said these things. Worse, I believed these things. But Christ’s prevenient grace and love waited for me, wooed me, and continually sought after me, like a love sick groom seeking his bride.
Many times in life we ask for miracles, but the greatest miracle is that the God of the Universe loves each of us individually, died so we might be reconciled, and offers his FREE Grace to everyone. Don’t live life blind, lame, or paralyzed. Discover the freedom of Christ! Be rejoiceful in all things.
After my surgery I had to wait 24 hours for the bandage to come off to discover if I could see. When the nurse removed the bandage and I could see, I felt His presence. A miracle indeed, but the greatest miracle was that I now know his grace and love and have a desire to share this peace with everyone I meet.
Do you know the love and grace of Christ? It is liberating and open to all. We are all sinners and there is nothing you can do to earn a trip to Heaven. Nothing. All works are worthless. What could you do to equal Jesus’ suffering on the cross? Are you blind? Lame? Paralyzed? Jesus is telling you to get up, be healed, and live life to the fullest measure showing others God’s redeeming love and grace.
Peace to all,